[Objective]This paper aims to explore new content-based technology to retrieve and display 3D models, and expands the services of institutional repository. [Methods] First, we modified the open source 3D model retrieval algorithm created by the Taiwan University. Second, we obtained the orthogonal projection and features of the 3D models with the off-screen rendering technique. Finally, we used Java3D technique to generate the thumbnails of the 3D models, and then presented them online with the help of Three.js. [Results] We could retrieve 3D models from the institutional repository by submitting their URLs or the uploading methods. User could also use mouse to rotate or zoom in/out the 3D models while browsing them online. [Limitations] The proposed 3D model retrieval technique met needs of the institutional repositories. However, the recall and precision of the new system could to be improved with the help of the latest techniques in 3D model retrieval. [Conclusions] The proposed method helps the CSpace system manage 3D model collections effectively, which provides more options to retrieve and use the 3D models.