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Presented by:
Michael Higgins
Summit Terragraphics Inc.
NACIS Annual Meeting
Colorado Springs CO, October 2016
www.summitm...
• Who is Summit?
• Why use 3d maps?
• Thermoformed Raised-Relief Maps, Pros &
Cons
• What is 3d Printing?
• 3d Printing Te...
Summit is a leading designer and manufacturer of thermoformed
raised-relief maps for National Parks and recreation areas,
...
“Flat” methods of presenting terrain can be very effective – as
shown in the samples below. But at times using a 3D model
...
The original National Park
Service 2D flat map of Glacier
Bay National Park is shown at
right. Summit very effectively
con...
Sampling of products:
At left, Afghanistan/Pakistan
border region, 3D raised-
relief map. 1:250k scale
At right, a raised-...
Sampling of products:
At right, a raised-relief map
of Upper Glacier Bay,
Glacier Bay National Park,
produced for the US
N...
Printed & thermoformed plastic sheets
Pros:
 High print image
quality.
 Accurate terrain
modeling.
 Low per map
product...
Additive manufacturing is defined as the process of
joining materials to make objects from 3D model data,
usually layer up...
Among the advantages in many industrial niches
and design practices:
Complex geometry with internal cavities
impossible t...
 Not for mass production; it’s for mass customization.
 The 1,000th copy costs essentially the same as the 1st copy in
t...
Per ASTM International Committee F42:
Seven AM Process Categories
i. Binder Jetting* (multi color capable) (Color Jet Prin...
Advantages of Color-Jet Printing
• Fastest 3D printer build time on the
market
• Lowest cost material and operating
costs
...
Typical Work Flow for a Summit Terragraphics 3D
Printed “Solid Earth Model” Map Project
Customer Requirements
– Extent, Sc...
DEM resolution needed?
100 dpi good (12 meter resolution for a 1:50k model)
50 dpi OK
Sometimes lower
Horizontal Scale: Summit Terragraphics has worked across a
wide range…
From 1:4,000 (Torrey Pines, to right)
To 1:5,700,00...
Vertical Scale and Exaggeration: Summit Terragraphics has worked
across a wide range.
From .80x
(private ranch,
shown at r...
The optimal vertical scale and exaggeration are dependent on both terrain
geometry and scale. In general, based on Summit’...
Kauai Raised-
Relief Map and
Solid Earth
Model Project
1:60,000 horizontal scale
2x vertical exaggeration
Hawaii State Pla...
Kauai Raised-
Relief Map and
Solid Earth
Model Project
Thermoformed Plastic RRM
40” x 30”
3D Printed Solid Earth Model
20”...
3D Printed Solid Earth Models
Pros:
 Very high terrain shape
fidelity – particular in
steep/deep areas
 Very good image-...
3D Printed Solid Earth Models
Questions?
3D Printed Terrain Models and Maps -- Current State of Technology and Challenges
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3D Printed Terrain Models and Maps -- Current State of Technology and Challenges

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NACIS 2016 Presentation
Michael Higgins, Summit Terragraphics Inc.
3D-printing technology offers exciting possibilities for cartographers to create accurate full-color terrain models of their work. For areas with mountainous or complicated terrain features, producing a physical map with the precise 3D terrain shape makes for a valuable interpretation tool. 3D-printing allows a quick and accurate process for creating these terrain/map models, but it also has challenges and limitations. Since 2008 Summit Terragraphics has been using 3d-printed terrain models as molds for the thermoformed raised-relief map production process. And recently, Summit has offered full color, 3d-printed models for display in museums, visitor centers, and other applications. This presentation will look closely at the design, data requirements, data processing, and construction of a 3d-printed terrain model of the island of Kauai. Print resolution and vertical scaling issues will be addressed. Summit will bring a sample of this finished model to the presentation for show-and-tell.

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3D Printed Terrain Models and Maps -- Current State of Technology and Challenges

