Gale Crater (MSL Landing site)

by neurothing, published

Gale Crater (MSL Landing site) by neurothing Aug 8, 2012
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This is a 3d printed model derived from MOLA data of Gale Crater where the newest Mars rover Curiousity touched down. Called a "geological candy shop" it has a mountain in the center.


Created by taking the MOLA image of Gale crater (http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/b/b9/Topographic_Map_of_Gale_Crater.jpg/200px-Topographic_Map_of_Gale_Crater.jpg) and converting the colors to grayscale to indicate depth. The image was then used to create a heightfield from bitmap in Rhino3D, slightly smoothed (there are always artifacts from color replacement), converted to a mesh, the edges extended and sliced off to form a shallow box which was then merged with the surface heightfield mesh. Saved as an stl file, printed at 0.27 layer thickness with 1 shell, 5% infill, no raft or support. Some warping seems inevitable on my printer, but not too bad. At these settings took about 1.5 hours to print.

Will pair very nicely with ThePlanetMike's rover (http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:27908).

Sorry about the quality of the pic - printing in silver/gray ABS seems to enhance blobs and edges, particularly in photographs. Will try printing in natural and black ABS which tend to photograph better (and melt a bit more easily, reducing said edges and blobs).

UPDATE: I just uploaded a much smaller stl file - it has been smoothed (laplacian smooth) with Meshlab. Slightly less detail but much more manageable size. I'll try printing this afternoon.

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This looks awesome. But a 51 MB STL file? How on earth did you slice it?

I know, the size of these altimetry based models are insane; it's an artifact of the multiple steps to get accurate meshes (and probably how rhino handles them). I will try and post a reduced mesh but it's hard to cut the size significantly and keep it accurate. If anyone has any suggestions please fee free to fling them at me.

Skeinforge blew its brains out trying to process the file.

I just googled around and found http://meshlab.sourceforge.net/http://meshlab.sourceforge.net... that apparently has a function called Quadratic Edge Collapse Decimation in Filters -
gt; Remeshing, Simplification and Reconstruction. Thanks, random people at https://groups.google.com/forum/#!msg/makerbot/1ZD97YTHREc/RDDvqX4EjN0J%5B1-25%5Dhttps://groups.google.com/foru....

I'll try it when I get home. 8-)

Thanks for the meshlab command - always like to trim things, but it's odd you had trouble - I've RepG/Skeinforge'd both the large (51 M) and the smoothed (10 M) versions and printed both successfully (the latter one scaled up to 6" x 6"). Let me know what happens with your QECD'd version - be happy to try it.

The lower resolution file sliced fine, but it's not flat on the bottom - it's constant thickness, so very little of it touches the build plate. How did you print it - with support?