This message is to start a repository for printable 3D models of tracking devices.
It is never easy to get an idea of the size and proportions of tracking devices: manufacturers' pictures are often very technical and dry, and galleries of deployed tags, though placing the tags in context, often show important parts hidden by feathers or fur.
With the development of 3D printing, it is now possible to easily and affordably print 3D dummy models of tracking devices, for training, design or testing purposes. Here, I encourage manufacturers and fellow trackers to share 3D models of the devices they produce and devices they use.
- Model designers should endeavour to design models whose dimensions are as close as possible to the actual devices. As much as possible, they should describe how their designs are different from actual devices (sharper corners, indents, antenna, materials, etc).
- Model users should remember that shared models are only intended to give them a better idea of the proportions of devices: models are dummies made by amateurs and should not be expected to exactly reflect the specifications of actual tracking devices. Users ought to contact manufacturers and should not make purchases based on 3D models only.
3D models can be designed with a variety of software. Among them, SketchUp (https://www.sketchup.com/) is a free, user-friendly 3D software with a large amount of community support (please do not use this thread for software or design support: this thread should be for finished 3D models only). Designers should incorporate a way to add weight to the dummy, as the printed model will be lighter than the actual device.
Ensure that the finished model is printer-ready by checking it for design errors: the website Materialise Cloud (https://cloud.materialise.com/ 10 uploads allowed with a free account) allows to check for errors and "repair" 3D models, decrease number of triangles, check wall width, etc., and to download a printer-ready .stl file
3D files can be shared as .skp or .stl files. WildLabs currently does not allow to upload these formats but it is possible to get around the restriction: change the file format from .skp/.stl to .pdf (erase ".skp"/".stl" in the file name and type in ".pdf" instead; accept the warning) and upload the file to WildLabs. Make sure to precise the original file format.
3D models can be printed locally and at affordable prices via 3D Hubs (https://www.3dhubs.com/). Users can choose from a variety of materials (the cheapest is usually fine).
I hope this will grow to be a useful repository,