Different types of skeletal system models are often categorized based on the way in which someone can see and interact with them. A drawing or illustration is one of the most common models available, which usually consists of one or more images showing a skeleton with labeling for different bones. There are also physical skeletal system models available, which can be a cast from a skeleton or may be the skeleton of an actual living being. Digital or three-dimensional (3D) models of skeletons are also available, which may be more realistic than illustrations and can provide options for additional interaction.
Skeletal system models are diagrams or similar reproductions of a human or animal skeleton, often used by students of biology or anatomy. One common variety is a drawing or illustration that can often be found in books or on Internet websites. These are fairly simple skeletal system models, but allow the artist who created them to have control over how the bones are presented or featured. Numerous illustrations are often used for these models, including both front and back views. Additional drawings may be provided to show more details on complex areas, such as the structures of the skull or the different bones in a hand.
Physical skeletal system models are also quite popular, especially for use in a classroom. These are typically full size structures that include each bone in the skeleton, allowing students to easily see exactly how the entire system interconnects and relates. An actual skeleton can be used for these types of skeletal system models, which has been thoroughly cleaned and prepared for use in study. These are quite expensive, however, and so most physical models are based on molds made from a skeleton, often created in plastic or a similar hard material.
Digital skeletal system models have become increasingly popular and can provide an effective way for students to study the skeleton and other parts of a living body. These models are created as 3D Computer Generated Imagery (CGI) that can be viewed through different types of software. Such programs often allow a user to move around the model and manipulate it in various ways.
This can be part of a larger program that includes several parts of a body, such as the muscular structure and central nervous system. Using these types of skeletal system models, students can often view different components of a body simultaneously, seeing each one individually and together as a larger system. Additional materials such as video clips can also be included with these programs, to provide more information.