  1. 1. Presented by: Michael Higgins Summit Terragraphics Inc. NACIS Annual Meeting Colorado Springs CO, October 2016 www.summitmaps.com
  2. 2. • Who is Summit? • Why use 3d maps? • Thermoformed Raised-Relief Maps, Pros & Cons • What is 3d Printing? • 3d Printing Technologies • Summit 3d Printed Terrain Model Work Flow • 3d Terrain Model Design Considerations • Kauai Terrain Model • 3d Printed Terrain Models – Summary
  3. 3. Summit is a leading designer and manufacturer of thermoformed raised-relief maps for National Parks and recreation areas, government/military, corporations, and individuals. Up to 50” x 35” 3D area. Up to 3” – 4” of relief. Core Technology -- 3D printed thermoform terrain molds – extreme resolution and accuracy with economical cost. Key Advantage of Thermoformed 3d Maps – low cost production once design/tooling is complete.
  4. 4. “Flat” methods of presenting terrain can be very effective – as shown in the samples below. But at times using a 3D model greatly eases interpretation of complex terrain, particularly for the untrained eye. Contour Lines Shaded Relief Elevation Color-Ramp Combined Topo – Shaded Relief
  5. 5. The original National Park Service 2D flat map of Glacier Bay National Park is shown at right. Summit very effectively converted this map to a raised- relief format shown below. Notice on the raised-relief map how easy it is to quickly understand and interpret the complex and rugged terrain.
  6. 6. Sampling of products: At left, Afghanistan/Pakistan border region, 3D raised- relief map. 1:250k scale At right, a raised-relief map of the Torrey Pines Golf Course. 1:4k scale.
  7. 7. Sampling of products: At right, a raised-relief map of Upper Glacier Bay, Glacier Bay National Park, produced for the US National Park Service. At left, a full contiguous US 3d Map. 1:4.4M scale.
  8. 8. Printed & thermoformed plastic sheets Pros:  High print image quality.  Accurate terrain modeling.  Low per map production cost. Cons:  Significant tooling costs.  Challenging image- terrain registration with extreme relief (deep canyons/valleys). 3d Printed Models Afghanistan 3d Map
  9. 9. Additive manufacturing is defined as the process of joining materials to make objects from 3D model data, usually layer upon layer, as opposed to subtractive manufacturing methodologies. (ASTM F2792) Conventional manufacturing techniques are mostly subtractive. You start with a block or panel of material and cut, route, etch and grind away material to make your object. Or sheets of material are deformed around a mold. Ref: John Lee, ABC Imaging
  10. 10. Among the advantages in many industrial niches and design practices: Complex geometry with internal cavities impossible to fabricate by any other method. Setup/Tooling cost and time needed for a new unique design is much less. Generally less material waste. Manufacture parts on demand, as needed. No need for keeping inventory and shipping. Local manufacturing. Ref: John Lee, ABC Imaging
  11. 11.  Not for mass production; it’s for mass customization.  The 1,000th copy costs essentially the same as the 1st copy in terms of materials and machine time. No economies of scale.  Poor substitute for traditional manufacturing in some cases. Earliest 3D Printers were used for rapid prototyping mostly.  High material costs can make larger parts prohibitively expensive. “Razor and Blades” business model pervades the industry. With few exceptions you must buy proprietary materials from the machine manufacturer. Ref: John Lee, ABC Imaging
  12. 12. Per ASTM International Committee F42: Seven AM Process Categories i. Binder Jetting* (multi color capable) (Color Jet Printing) ii. Directed Energy Deposition iii. Material Extrusion iv. Material Jetting v. Powder Bed Fusion vi. Sheet Lamination* (multi color capable) vii. Vat Photopolymerization And within some of the categories, there are three classes of machine models. o Production o Professional o Personal Ref: John Lee, ABC Imaging
  13. 13. Advantages of Color-Jet Printing • Fastest 3D printer build time on the market • Lowest cost material and operating costs • Detailed models convey your design effectively • Model parts can be infiltrated with different resins depending on the application • Potential to print in multi color including textures • Can create several iterations of the same design quickly nested in the same build cycle
  14. 14. Typical Work Flow for a Summit Terragraphics 3D Printed “Solid Earth Model” Map Project Customer Requirements – Extent, Scale, Format, Graphics spec Source/Generate Map Image • Earth-Imagery Base layer • Color- Illustrated Base Layer • Vector Graphic Overlays Collect/Process Elevation Data (NED, SRTM, Lidar, …) -- GIS  CAD 3D Print CAM Digitally merge & overlay imagery with terrain model Print - Review Map – Wide- format digital printing on paper, full size. 4 – 8 Weeks Customer Print Image Review -- adjust graphics as needed. Composite Reinforce and Laminate Tiles into full model 3d Print Tiles Deliver Image & Graphics Approved
  15. 15. DEM resolution needed? 100 dpi good (12 meter resolution for a 1:50k model) 50 dpi OK Sometimes lower
  16. 16. Horizontal Scale: Summit Terragraphics has worked across a wide range… From 1:4,000 (Torrey Pines, to right) To 1:5,700,000 (Arctic Circle, below) To 1:33,000,000 (Mini US map, to Left) Most Most of Summit’s projects are: 1:50,000 to 1:500,000
  17. 17. Vertical Scale and Exaggeration: Summit Terragraphics has worked across a wide range. From .80x (private ranch, shown at right) To 15x (Arctic Circle) To 35x (mini US Map)
  18. 18. The optimal vertical scale and exaggeration are dependent on both terrain geometry and scale. In general, based on Summit’s modeling experience, vertical exaggeration runs along this trend. Average Exaggeration 0 5 10 15 20 25 1:1000 1:10000 1:100000 1:1000000 1:10000000 Low Med High Vertical Exaggeration Horizontal Scale
  19. 19. Kauai Raised- Relief Map and Solid Earth Model Project 1:60,000 horizontal scale 2x vertical exaggeration Hawaii State Plane 4 projection 10m sat image base layer 10m NED DEM
  20. 20. Kauai Raised- Relief Map and Solid Earth Model Project Thermoformed Plastic RRM 40” x 30” 3D Printed Solid Earth Model 20” x 15”
  21. 21. 3D Printed Solid Earth Models Pros:  Very high terrain shape fidelity – particular in steep/deep areas  Very good image-terrain registration  The only terrain modeling technique possible for some extreme shapes. Cons:  Significant cost for each terrain model.  Limited print resolution and color (but improving)  Tiling (multiple pieces for large model)
  22. 22. 3D Printed Solid Earth Models Questions?

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