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Volume 09, issue 04
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ISSN: 2274-0422

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Other places where researchers can publish 3D models

There are other online solutions for researchers to store / exchange / diffuse 3D models, which differ from M3 in several aspects.

  • MorphoSource is a project-based data archive of 3D data. File formats include tiff, dicom, stanford ply, and stl.
  • Phenome10k is quite similar to M3, and provides access to 3D surfaces of biological and palaeontological specimens. File formats include stl files, with accompanying 2-D views and pdfs of metadata and publications.
  • Virtual Fossils is a free online atlas of ancient organisms, consisting of interactive 3-D computer reconstructions of fossils.
  • Though not dedicated to 3D data, Morphobank provides an online project-based database and workspace for evolutionary research, specifically systematics.
  • Though neither dedicated to 3D data, Dryad provides a means to publish datasets associated to scientific publications.

If you wish to have your website listed here or if you know about other 3D websites, please contact me

Institutional 3D databases

Here is a list of websites designed by laboratories, museums, institutions and groups of researchers providing access to 3D datasets of specimens. To our knowledge, these solutions are open to a limited number of researchers.

  • Aves 3D is a National Science Foundation funded online database of three-dimensional digital surface models of the various bones that make up the skeleton of birds.
  • Digital Morphology Museum provides an environment in which you can readily examine skeletal anatomy using the Primate Research Institute's (PRI) collection of CT and MRI tomography scans.
  • Digimorph is a dynamic archive of information on digital morphology and high-resolution X-ray computed tomography of biological specimens. Data displayed on this website are mostly produced byt the Digital Morphology Group, in conjunction with The University of Texas High-Resolution X-ray Computed Tomography Facility.
  • ESRF paleontological microtomographic database is a repository of chosen synchrotron µCT scans performed at the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility (Grenoble, FRANCE). This database mainly includes fossil hominids, fossil vertebrates, invertebrates and plants, but also several extant biological specimens.
  • EVAN is a non-profit organisation founded by EVAN members to further promote the goals of Virtual Anthropology in Europe and worldwide.
  • GB3D aims to develop a single database of the type specimens, held in British collections, of macrofossil species and subspecies found in the UK, including links to photographs (including 'anaglyph' stereo pairs) and a selection of 3D digital models..
  • MorphoBrowser is a 3D visualisation and searching tool for mammalian teeth, accessible over the web.
  • MPI-EVA Human Evolution Microtomographic Archive contains scans of fossil and extant primate bone and teeth produced through collaborations between the Department of Human Evolution, Max Planck Institute of Evolutionary Anthropology and various international institutions.
  • Nespos is an open source information platform about Pleistocene humans, providing detailed information about important sites, their analytical results, archaeological findings and a selection of literary quotes.
  • Paleoview3D is an interactive 3D image library of fossil specimens.
  • is an interactive library dedicated to Chondrichthyes, containing (among other things) 3D anatomical models of many sharks and rays.
  • Smithsonian X 3D launches a set of use cases which apply various 3D capture methods to iconic collection objects, as well as scientific missions.
  • UMORF is the University of Michigan Online Repository of Fossils.
  • Virtual Anthropology Archives is a website where users can get easy access to some important hominid fossil.
  • The Visible Human Project is an outgrowth of the NLM's 1986 Long-Range Plan. It is the creation of complete, anatomically detailed, three-dimensional representations of the normal male and female human bodies..
  • WitmerLab publishes pdf files containing 3D models of fossil and extant vertebrates.
Other 3D projects
  • The Agora 3D project aims to establish protocols of digitization of the natural and cultural heritage for the preservation of unique specimens while facilitating their scientific development whereas the repetitive use of collections may at times endanger the preservation of their integrity.