3D Print ANY Landscape. Right Now!

By on November 16th, 2014 in Service

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Some people like to 3D print landscapes. You know, mountains, rivers, lakes and the rest. But where do you get the 3D data for it? We found a service that can do so. 

The Terrain2STL STL Generator, created by GitHub user “ThatcherC” provides a fantastically simple method of generating STL for arbitrary landscapes. 

As you can see in this image, you simply browse around a Google map and select the zone you’d like to have STL’d. With the press of a button, you have a downloaded STL file – ready for printing. 

The map above is for the Kelowna, British Columbia area. We picked that as a test location because it’s not only a very beautiful place, it’s also quite lumpy there. In the image at top you can see the resulting STL file generated for the Kelowna grid we selected. 

Some advice: 

  • The service does not permit maps to cross “grid boundaries”. If you wish to do so, simply generate multiple STLs and stick them together in your 3D modeling tool. 
  • This service looks like an experimental version. It runs with an IP address only – not a domain name as far as we can tell, on Google servers. It may disappear or get clogged up. 
  • Pick the largest possible area, because tighter locations do not provide additional STL detail. The smallest selections will appear quite lo-poly.
  • Do not print these models hollow! While you can often get away printing hollow models, the irregular top surface will defeat your hollow aspirations. Pick at least 10% fill to ensure you provide internal support for all those nooks and crannies.  
  • It turns out that most of the world is actually quite flat – who knew? Pick interesting areas to print. 

ThatcherC, whoever you are, we, the world of 3D printing thanks you. 

Via Google

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!