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Beautiful Map of Ireland Is 3D Printed Using Digital Topographic Data

by • April 4, 2016 • No Comments


Conor O’Kane (“Cokane”) appears like a bit of a Renaissance man when it comes to the interests he lists on his blog: “game development, graphics, music and shmups” — but he forgot to include 3D printing on the list as well. After all, a perusal of his blog reveals that he is really adept at via a 3D printing device, and we see these skills in one of his many new projects as well. This project is really dear to his heart, as O’Kane is Irish. Having moved to Melbourne, Australia in 2002, O’Kane misses home adequate to engage the entire island of Ireland as a 3D printed map project.

ire1Let’s step back for a moment to a few background innovation that has helped O’Kane immensely when it comes to this project. Spearheaded by the US National Geospatial Intelligence Agency (NGA), the Shuttle Radar Topography Mission (SRTM) is a research effort involving folks around the world. The thought is to gather digital elevation models for the entire planet to generate a high-resolution digital topographic database of planet Earth. Elevation models derived of this effort are on the market as free Internet downloads, and are utilized as geographic information systems. The upshot of this? Never preceding have we had this kind of readily on the market topographic information of so much of our planet.

And, of course, this topographic data comes with lovely Ireland. O’Kane has taken the data and transformed it into a 3D printable map that he presented to his parents. This detailed map, that is in addition on the market for download on Thingiverse, was created via a Cocoon Create 3D printing device, with no rafts or supports. It was 3D printed at 0.2mm resolution and 20% infill (O’Kane recommends it be printed with “three top layers to encertain the upper surfaces are flat”). This map has may already been saw 1,614 times and its STL file has been downloaded 387 times.


One possible reason this map is such a talked about item is for the reason the topographical data now on the market to the public is much additional detailed than what was created previously on the market. In late 2015, the top resolution data became on the market to the public. Previously, SRTM data for regions outside the United States were sampled for public release at 90 meters (295 feet). The new data have been released with of 30 meters (98 feet), sampling that reveals the full resolution of the original meacertainments. What this all translates into is that never preceding have we had such full and wide-ranging access to detailed global topographical data — enabling for map projects like the one that we see with O’Kane’s Ireland.

Several other folks have posted their own 3D printed versions of the Ireland map, and they all appear slightly various, but retain the basic create of O’Kane’s original map. I am certain we can be seeing additional 3D printed maps via the newly on the market SRTM data, as O’Kane’s thought can be theoretically applied to almany everywhere on the planet planet Earth now! (Though O’Kane has in addition loved via NASA data to 3D print maps of the moon and Mars!) We are seeing additional and additional 3D printed maps — and the data options are expanding advantageous all the time! What do you ponder of Ireland? Discuss in the 3D Printed Ireland Map forum over at 3DPB.com.ire4