Using Sketchfab for Public Engagement in Science
Online learning continues to grow within the higher education sector as we exploit better communication technologies. The anticipated arrival of the 5G mobile network will provide an enhanced wireless bandwidth capable of streaming large capacity content (or datasets) with minimal latency. This in turn provides a platform on which to build ambitious online teaching resources.
A British Pharmacological Society (BPS) teaching award in 2017 enabled us to purchase a 3D printer and create a collection of printable receptors that could also be viewed in virtual reality using a headset connected to a PC or a smart phone mounted inside a low-cost viewer (i.e. Google Cardboard). The models can be viewed on the BPS sketchfab page that was created as the main output of the project.
In our most recent development, we have created a fully immersive virtual reality gallery of 3D biological specimens using data collected from researchers within the College of Medical Veterinary & Life Sciences at the University of Glasgow. The data collection can be viewed on the Glasgow Life Sciences Sketchfab page
Sketchfab is also used by museums such as the Smithsonian to display rare and fragile 3D objects to the public. We believe that Sketchfab is an excellent platform for delivering 3D content for use in teaching and by researchers for public engagement. The Glasgow Life Sciences project aims to exploit the full power of Sketchfab and build an unrivaled collection of 3D data to advertise the work of Life Scientists at the University of Glasgow and beyond.