There are now some 3D printers just for the home market and printers are being used for many reasons – and this is an interesting solution to printing a 3D map. It can be created in a relatively quick time and using google map coordinates you could print any map you want!
There is some interesting information and further details from Joseph Kohn Training Center, where undergraduate Jason Kim and mechanical engineer Howon Lee worked on solutions for students, to have 3D-printed maps. “At the suggestion of a fellow student, who is blind, buildings were kept at a uniform height so users can feel large areas at once. Doorways are marked with stars, and grid lines help users estimate the distance between points.”
“The strength of 3D printing is to be able to print any features you want,” Lee says. “You create your three-dimensional model [on the computer], send this data to the printer, and you can [carry] the 3D object with you.”
Portability, speed, and durability are just three advantages of 3D printing and this is one of many areas that 3D printing is starting to develop some affordable solutions, there are prosthetics being developed as well as many education tools. Other uses have been to print 3D representations of paintings or even of family and personal photos.
More information available at CityLab.