Early experiences with a 3D model search engine

Patrick Min, John A. Halderman, Michael Kazhdan, Thomas A. Funkhouser

Research output: Contribution to journalConference article

54 Scopus citations


New acquisition and modeling tools make it easier to create 3D models, and affordable and powerful graphics hardware makes it easier to use them. As a result, the number of 3D models available on the web is increasing rapidly. How-ever, it is still not as easy to find 3D models as it is to find, for example, text documents and images. What is needed is a "3D model search engine," a specialized search engine that targets 3D models. We created a prototype 3D model search engine to investigate the design and implementation issues. Our search engine can be partitioned into three main components: (1) acquisition: 3D models have to be collected from the web, (2) analysis: they have to be analyzed for later matching, and (3) query processing and matching: an online system has to match user queries to the collected 3D models. Our site currently indexes over 36,000 models, of which about 31,000 are freely available. In addition to a text search interface, it offers several 3D and 2D shape-based query interfaces. Since it went online one year ago (in November 2001), it has processed over 148,000 searches from 37,800 hosts in 103 different countries. Currently 20-25% of the about 1,000 visitors per week are returning users. This paper reports on our initial experiences designing, building, and running the 3D model search engine.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)7-18+201
JournalWeb3D Symposium Proceedings
StatePublished - 2003
EventProceedings Web3D 2002 Symposium: 7th International Conference on 3D Web Technology - Tempe,AZ, United States
Duration: Feb 24 2002Feb 28 2002

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Software
  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Computer Graphics and Computer-Aided Design


  • 3D model database
  • Shape matching
  • Shape query interfaces
  • Specialized search engine

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Early experiences with a 3D model search engine'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this