IUPUI University Library 3D/VR Initiative

What is 3D/VR Initiative?

The 3D/VR Initiative is a strategic investment in the future of innovative technologies at IUPUI University Library. The mission of the 3D/VR Initiative is to provide access to and support of 3D scanning, modeling, and VR tools to IUPUI faculty, staff, and students to transform their teaching, research, and learning.

Meet our Team

Faculty and Staff

3D Student Developers

Emma Parker, Biomedical Engineering

Jeremy Stark, Mechanical Engineering Technology

Maddie Theaman, English Literature/Classics

Megan Copenhaver,Anthropology

Jacob Warren, Computer Science

Chloe Antonio, Informatics

Josh Meister, Computer Graphics Technology

Highlighted Project

AJ Foyt Garage Experience

The IUPUI University Library 3D/VR Initiative in collaboration with the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum created a VR experience that recreates legendary driver AJ Foyt’s pit garage. The experience takes you back to 1964, the night before the Indy 500. The user becomes part of AJ’s mechanics crew and must tour the garage to find 7 engine parts that must be put on a stand behind the car. From September 13-15, 2021, during the Verizon 200 weekend, the library created a museum exhibit featuring 3 VR stations to share with race fans. Over 2400 people toured the exhibit and library staff and students put over 300 people into headsets. Ages ranged from 5 to 85. The experience was so popular that we were visited by WISHTV News 8. The library is working to make the experience openly available via the library website in the weeks to come.

A special thanks to the Central Indiana Community Foundation for funding this project.

Completed Projects

From Concrete to Virtual: 3D Documentation of Historic Indianapolis Buildings

The 3D/VR Initiative partnered with 4 community and cultural heritage institutions to create interactive building spaces that highlight the significance of the Indianapolis landscape.

Partners: Indy Public Library, Indianapolis Firefighters Museum, Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum, Madam CJ Walker, Indiana State Fairgrounds

External Funding Source: Central Indiana Community Foundation, Library Fund

Roots of the Tamarind: A History of the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria 1923 - 1973

Using 3D objects, photographs, and oral histories of native Nigerian lands, IUPUI University Library and the Funderburg Library, Manchester University recreated a location that has been destroyed by the Boca Haram. The experience will be available for download for use with Virtual Reality hardware and software and through Sketchfab, a 3D viewer.

Complementing the VR experience will be the creation of a CONTENTdm digital collection.

Partner: Funderburg Library, Manchester University (Manchester, Indiana)

External Funding Source: Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) grant from IMLS administered through the Indiana State Library

IU School of Medicine 3D Animated Models

During the COVID-19 pandemic, there was a shift in the way faculty teach medical students. Faculty needed to proactively work to create opportunities for IU School of Medicine students to learn the same, high-quality lessons from our faculty online as they would face-to-face. This project developed interactive, 3D animated models of the various joints. The 3D animated online models incorporate animated 360o experiences that allow the students to “see” how the various structures of the joint move with the exam. The online environment allows students the flexibility to view the content in real-time on demand.

Partner: Indiana University School of Medicine, IU Health Radiology

Internal Funding Source: School of Medicine Project to Launch Underrepresented Faculty in Medicine toward Success (PLUS) Grant

Projects in the Works

Great Marble Map of Rome: 3D Scanning & VR Experience

The 3D/VR Initiative is working with Program Director and Assistant Professor of Classical Studies,
Dr. Elizabeth Thill to digitally capture, organize and process 800 map fragments of the Forma Urbis Romae or the Great Marble Map of Rome. In 2019, 3D/VR Initiative staff members Ryan Knapp and Derek Miller traveled to Rome to 3D scan the fragments. This project is ongoing in collaboration with the Musei Capitolini in Rome.

Partner: Dr. Liz Thill, IU School of Liberal Arts, World Languages and Cultures Department

Internal Funding Source: IUPUI Arts and Humanities Institute (IAHI) grant

IU School of Dentistry 3D Skull

University Library is working with the IU School of Dentistry to digitally capture a collection of skulls that will be used for virtual coursework. The collection is currently stored in the basement of the dental school and is not available for public use.

Partner: Indiana University School of Dentistry

Internal Funding Source: IUPUI University Library Faculty Fund, Indiana University School of Dentistry

Indianapolis Colts

IUPUI University Library will collaborate with the Indianapolis Colts to capture, preserve, and provide access to three-dimensional (3D) and two-dimensional (2D) objects relating to the history of the Indianapolis Colts.

Partner: Indianapolis Colts

External Funding Source: Indianapolis Colts

How to Get Involved

The 3D/VR Initiative supports faculty, staff, and cultural heritage projects. Please contact Jenny Johnson to schedule a consultation to discuss project ideas. A consultation meeting will include but not limited to a discussion about funding, hardware, software, access, preservation, and copyright.