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  1. #1
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    Nov 2016
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    Cool Working on something fun... 3D Topo!

    A lot of topographical 3D prints have been showing up on Thingiverse.

    And yet, there is only 1 reliable site that I've found that can generate decent STL's.

    And then there is that fixed non-elegant rectangle issue...

    And we have Meshmixer (thank you Autodesk for hosting that great app) <<== terrain to STL. <<== in case you needed a reminder.

    I've learned a few things. Over the course of investigating possibilities, I've only come up with shortcomings.

    Generating the needed STL file:
    The Terrain2STL site is a little shy on features. I would like a lot more control over the rectangle.
    There is a bug in that rotating the red frame with the slider will only stretch your STL file.
    At one time I could have sworn I could draw my own rectangle... but have since lost the gray matter to recall how that was done.
    But do note these other findings on the site:
    You can specify the frame size (presumably in pixels) using preset values (nice range).
    You can double the frame to reduce the file size.
    You can exaggerate the height up to 4X (Meshmixer can do even more with this).
    You can locate the frame specifically longitude and latitude (upper left corner only ).
    There is also water level option in the 3rd menu.
    And there is a base-thickness option in the 3rd menu.

    Just to give you a reference, a 1560 1X frame provides a 519mm x ~362mm STL file.

    Here is the thing; I can print bricks of terrain all day long but they are not interesting beyond the few aha moments you get when you get to touch it.
    I want to see how we can "formulate" a keepsake. Everyone will want something different, obviously.

    At this moment I have a vision. I want to provide a few simple tools on Thingiverse so anyone can make one of these:


    ...and if you haven't tried this in Meshmixer yet, I dare you to do it least once.

    What I did learn about Meshmixer and a -simple- process for getting to this point is actually manageable.
    However, there is a critical part that is not for the faint at heart, unless someone corrects me.
    Being a Meshmixer novice+ certainly leaves room for additional input from smarter users than me.
    And in turn, this would be a nice little discussion about Meshmixer capabilities as well.

    Here is my current take on the project:
    1) Make the terrain print an insert to a separate frame.
    2) Use the frame to shape the terrain STL in MM.

    I'll leave it at this for now so you can add your thoughts on the project and your valuable input.

    - - - - - - - - - -


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  3. #2
    Administrator bolsoncerrado's Avatar
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    Nov 2014
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    Now you can do a mold out of that and sell copies :P

  4. #3
    Super Moderator
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    Nov 2016
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    Interesting thought. 70microns should prove interesting in this too.

    First thing I learned is that the map rectangle is consistent in the vertical dimension but not the width.
    That just means I need to add a scale step.

    Meshmixer is really flaky about Boolean merge but does Boolean subtract really well.



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