Microsoft closes its 3D model database completely

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Microsoft will discontinue its Remix3D platform on January 10, 2020 and completely shut down the service. The company will announce this with a warning on the portal and a corresponding support fee. On Remix3d, users can upload 3D models and share them with the community – for example for use in a PowerPoint presentation, a VR environment or in Paint3D. The platform was introduced in 2017. When the project is discontinued, all models uploaded to the site will be deleted. Users should download them beforehand in order to retain the data.

Remix3D displays 3D objects in the browser window. Users can rotate them and zoom in on them. Most of the files are already pre-textured, which confirms the focus on VR environments and as presentation objects. Databases like Thingiverse, on the other hand, offer untextured 3D models that are suitable for 3D printing. Alternatives to Microsoft’s platform include Google Poly and Sketchfab. Both databases address VR content.

Platform integration removed from Microsoft programs

Already on 9 August 2019, members will no longer have the opportunity to upload new models to Remix3D. In addition, Microsoft wants to update associated programs such as Office 365 and Paint3D and remove the file upload to Remix3D by preventing users from logging into the programs on the platform. Minecraft also allowed players to share creations on Remix3D, which will no longer be possible. Downloading 3D objects will be possible until the closure on January 10, 2020.

Microsoft does not give any reasons to justify the closure of the platform. It is likely that it will simply not be popular enough. On the home page, categories each have hardly more than 100 entries. Many of them were uploaded by Microsoft itself. Since Microsoft has invested in Virtual Reality so far, it is possible that a successor of the platform will come sometime.

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Mette Frederiksen is a The Washington Newsday correspondent. With her coverage of general science, NASA and the interface between technology and society, Frederiksen has been in the Science Desk's Technology Beat since joining Washington Newsday in 2018.

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