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Computers

Kinect Fusion looks to make 3D modeling easier

It wasn’t that long ago that constructing 3D models was a painstaking and time-consuming task. These days, devices such as the Lynx A camera are turning it into a point and shoot affair. Microsoft is also doing its bit to make life easier for graphic artists, 3D printing aficionados, industrial designers, animators, architects, and games developers by turning its Kinect for Windows sensor to the task of generating 3D models of objects and environments.Read More

Space

Updated model for identifying habitable zones around stars puts Earth on the edge

Researchers at Penn state have developed a new method for calculating the habitable zone around stars. The computer model based on new greenhouse gas databases provides a tool to better estimate which exoplanets with sufficient atmospheric pressure might be able to maintain liquid water on their surface. The new model indicates that some of the nearly 300 possible Earth-like planets previously identified might be too close to their stars to to be habitable. Read More

Computers

Paper-Kit transforms 2D portraits into a 3D model

Papercraft projects tend to be based on 3D models from video games or custom-made art projects. The basic idea is to take a 3D model and flatten it out in software such as Dunreeb Cutout or Pepakura Designer by Tama software. Then you print it, cut out the parts, fold them where necessary, and paste the whole mess together. Now, thanks to Paper-kit.com, if you've got a big head – or simply want one – you can use the same technique to build an over-sized three-dimensional paper model of yourself using 2D photos.Read More
Architecture

Model shipping container home: best thing since full-sized shipping container home

"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

Good Thinking

How to build a miniature Norwegian whitewater river

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

Medical

"Desperate Debra" preps surgeons for tricky C-sections

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

Science

Computer modeling suggests Tyrannosaurus rex was much bigger than previously thought

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

Automotive

Caterpillar 5230B Excavator wooden model priced at US$35,900

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

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