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Beautiful 3-D relief maps

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#1
Dale Sanderson

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http://clintonsystems.com/

If you're ever in Denver, make a point of visiting the USGS Map Sales building at the Federal Center. There you can see a 3-D relief model of Colorado. It's about 3' x 4' in size, and it's absolutely gorgeous.

I visited the Clinton Systems factory yesterday. The owner is a genius - he wrote the software and built the machines himself. His website has lots of photos, but they can't compare to seeing the models in-person. Incomprehensible detail... they're achingly beautiful. There's something about a 3-D model that reveals more detail than a flat shaded-relief map or any on-screen rendering.
Dale Sanderson
professionally: cartographics manager for Dex One
personally: cartophile and road-geek (my website)

#2
Bryan Swindell

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Thanks for posting this - I saw a model at the new Canyon visitor's center in Yellowstone National Park last summer and wondered who made it. The model has small LEDs embedded in its surface - when you press certain buttons on a nearby interpretive display, the relevant features light up for you and a recorded voice tells you about them. Such a neat communication tool!

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Jean-Louis

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very cool Dale, thanks for posting
Jean-Louis Rheault
Montreal


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Matthew Hampton

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Very interesting. Thanks for the post.

I am curious if he uses a similar method as L. Faulkner at Solid Terrain Models (STM) who passes the DTM to a CNC (3d-router) which cuts the terrain? The only other terrain manufacturing process that I've heard about is from the rapid prototyping industry (Z-corp).

The advantage of STM is that they can also pass a 3d printer (inkjet heads that adjust height based on the same DTM) to spray imagery on the model to make it look more real.

I would like to learn more about the Clinton System.

co-cartographic creator of boringmaps.com


#5
Dale Sanderson

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I am curious if he uses a similar method as L. Faulkner at Solid Terrain Models (STM) who passes the DTM to a CNC (3d-router) which cuts the terrain? I would like to learn more about the Clinton System.

It's definitely a 3D router. From the home page, if you click the link "About our models", that page mentions CNC. I'll contact the owner and see if he has any additional info he'd like to pass along.
Dale Sanderson
professionally: cartographics manager for Dex One
personally: cartophile and road-geek (my website)

#6
mfisher

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I am curious if he uses a similar method as L. Faulkner at Solid Terrain Models (STM) who passes the DTM to a CNC (3d-router) which cuts the terrain? I would like to learn more about the Clinton System.

It's definitely a 3D router. From the home page, if you click the link "About our models", that page mentions CNC. I'll contact the owner and see if he has any additional info he'd like to pass along.

To answer your question, yes, Solid Terrain Modeling uses custom CNC equipment to precisely cut DTM data into large foam blocks and then print full-color, hi-rez orthophotos onto the model surface to create stunningly beautiful pieces. We designed and built all of our equipment in-house and wrote all the code to drive the machines. We can manufacture single panel models up to 48in x 96in x about 18in relief and larger models are created by tiling these panels together. Our automated manufacturing process is higly accurate and fast and we can normally ship within 2 weeks of data approval.

I invite you to visit the gallery page on our website to see a few of the many projects we've done over the years, or drop me a line of you have any other questions or comments.

-Mark-
Mark Fisher
Solid Terrain Modeling
www.stm-usa.com




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