3D Printing for Mapping

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At Mansfield, we recently received an Act 13 grant from Tioga County to support the purchase of a 3D printer, a MakerBot Replicator Z18.  Because 3D printing is a relatively unexplored technology for geosciences purposes, we’ve been experimenting especially with applications for the printer to create maps.

We’ve done some work creating 3D printed raised relief maps based on existing topographic data, and have created a solid procedure for the production of these maps which we are still perfecting.  As we create maps, we are uploading the plans to MakerBot’s “Thingiverse,” an online repository of 3D printer plans.  You can see our collection of uploaded plans on our Thingiverse Profile Page.

To thank the county for its generous donation, we are currently constructing a map of the Pine Creek Gorge (the “Pennsylvania Grand Canyon”) for donation and display.  Future work will include a 3D map of the Mansfield campus that is blind-friendly, a 3D map of Middle Earth based on filming locations and real topographic data from New Zealand’s shooting locations for The Lord of the Rings films, and others.

As these projects continue, more blog posts will appear here chronicling the progress.

If you’re a student who would like to get involved in using the 3D printer for geosciences research, contact project leader Jonathan Bagg or faculty adviser Andrew Shears.

 

Recent Blog Posts about 3D Printing for Mapping

  • 3D Model Report - Eric Hofer 5/5/2016 3D Print Report Location: The print I did for this project was a portion of Mifflin, county Pennsylvania. Mifflin, county located in south central Pennsylvania near Penn State University. The city located at the center of my…
  • Mt. Pisgah State Park 3D Print - I choose to create a 3D print of Mt. Pisgah State Park. This state park is located about 5 miles east of Troy, Pennsylvania. The latitude and longitude of the park is 41.8045 degrees N and 76.6730 degrees W. Pisgah…
  • MU Geosciences at the 2016 Showcase of Scholarship - The Department of Geosciences once again had an impressive representation at the 2016 Mansfield University Showcase of Scholarship on April 20.  Here is a selection of the projects presented during the Showcase.  Click on any poster or image below to…
  • Making a 3D Print of Acadia National Park - When we were told we needed to make a 3″x3″ 3D map of any place, I instantly knew I had to do: Acadia National Park, which is my girlfriend’s favorite national park. With that in mind, I found the DEM…
  • Mt. Pisgah 3D Print - For my 3D print in the New Mapping Technology class I chose to print Mt. Pisgah State Park in Bradford County, Pa. The map started out as 4 digital elevation model tiles that I retrieved from the DCNR’s, PAMAP Data…
  • 3D Printing Yosemite Valley and El Capitan - Recently I used a Digital Elevation Model (DEM) to create a 3D Model of El Capitan, then the entire Yosemite Valley from El Capitan to Half Dome. The process was not without its problems, which has become a part of…
  • 3D Printing Around the U.S. - After successfully completing a three dimensional print of a section of the Sangre De Cristo mountains in Northern New Mexico, I began to create multiple 3DS max files through the same process that was used to create the New Mexico…
  • 3D printing of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains using ArcGIS and 3DS Max -                     The designing and printing of a three dimensional model in the Makerbot 3D printer was the goal that I completed yesterday. With the use of ArcMap, 3DS Max, and Makerbot…
  • Mill Cove Update and 3D Print of Burnham, PA - This week I worked on several different projects and completed the map of the Mill Cove watershed. The Mill Cove map was started a week ago but we did not have the data for Bradford County yet. The GIS person…
  • MU Geosciences at the 2015 Showcase of Scholarship - The Department of Geosciences at Mansfield University has an impressive eleven students presenting posters at this year’s campus Showcase of Scholarship!  The showcase, on Wednesday, April 22, 9am to 3pm in Alumni Hall, showcases research and other scholarly activity conducted during…