M63 - Sketchfab 3D Model Embedding in Text Editor

Keywords: 3D model,  sketchfab , embed, digital object, text editor, media   

What Is It?

Embedding  3D models adds interactive content to Moodle courses .   This  mini-guide  is specific to the   iframe HTML embedding offered by  Sketchfab ,  an external platform  hosting  3D models  that can be viewed , shared ,  freely  downloaded  or  purchased  on their website,  or   embedded on other websites or platforms such as   Moodle.   For more information on embedding content within Moodle’s Atto text editor, please see   M02b - Embed video, audio and other media .  

Why Use It?

Depending on  its  type,  3D models  can facilitate object-based teaching and learning,  provide access to digitally rendered objects in museum and teaching collections,  serve as examples of assessments or works in progress, and  can  even be incorporated into  Moodle  activities such as quizzes.    

Who Can Embed 3D Models?

  • Course Administrators  

  • Tutors  

  • Other roles permitted to use the Atto text editor  

    * Any publicly accessible model on  Sketchfab  can be embedded on other platforms such as Moodle without having a  Sketchfab  account. Models on  Sketchfab  saved as ‘Private’ can also be embedded if the course administrator or tutor has access to the  Sketchfab   URL link to that model. Password protected models will require both the URL and the password.    

    Please note that o nly those with  Sketchfab  premium accounts  can  add  and edit  3D models on  Sketchfab .com with privacy  or  password restrictions .  

Who Can View 3D Models?

  • Any user with access to the Moodle course page will be able to view embedded 3D model s,   with the exception of  models set up on  Sketchfab  with password protection.  In such cases, e ach  Moodle user will need to enter the associated password  to access the model.    

Before I Start...

  • Consider how a 3D model can be utilised for the benefit of students within the Moodle course.
  • Find a publicly available model on Sketchfab, or upload with a Sketchfab account.
  • Review Sketchfab's instructions for copying and embedding their iframe HTML.
  • Consider alternative ways for those with accessibility challenges to be able to access content, such as by the inclusion of descriptive text.

Meeting the Baseline

The  UCL Connected Learning Baseline   suggests the following for  Structure :

  • 1.1 Present activities and resources in a meaningful, clearly structured and sequenced way - e.g. chronologically or by theme. Typically each Moodle section represents a topic, which may cover one or more weeks of study.
    • Use headings - Use Section Headings for each topic area and heading styles within labels, books and pages to maintain consistency across sections and help students see where they are.
    • Clearly group and label items within a section - Bring together common elements, use text and media resources (previously labels) to provide common sub-headings across sections to help students navigate.

The  Resources  category indicates that you should:

  • 5.1 Use descriptive titles for all items and consider displaying the item's description on the course homepage, as this helps students understand the purpose of the activity or resource.
  • 5.4 Check resources - Regularly fix or remove broken hyperlinks (URLs) and check that all resources are up-to-date before releasing these to students.

The  Accessibility category suggests that you:

  • 7.1 Provide accessible learning resources such as clear labelling and alternative text with descriptive information about each 3D model.

How Do I Set One Up?

Please begin with Sketchfab's instructions for copying and embedding their iframe HTML. The steps below provide an overview of the process within the Moodle course page.

  1. Navigate to your Moodle course and toggle Edit mode on. 
  2. Click Add an activity or resource in the desired section of your course.
  3. Set a Name for the activity or resource.
  4. Click on the <\> icon in the Atto text editor.
  5. Paste the iframe HTML copied from Sketchfab for the desired 3D model into the text editor.
  6. Configure the remaining options for the activity or resource. 
  7. Click Save and display.
  8. The 3D model will appear with a triangle play icon. Click to initiate interactivity with the model. 

 For those with Sketchfab accounts:

If you are embedding a model you uploaded to Sketchfab, then be sure to deselect the Hide options when copying from the embed menu if you want to make the model inspector, annotations, and other information about the 3D model available to students when accessing via Moodle.


As with other forms of interactive media, embedded 3D models may not be accessible to all users  such as those using screen readers. Course administrators and tutors  should consider other methods of making such content available including through the addition of textual descriptions for the models.   

Examples and Case Studies

3D Model uploaded to Sketchfab by UCL Archaeology South-East:

More examples and case studies coming soon.

Questions & Answers

This section will be updated as questions arise. Please contact the Digital Education team with questions related to embedding, viewing and using 3D models in Moodle . For questions about  Sketchfab  and their services, please visit  theirSketchfab  help  center  

Further Information

See also   M02b - Embed video, audio and other media .