Slicing & Scaling in the Lab

This past week our team has successfully printed a small version of the Massanutten mountain range! Now we are hard at work to make the print larger and more to scale. To do this we are working with the software Meshmixer and Meshlab. In these softwares we are tinkering to adjust the image to ensure the print is not hollow. The challenge with this is that the more we tinker the original image, the more unclear it becomes. The original image is so detailed, which for us is a double edged sword, because while it makes for an incredible map, it overwhelms the softwares. Permitting our software challenges are conquered, we will then divide the map into nine pieces and enlarge each piece to be printed and attached together. Effectively, this will make one large, to scale map of the mountain!

Here’s just a little information on what the softwares that we’re using do:

  1. Meshmixer: is a 3D sculpting-based program
  2. 3D Slicing: is “cutting” a 3D print/ image in half (basic slicing). This allows 3D prints to get a better understanding for prints to be printed in pieces so you can conform and combine them.

As the semester winds down, we’ve begin to focus on how we can best present our work and discoveries to our community. Our original goal to host a community workshop has been revised to an online video presentation of our work and a tutorial. This revision was to accommodate all of our interested audience members’ busy schedule! Because we received feedback about those we invited were unable to attend the presentation in person, we are creating a video. The online presentation will incorporate instructions, how-to’s, and helpful tidbits that we learned along the way. Our lesson plan is informing educators about how they can use geography and demographics from an image and create a print that replicates the information.  In the upcoming blogs  we will link the video for anyone interested in our work or interested in challenging their own printing skills.


Check out our print on Thingaverse and try it yourself!
Massanutten SVG Images-Thingiverse

Educational Dukes

Three girls just trying to make a difference in the education field.