Printing Craters

Printing landscapes is something that's been done before on 3D printers, but how about this? Print a 3D replica of an actual lunar crater. 
 
Where does the 3D model come from? It all starts with LROC, the camera on NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter. This satellite, launched in 2009, orbits our moon pole to pole at an altitude of only 50Km (30 miles), snapping images constantly. The objective is to produce a complete 3D map of the lunar surface.
 
That's where we get excited. Occasionally NASA releases an image containing 3D information that can be used in various ways. Image specialist Nathanial Burton-Bradford used the data to produce a visual 3D model, viewable with those kooky red/blue glasses. 
 
But there's another use: transforming the 3D information into a STL-format 3D model, which can then be printed on any 3D printer. At this point we're unaware of anyone who's done the necessary data conversion. Who's up for it?  
 

General Fabb

Kerry Stevenson, aka "General Fabb" has been writing Fabbaloo posts since he launched the venture in 2007, with an intention to promote and grow the incredible technology of 3D printing across the world. So far, it seems to be working!

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