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With the development of computer techniques, 3D model has been used more and more widely and content-based 3D model retrieval has been a hotspot in the area of multimedia information retrieval. How to extract 3D models' feature effectively is still a difficulty. Projection based 3D model feature extraction is an important kind in feature extraction, because of its robustness against noise, simplification and its simplicity of feature extraction. Based on the theory of principle plane, a feature extraction method based on the projection of principle plane is proposed and applied to 3D model retrieval. The experiments show that the method performs well.