Wednesday, November 16, 2016

3D Scanning with a Phone or Tablet

A 3D scanner is a piece of equipment that uses visual data of a physical object or location to gather information on its shape and appearance. This visual data can then be converted and utilized to digitally build three-dimensional models. In recent years, 3D printing has become more commonplace, which has only increased the need for practical and easy-to-use scanning capabilities.

Although there are a number of low cost handheld and turntable options already available to purchase (with prices ranging from hundreds to thousands of dollars), anyone who wants to try out 3D scanning can now do so by downloading a free app called 123D Catch (available for iOS, Android, and Windows mobile devices) from AutoDesk, which uses the camera on your own smart phone or tablet to construct a 3D object from photos you shoot. After installing the app, an informative visual guide shows you how to set up your environment to take the photos under acceptable conditions. Keep in mind that it can be difficult to get capture all the needed angles that the app will allow and processing the images can take awhile, so it may take some time and patience to accurately scan an object. With a number of well-lit and correctly positioned photos, you should be able to produce a fairly accurate 3D model using only your mobile device.

Image from Pixabay.

Monday, October 10, 2016

464 Free Art Books (and Other Free Books)

Looking for free materials for the classes you teach? You'll be pleased to know that you can download hundreds of books on Art from the Metropolitan Museum of Art. It seems logical that the museum would host such a collection. What may surprise you is the diversity of this collection of "Art" books.

The content available is varied, covering art from many parts of the world, and in mediums as diverse as painting and furniture design. Want to know about the forms in Fencing? There's a book here for you. Interested in the design of early 20th century American sportswear? There's a book here for you. Need a resource on the design of antique musical instruments? There's a book here for you. Need a resource on "Ancient Egyptian Calligraphy", "Andean Four-Cornered Hats", or "European Horse Armor"? You can find it in this collection, and either read it online or download it, all for free! The collection's diversity makes it almost as interesting to browse the titles as to read the books.

You can visit and browse the collection of free books, by following this link:

Met Publications: Books With Full Text Online.

Friday, September 9, 2016


"These 10 Million People Explain Why Belgian Colonization Was Literally The Worst."
"What Pythagoreas says about triangles will blow your mind"
"You'll never guess what percentage of your grade comes from test scores!"

What’s going on here? No, WVU hasn’t outsourced curriculum development to Buzzfeed. These are all tweets from #ClickbaitSyllabus, a twitter hashtag that was trending earlier this week.

It began when Colby College professor Laura Seay tweeted:
Though Seay was quick to point out in this Washington Post article that her clickbait syllabus was “just goofing around,” she might be on to something. We should remember that the primary function of a syllabus is not to be an engagement tool, but to clearly communicate course requirements. But why can’t it do both? Remember that any time you communicate with your students, you have an opportunity to do so in a unique and memorable way. There's never a bad time to engage your students!