Sketchfab, the 3D model hosting platform, celebrated its tenth birthday this week.
The web based platform is where we host the 3D models in our aviation theory ebooks. These interactive 3D models are one of the most popular features of our ebooks for student pilots. Created by our in-house graphic artists, they’re designed to complement the text in the PPL, CBIR and ATPL manuals, and bring the aviation theory to life during the theory phase of pilot training.
Student interactivity for pilot training
Sketchfab launched on 10 March 26th 2012 as a simple 3D viewer that allowed creators to share their 3D models online, without the need for programming. Over the years, the company has developed the rendering quality and performance, adding new features and integrations and, in 2017, we began experimenting with hosting visual content for our eBooks there.
An important consideration for our editorial team was how to use 3D models in a way that benefits student pilots during ground school; help them learn with more understanding, or to grasp complex concepts more quickly. Good looking visuals are nice to have of course, but we didn’t just want eye candy for the sake of it. For us, increasing students interaction with the syllabus in order to deliver improved educational value is more important.
Our 3D models are designed to complement some of the trickier, or more conceptual parts of the PPL, CBIR or ATPL theory syllabus. Trainee pilots can interact, rotate and explore them visually, clicking on the annotations to learn more. They can be viewed from any angle and zoomed in on, and some have sound for extra realism.
Augmented and virtual reality
The Sketchfab platform also means we can create models that can be viewed in Virtual Realty (VR) with a set of basic VR goggles. This Airbus A380 flight deck looks amazing in VR. Since the release of Sketchfab’s iOS AR app, students can also explore some of our 3D models in augmented reality (AR) too.
At Padpilot, we provide the smartest educational materials for future pilots. It’s our mission to help training organisations deliver an educational experience that promotes deep understanding of the subject matter, better knowledge retention that lasts well beyond the ground school phase of pilot training and, as a result, improved operating skills on the flight deck.
And we’ve always used the latest technology to do that. So, happy birthday Sketchfab! We look forward to seeing what the next ten years brings.
For pilot training organisations interested in teaching, learning and support resources from Padpilot, please email Sales and Business Development Director, Cristina Messaggi.