One of the largest 3D printed landscapes yet has just been produced by Middle Eastern company Micro CADD Services (MCS). A detailed three dimensional map of the entire country of Bahrain, it was created using the Matrix 300 , a 3D paper printer from Mcor Technologies.
The system extrudes A4 paper in place of regular filament, using a roller cutter that slices each sheet into the form of its layer. It then presses the layer and adds a coat of adhesive before repeating the process.
The Bahraini government turned to 3D printing as a cost effective way of creating building models for architectural design and master planning. Previously, they had imported handcrafted models from online casino China, at a cost of thousands of dollars. Ian Best, Managing Director at MCS, explains why the Matrix 300 was the perfect tool for the job:
When we saw the Mcor Matrix 300 , we were immediately drawn to its exceptional affordability. Since it creates durable physical models from ordinary office paper, we knew we had a tremendous, low-cost alternative to outsourcing models to craftspeople in China.
The model itself is 5.4 metres long, 2.2 metres wide and printed to a 1:10,000 scale. It was designed using Mcor’s SliceIT software, which separated a digital map into smaller tiles. The tiles were then printed and assembled by hand. The roads were printed as sheets of grey paper, which were then glued to the terrain, giving them the elevated feel of a real landscape.
As Best says:
A 3D printed map has so much more information than a piece of paper, a flat map or a computer screen. It’s a really captured people’s imaginations and is an incredible sales tool for us, demonstrating our capabilities in a novel way.