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What's better than a shipping container house? A model of a shipping container house. Obvi...

"What," I ask you, "could possibly be better than a shipping container that's been converted into a house?" "Nothing," you say. "There's nothing better. Nothing at all. Not even iPad mini" "I know," I nod with smug condescension bordering on the zen-like, "I thought so too." But that was yesterday. Today, courtesy of Module R, there are models of shipping container houses. They're big, too, though thankfully not so big that they won't fit inside your actual shipping container house (stop me if this is getting too meta).  Read More

Northwest Hydraulic Consultants principal Darren Shepherd, using a tiny kayak to assess th...

When an architect is designing a building, they build a scale model to check how their design will work as an actual physical structure. What happens, however, when engineers are designing things that will have to be compatible with the currents in rivers ... things like dams, bridges, or pump stations? Well, that’s where water resources engineering firms like Northwest Hydraulic Consultants (NHC) come into the picture. Their work often includes building exact miniature recreations of waterways, complete with flowing water. We recently caught up with NHC principal Darren Shepherd, who guided us through the production process of one of his more exciting models – a one-twelfth scale Norwegian whitewater kayaking park.  Read More

'Desperate Debra' is a caesarean section simulator that trains surgeons to deal with poten...

Though its makers describe Desperate Debra as "the world's first impacted fetal head simulator," it's perhaps simpler to describe it as a practice dummy for caesarean sections carried out due to the baby's head having become wedged in the mother's pelvis: a situation known as impaction. It's a potentially life-threatening complication and one that is tricky to rectify. Manufacturer of medical simulators Adam,Rouilly has come up with Desperate Debra so that surgeons may practice the procedure.  Read More

New computer modeling technology suggests that Tyrannosaurus rex was even larger than prev...

Tyrannosaurus rex, that coolest of all the dinosaurs, may have been even bigger and scarier than originally thought. That’s the conclusion that was recently reached by a team of scientists, who used computer modeling technology to estimate the average body mass of the carnivorous dinosaurs. After digitally “fleshing out” existing T. rex skeletons, the researchers now believe that the reptiles grew twice as fast, and reached adult weights up to 30 percent higher than previously assumed.  Read More

Japanese company REAL-f offers extremely realistic 3D models of human faces and heads

It appears that there's a number of customers willing to pay a lot to be in possession of a lifelike replica of their face or even their whole head ... or at least, REAL-f hopes so. The Japanese company offers extremely realistic 3D models of human faces and heads made using vinyl chloride resin, based on its own technique called 3DPFs (3 Dimension Photo Forms).  Read More

Woodchuck and Co studio has built a detailed wooden model of Caterpillar 5230B Excavator (...

If you think that heavy construction machinery like a Caterpillar 5230B Excavator is an unlikely source of inspiration for a piece of art, then you obviously don't work for Michigan art studio Woodchuck and Co. The team there has built a highly detailed wooden model, or rather, a semi-working replica of the large machine, in 1/16th scale. The collector's piece is up for sale at US$35,900.  Read More

The Eco-Cool Remodel Tool allows you to take a virtual tour through a house for green impr...

King County in Washington has launched two new online initiatives to help you make ecologically-informed decisions with regards to your next home remodel: a virtual home tour with lots of tips and ideas for greening up your house, and Eco-Cribz, a video diary of local homeowners as they undertake the green transformation of their homes.  Read More

The computer animation's prediction of the oil spill after 360 days - April 15 2011 (Image...

With oil from BP’s Deepwater Horizon oil rig continuing to spew into the Gulf of Mexico researchers from the School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology (SOEST) at the University of Hawaii at Manoa have produced an animated computer simulation that shows the potential spread of the oil over a period of 360 days from when the spill started. To calculate the particle dispersal the researchers used ocean flow data from simulations conducted with the high-resolution Ocean General Circulation Model for the Earth Simulator (OFES).  Read More

Using ProFORMA 3D modeling software, users can create models by rotating an object in fron...

Cambridge University PhD student Qi Pan has designed software that creates textured 3D models in slightly more than a minute using a stationary camera, such as a webcam. Conventional off-line model reconstruction relies on a number of phases - there’s an image collection phase that can be quite quick, followed by a very slow reconstruction phase, which requires a long time to verify a model obtained from an image sequence is acceptable. This new software creates a 3D model on-line as the input sequence is being collected. As the user rotates the object in front of a camera, a partial model is reconstructed and displayed to the user.  Read More

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