Wikimedia Blog/Drafts/Wikimedia, now in 3D

Title ideasEdit

Ideally three to ten words, the headline to your piece will show up in social media shares and on the blog's homepage. Try to capture the most interesting part of your piece.
  • Journey into the Third Dimension (I like the pulp fiction style)
  • Adding an extra dimension to Wikimedia
  • Wikipedia, now in 3D (Ramsey: I like this one, simple and straightforward)
  • ...


  • A highly desired Community Wishlist feature is now available, bringing 3D objects to the Wikimedia projects. You can now share and view three dimensional models of cultural artifacts, mechanical systems, daily-use printable objects, and more.


Wikimedia projects continue to explore new dimensions, this time with a new feature that allows you to upload three dimensional (3D) models. This feature was #11 on the Community Tech Wishlist in 2015 and the Multimedia team at the Wikimedia Foundation are excited to help bring this new functionality to Wikimedia.

Wikimedia projects have long been a treasure trove of 2D images, audio, and video. Now contributors can upload 3D models of objects to share a new perspective on subjects. These models can be manipulated in the web browser with our new Multimedia Viewer extension which enables visitors to rotate the model and see it from multiple view points. This means objects like a 12th century knight's helmet, or a bird figure from Nigeria, or even a working jet engine model can be uploaded, downloaded, 3D printed, or viewed with enhanced interactivity on Wikimedia sites.

There are tens of thousands of 3D object files available under Wikimedia-compatible licenses from many existing sources including Youmagine, Sketchfab, Thingiverse, and Myminifactory as well as many organizations producing 3D models including The European Space Agency and The Smithsonian.

If you'd like to create your own digital 3D models to share, in recent years a number of technology options have become available. Through photogrammetry, anyone with a smartphone or standalone digital camera can now capture objects in three dimensions.

This launch is our first foray into 3D and we're starting carefully. The new 3D upload feature will initially only support the .STL file format, the format most commonly used by 3D printers. These 3D files will show a static preview image when viewing, and an interactive viewer will load when that preview image is clicked. In the future, after feedback from our community, we'll consider adding support for even more complex file types that support things like textures.

To upload a 3D file, visit Wikimedia Commons, log in (or create a new account) and click the “Upload file” link on the left of the page. When viewing 3D files, please make sure you have the Media Viewer enabled so you can use the interactive 3D features.

Honoring the life and work of Bassel KhartabilEdit

Bassel Khartabil in 2010. Photo by Joi Ito, CC-BY 2.0

Every advancement in culture and knowledge is built on top of the hard work of pioneers who left something wonderful behind. Bassel Khartabil was one of those brave pioneers, and an important member of the Free Knowledge community. As founder of what would later become the #NEWPALMYRA project, he worked to preserve records of Syrian historical monuments via photographs which would go on to become the basis for 3D models of the ancient Syrian city of Palmyra. The Syrian government executed Bassel in 2015.

To honor his life, the first 3D model to be officially uploaded to Commons will be a file created by the #NEWPALMYRA project.

A personal note from Gilles Dubuc, an engineer who helped make our 3D feature launch happen:

From the Cartesian plane,

The Multimedia team at the Wikimedia Foundation