Free 3D Printable of the Week: an Indian Rhino

A little while back, 3DPI’s Davide Sher covered a new, free software called Smoothie-3D, which allows users to create 3D printable models from 2D images with ease.  Using the 2D image as a texture map, it’s possible to create pretty accurate models, though they require a bit of finesse to perfect.  One Sketchfab user, nebulousflynn, is a London-based designer who, when he is not creating polished works for an extensive list of clients, captures detailed scans of historic artifacts and toys around with Smoothie-3D.  Among his Smoothie-3D printables, Flynn has crafted a pretty fine model of the Indian Rhinoceros:

These majestic creatures, in addition to being my dad’s favorite animal, is listed as a vulnerable animal by the International Union for Conservation of Nature, so far escaping endangerment due to the great conservation efforts to protect the animal, beginning in the 1970s.  The WWF describes the greater one-horned rhino as a conservation success, as they protect the species from hunting, poaching, and habitat degradation. And, here’s an interesting tidbit about the rhino from Wikipedia:

The Indian rhinoceros was the first rhino widely known outside its range. The first rhinoceros to reach Europe in modern times arrived in Lisbon on May 20, 1515. King Manuel I of Portugal planned to send the rhinoceros to Pope Leo X, but the rhino perished in a shipwreck. Before dying, the rhino had been sketched by an unknown artist. The German artist Albrecht Dürer saw the sketches and descriptions and carved a woodcut of the rhino, known ever after as Dürer’s Rhinoceros. Though the drawing had some anatomical inaccuracies (notably the hornlet protruding from the rhino’s shoulder), his sketch became the enduring image of a rhinoceros in western culture for centuries.

Flynn’s model, a modern zoological rendering?, is among a few submissions of his to Sketchfab’s Smoothie-3D contest, running until April 1st.  The designer of the best 3D animal, made with Smoothie-3D and only Smoothie-3D, takes home an iPad Mini Retina 2.  To enter, read the complete rules here.  And to see more of Flynn’s 3D models, click here. And watch him model the rhino with Smoothie-3D in the video below (a prerequisite to entering the contest).