This is our first attempt at printing off a topographical map of the Massanutten region in McGaheysville, VA.
Overview and Background
Steps for Making a Mountain
STEP 1: Downloading the Softwares
For this project you will need to download
Python 3.6 Required
STEP 2: Finding Your Image
For this step you will need to locate an image that is shaded according to topographical data: meaning you can’t just use any
picture of a mountain, your image must be shaded to indicate elevation data
Example of a good image vs bad image
To find an appropriate image we used (CGIAR-CSI software). This website allows you to select sections of elevation images OR enter coordinates to specifically locate a map.
After selecting the unit of map you would like, click “Begin Search”. A description, location, and image should appear. Then click “Data Download FTP”.
The data will download in the form of a zip file, however, you will not be able to open it in your regular computer browser. You will next need to open QGIS and select the side bar. Once the image is open you can then screenshot (Control/Shift/4 on a MAC) the picture or download it as a JPEG to your desktop.
STEP 3: Converting the Image
Once this step is concluded open your Ultimaker Cura and open the JPEG file by selecting “open file” on the file folder icon and select your JPEG.
For a basic and smaller model you can proceed to print the model
THESE ARE THE SETTINGS WE USED TO PRINT OUR SMALLER MODEL
For a larger, more detailed model proceed with following steps...
Next we will have to export the image in Ultimaker Cura into a STL file. At the top of the screen click “file” “save as”
When the drop down menu appears change the format to “STL Binary” below the “Where” option
Then save your new file to your desktop.
STEP 4: Slicing and Tinkering
Open up your Meshmixer software
Click the Plus Sign icon that says “import” and select your STL image
This step may take several minutes to import
To create a larger image we will need to separate the image into several pieces. For our map we divided the image into nine pieces, similar to a tic-tac-toe board
To divide the image select “plane cut” on the left hand sidebar
Next use the shapes on the side to move and angle the plane cut to your desired slice. Make sure that you change the setting to “keep both” and not discard. Continue this process until you have sufficiently divided your model
Lastly, you need to separate the model. On the left hand side bar select “separate shells” and a pop up window should appear. Select the section you would like to export and then at the top of the page choose file, export SVG
Now you can upload the SVG into Ultimaker and print!
The following are the settings we used to print our model. On the left hand sidebar select the scale icon and have the uniform setting box checked off. To enlarge our image we set the scale to 300%.
Lesson Plan and Activity
Python 3.6 Required