Author Topic: 3d Terrain printing - how?  (Read 7855 times)

Offline Ian Smith

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3d Terrain printing - how?
« on: June 21, 2013, 09:09:35 AM »
Folks,
Can anyone tell me how to print 3d terrain please?

I can get a dump of terrain from Google Earth into Sketchup easily enough, but it's just like a sheet of crumpled paper.

How do I get the 3rd dimension added to make it a solid so that I can print it?

Thanks

Ian



Offline bruce3dps

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Re: 3d Terrain printing - how?
« Reply #1 on: June 21, 2013, 04:55:44 PM »
Hi Ian

I have also been looking for a solution to this. There is a US gov typography web site but has limited data.


Offline Ian Smith

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Re: 3d Terrain printing - how?
« Reply #2 on: June 21, 2013, 06:29:12 PM »
G'day Bruce,
Yeah saw that.  Terrainator, or some such thing. Limited to US data I think

Ian

Offline Ian Smith

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Re: 3d Terrain printing - how?
« Reply #3 on: June 21, 2013, 11:00:44 PM »
Bruce, I believe I've cracked it  - well, as far as the limitations of Sketchup go that is.

What I have done is use the Sketchup/Google Earth interface to capture the terrain
Once I have it in SU I then unlock ( whatever that means ) the object and then create a component
I then create a solid box under the terrain component with dimensions which will accommodate more than the height of the terrain but is slightly smaller than the sides of the square of captured terrain and create that as a second component.
I then move the terrain component into the box so that the edges of the terrain extend beyond the sides of the box on all four sides of the box, making sure that top and bottom of the terrain component do not extend beyond the top and bottom of the box
I then intersect all faces,
Then I explode the components and delete all bits of the box above the terrain
I then delete the area of terrain which extends beyond the sides of the box and BINGO!!
I haven't tried a print yet because the UP software tells me it'll take 6 bloody hours !!! and it's getting late but I reckon it'll print as it all pink and pretty.

I hope the preceding makes some sense because I know bugger all about Sketchup, so I hope the terminology is OK, and this is all done by the "suck it and see" approach.

The SU/GE interface is a bit fiddly and doesn't give you a large area of countryside in each grab but I have knitted many grabs together previously so I reckon that's the next thing to try.

I have a couple of screen grabs but I don't see a way of attaching them to this post..ah yes I do ..nope can't do it... damned if I know what [img]/[img] means ..I think I'm not permitted to attached stuff.

Oh ...one last thing..the scale is real earth size and I don't have a perf board that big, so you have to really, I mean really scale the thing down before the UP software can be made to do anything sensible with it.

Ian

Offline Ian Smith

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Re: 3d Terrain printing - how?
« Reply #4 on: June 23, 2013, 08:27:47 AM »
Ah - found it - pics of terrain capture

Offline bruce3dps

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Re: 3d Terrain printing - how?
« Reply #5 on: June 23, 2013, 07:59:00 PM »
Hi Ian

That's excellent info!!! I'll have to give it a go. Thanks!!!

Offline Domenic

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Re: 3d Terrain printing - how?
« Reply #6 on: July 05, 2013, 02:55:17 PM »
Hi Ian,

I haven't tried this, however it may be easier to export the terrain from SketchUp as an .OBJ file and import this into free modelling software called Blender (http://www.blender.org/).

From here you should be able to highlight the terrain, select Edit mode, press "E" to extrude, press the mouse wheel to lock to the Z axis and drag upwards. this will create a solid object below the terrain.

You can then slice the excess from below the terrain using a boolean intersect, export as .STL and print away.
Inspire S250

Offline Ian Smith

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Re: 3d Terrain printing - how?
« Reply #7 on: July 05, 2013, 10:52:30 PM »
Domenic,
The functionality to export as a .obj file is only available in Sketchup Pro.

Meanwhile I have found a utility in Thingiverse which converts .hgt files into .stl's - search for HGT in Thingiverse and you find a HGT 2 STL converter.
There are links to a site where you can obtain height data as .HGT files and just pass these through  the utility - easy!!

Ian