Design of the Week: Europe Map

By on October 20th, 2014 in Design


This week’s selection is Martin Figeac’s “Europe Map puzzle with Great Britain”. 

Like puzzles? Why not print one out on your 3D printer? Figeac has produced a mostly-complete map puzzle of Europe, with each country being a puzzle piece. 

We’re interested in this design because it overcomes a limitation in 3D printed flat puzzles: no color textures are required for each piece. That’s because the shape of the countries alone provides sufficient identification. 

It’s a slightly unusual puzzle because Great Britain (and Ireland) are disconnected from the mainland, as they are in real life, at least for the past 30,000 years, anyway. 

This could be a challenging item to 3D print, because you not only have a lot of pieces to print that must tightly fit together, but you’ll have to print them in differing colors for best results. But here’s the problem: what is the smallest number of different colors you’ll need to ensure no two countries touch and have the same color? 

This is actually a complex mathematical problem solved only a few decades ago. The Four Color Theorem. We suspect you’ll end up using five colors. 

Give it a try; the 3D models are free for the taking on Thingiverse. 

Finally, where’s Iceland? 

Via Thingiverse

By Kerry Stevenson

Kerry Stevenson, aka "General Fabb" has written over 8,000 stories on 3D printing at Fabbaloo 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!