How to 3D print maps ?

Create an optimized 3D map model

When toggling “3D printable model” on http://maps3d.io/, you will generate a model optimized for 3d printing

  • With texture in full color for multicolor 3D printing
  • Hollowed out to save material and lower cost of manufacturing
3d printable model generation on maps3d.io
3d printable model generation on maps3d.io

The model generated is a zip file containing the model in the OBJ format + the MTL file and the texture. Here is an example of such model generated.

Our advice is to set 2mm for thickness in order to have the best ratio solidity / saving material.

Hollowed out to saved material

Upload model on a 3d printing manufacturing service

If you do not own a 3D printer, you should use on of the online 3d service for manufacturing, we used successfully Sculpteo which support Multicolor models OBJ + MTL, but you can try others like Shapeways or i.materialize.

After uploading the model, you can choose the material you want. You generally have only one choice if you want to print in color with the satellite imagery texture. (At the time of this post, printing a 80 x 80 mm model in full color costs around ~30 US$ on Sculpteo)

After a few days, you should receive your model, which will look like this:

Model generated on maps3d.io printed