I want to join the Society for Printable Geography!


I wish this was a real Society that I could join.  The Society for Printable Geography creates jewelry using real satellite data. It’s pretty cool. Here’s their ‘North Island of New Zealand’ cufflink. I can even get a cellphone cover with the terrain of Australasia.

I found a beautiful new addition to my sea sponge collection this morning on the beach. The question is – how to convert this image into data, then into a 3D printed object.

Lately, I’ve been trying ‘displacement mapping’ on Blender.  I make a 3D bowl, then map a black and white image to it. Then ‘displacement map’ turns the darker parts of the image into depressions, and the lighter parts into hills, bumps.  So you’ve got a 3D texture, derived from your 2D black and white photo.

At the moment, I don’t understand how this works though.  I thought if I made a black and white dot 2D pattern and map it, then it would make a bowl with raised bumps all over it.  NO! Its not so easy.

If I took this sponge to Massey University Fab Lab and scanned it using their 3D scanner, I would have a 3D image of it that I could print.

I don’t know where it comes from, the desire to recreate a sponge shape in ceramics or plastic.  Its a mysterious, nonsensical thing to do.  What’s the point?  It’s not as if it had a practical application.  A sponge is such a complex shape –  think I want to understand its form.



Corinne Hansen made the ring below – I found it here on Shapeways.  She helpfully includes the software she used in making it.  Created in rhinoceros, edited in Magics, colored in Z-edit.  What I want to know is, does it print in all those different colours and textures?

I want to try i.materialise.  For the record, here are some other 3D printing sites to try out, at some articles comparing them. The sites I’ve found are i.Materialise, Kraftwurx, Ponoko, Shapeways and Sculpteo.



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