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Sketchfab debuts object store for 3D and virtual reality creators


Sketchfab is taking one of its biggest steps yet today and launching features so that users can buy and sell 3D objects.

The startup is supporting the industry standard glTF as its download format, which should make it easy for creators to take the objects purchased from the siteand import them into creativity software.

Google recently launched Poly, which offers similar functionality, but that service is more focused on objects with a limited amount of detail. In addition, Poly launched with only free functionality — so there are no built in tools for creators to use if they want to make money from their creations.

Sketchfab CEO Alban Denoyel said there are 2 million models hosted on Sketchfab and though only around 4,000 are available for purchase on Day One, he’s confident the repository is large enough that people should be able to find what they are looking for. Available content ranges from low polygon objects like those found on Google’s service up to animated objects and highly detailed 3D scans. The service includes an inspector to check out the details of a file including the materials and textures used.

There are other services as well like Unity’s Asset Store that resemble what Sketchfab is doing. Many 3D and VR content creators, however, rely on Sketchfab’s cross-device support to ensure people looking at their work can access it no matter what device they’re using. The addition of a store to that core functionality could be a big plus for artists struggling to find a way to support themselves by creating cool things in VR.

This story originally appeared on Uploadvr.com. Copyright 2018

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Existing EV batteries could be recharged five times faster

Lithium-ion batteries have massively improved in the last half-decade, but there are still issues. The biggest, especially for EVs, is that charging takes too long to make them as useful as regular cars for highway driving. Researchers from the University of Warwick (WMG) have discovered that we may not need to be so patient, though. They developed a new type of sensor that measures internal battery temperatures and discovered that we can probably recharge them up to five times quicker without overheating problems.

Overcharging a lithium-ion battery anode can lead to lithium buildup, which can break through a battery's separator, create a short-circuit and cause catastrophic failure. That can cause the electrolyte to emit gases and literally blow up the battery, so manufacturers impose strict charging power limits to prevent it.

Those limits are based on hard-to-measure internal temperatures, however, which is where the WMG probe comes in. It's a fiber optic sensor, protected by a chemical layer that can be directly inserted into a lithium-ion cell to give highly precise thermal measurements without affecting its performance.

The team tested the sensor on standard 18650 li-ion cells, used in Tesla's Model S and X, among other EVs. They discovered that they can be charged five times faster than previously thought without damage. Such speeds would reduce battery life, but if used judiciously, the impact would be minimized, said lead researcher Dr. Tazdin Amietszajew.

Faster charging as always comes at the expense of overall battery life but many consumers would welcome the ability to charge a vehicle battery quickly when short journey times are required and then to switch to standard charge periods at other times.

There's still some work to do. While the research showed the li-ion cells can support higher temperatures, EVs and charging systems would have to have "precisely tuned profiles/limits" to prevent problems. It's also not clear how battery makers would install the sensors in the cells.

Nevertheless, it shows a lot of promise for much faster charging speeds in the near future. Even if battery capacities stayed the same, charging in 5 minutes instead of 25 could flip a lot of drivers over to the green side.

Via: Clean Technica

Source: University of Warwick

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