Iteration 1: Hold in Your Hand
First I used CorelDraw to trace the contour
lines from a topographic map. That was quite a pain.
Here are all the contours in CorelDraw. Whew.
Those little round holes are my idea for registration
between the separate layers; when I glue the pieces up I'll
put a wire through each hole.
This is what one slide looks like.
diagonal lines were my idea of saving material. No need to have
every slice go all the way through the "mountain." As long as
each piece has some registration holes... bad idea. Oh well.
Then I cut those out of mat board with an Epilog
Helix laser cutter and glued them together. A little bit of
paint and voila! Edgewood park in the palm of my hand.
I wrote up an Instructable about this.
Iteration 2: Bigger Is Better
Iteration 3: Move to a More Expensive Tool
The ShopBot could make it smoother, if only
I had a 3d model of the park... I used the Next Engine 3d scanner
to create a computer mesh of the model.
I used the smoothing features of the Next Engine
software in an attempt to erase those heavy contour lines. I
haven't really done much smoothing in this photo.
Import the model into V-Carve so it can create
tool paths for the ShopBot to follow. Looks pretty good.
Here the ShopBot has finished the rough cut
with a 1/2 inch end mill. It's now working on the final raster
cut with an 1/8 inch tapered ball nose.
And this is the final product. A true scale
model of Edgewood park. The corner closest to the camera is
the lower parking lot. Edgewood road runs along the right hand
side and 280 runs along the back. The camera is looking roughly
there's an Instructable about this.
Iteration 4: Better Data
While showing off my model at TechShop Chris asked,
"Did you get the terrain from Google Earth?" I didn't know you
could... so here we go again.
This is SketchUp8 - a
wonderful program - with the terrain imported. That's 280 in
the foreground; we're looking east.
The pink house insulation is cheap and easy
to cut. Here's it's on the ShopBot, ready to go.
The rough cut is almost done. It took about
The final cut is about half way done. Took 3
It's about 15 inches on a side. The camera
is looking directly east with 280 running across the foreground.
You can see how much more detail is in this model. Look
to the left and you can see the cut in the mountainside where
Edgewood road runs.