yosemite_historic_mountaineers_cabin

Around the World in 80 Models: Yosemite

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Hop on board as we continue our journey Around the World in 80 Models! We began our itinerary at Sketchfab headquarters in New York and are working our way through Europe, Africa, Asia, Oceania, South America, and North America. To catch up on past destinations, check out the rest of the Around the World in 80 Models series.

This week we head to Yosemite National Park, where 3D scanning enthusiast Whitney Potter shows us this amazing cabin that has been a refuge for many mountaineers.

Yosemite National Park: Historic mountaineers cabin

My name is Whitney Potter although I am better known in the 3d world by my handle Shapespeare.  I live in Sonoma County, about an hour north of San Francisco.  I got into 3d printing about 3 years ago and 3d scanning logically followed soon thereafter.  Soon after I started printing and scanning I was approached by my friend Andy Cohen to co-host “3d Printing Today”, a weekly podcast about all aspects of 3d printing and scanning.  My involvement with the podcast continues to lead me deeper down the marvelous rabbit hole of 3d scanning and printing.

I got a Sense3d handheld scanner when they first came out and I was immediately captivated by the technology.  I still use my Sense3d for scanning people, but I soon discovered the almost limitless power of photogrammetry and that has become my go-to technology for scanning anything else which doesn’t move.  I shoot most of my scans with an older Nikon DSLR and a variety of inexpensive lenses.  For processing I rely mostly on Photoscan although I sometimes get good results from Autodesk Memento as well. I have always been an avid photographer so photo scanning has blended almost seamlessly with my life.  In addition to endless scenic photos I now take 3d snapshots of most places I travel.  3d scanning and printing has so far been mostly a hobby for me, although I am starting to do occasional commissions.


I captured the Yosemite Mountaineer’s Cabin while I was spending a week volunteering as a blacksmith at the nearby shop.  The cabin was built in the 1870’s by Scots immigrant George Anderson who worked as a blacksmith and mountain guide in Yosemite.  He was the first person to climb to the summit of Half Dome which he did by drilling anchor holes into the final steep section. Thus he simultaneously invented the half dome cableway and brought aid climbing to Yosemite, two things which have variously delighted and enraged climbers ever since.  I shot 135 photos from ground level.  I realized, after the fact, that the roof scanned so well because it is so steep that it is clearly visible from the ground.

The cabin at Pioneer Yosemite historic center.

This model is a special favorite of mine because, like the cabin’s builder, I have worked professionally as a blacksmith and I have climbed his spectacular half dome cable way several times.

To see more of Whitney’s models here on Sketchfab, check out his profile!

About the author

Abby & Néstor

Abby and Néstor are Sketchfab Masters.
Abby Crawford, Ph.D. is trained in and passionate about Roman Archaeology and works as a freelance artifact illustrator and 3D scanner in California.
Néstor F. Marqués is a virtual Heritage & cultural diffusion researcher, and an enthusiast of ancient Rome’s culture.


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