A project to 3D print terrain elevation.
Elevation data is provided by NASA SRTM in .hgt format. In the example, hgt data comes from .
The first script « plot_ght2.py » plots .hgt data as a colored map of terrain elevation. It can be use to select the moutainous area of interest.
« pystl.py » is a tool to convert a surface to .stl mesh. Meshlab is used to check the stl file.
The stl file can then be 3D-printed. I used cura to transform the .stl to gcode optimized for the Ultimaker2, the available 3D printer at the faclab.
Sources code have been uploaded on github .
The first prototype freshly printed is here ! The scale was reduced to 30mmx30mm large to limit the time of printing to 15 minutes. You can still clearly see main mountains from Jura on it. Project is successfully completed
Terrain was just an example of transforming a surface to a stl 3D object. Surface are everywhere and you can now use the same scripts to 3D print and easily visualize complex surface shapes.
– Python (numpy, scipy, matplotlib)
– Meshlab for .stl reader
– Cura to convert .stl to .gcode
–  http://www.viewfinderpanoramas.org/dem3.html
–  http://www2.jpl.nasa.gov/srtm/
–  https://github.com/adriengit/PrintedTerrain