When it comes to 3D printing, we are used to seeing the technology used on a small scale. It isn’t too often that we see it utilized in creating anything much larger than a basketball. It’s a lengthy process that takes a great deal of patience. One company called Micro CADD Services (MCS) has gone against the grain, and has proven that 3D printing can be used for much more.
Utilizing Mcor Technologies’ Matrix 300+ paper based 3D printer, MCS has 3D printed an entire 1:10,000-scale model of the country of Bahrain. That’s right! The entire country has been 3D printed, in paper! Whereas other 3D printers use plastics or ceramics to create their 3-dimensional objects, the Matrix 300+ prints using paper.
The 3D printed map is one of the world’s largest models of an entire country. It measures 5.4 meters long by 2.2 meters wide, and it has already captivated the attention of national and local leaders within Bahrain. The model is able to take the place of traditional maps in the planning of events and other activities. It allows for a more realistic view of the country, one which isn’t the same as a 2-dimensional map.
“A 3D printed map is so much more informative than a piece of paper, a flat map, or a computer screen,” explained Ian Best, managing director for MCS. “It’s really captured people’s imaginations and is an incredible sales tool for us, demonstrating our capabilities in a novel way,”
In order to create the large model, MCS used software provided by Mcor, called SliceIt, which allowed them to separate the digital model of Bahrain into smaller tiles that they could print out and then glue together. To create the roads, they 3D printed out strips of gray paper, which were then glued onto the model. This allowed for the roadways to be raised just slightly, like they are on real terrain.
The entire model was printed out of your normal inkjet printer paper (A4 business paper), using Mcor’s patented 3D printing technology. More details on how these printers work can be found in a recent story we wrote about their innovative machines. The process allows for much cheaper printing, especially in instances where large objects are needed. Users have the option of using already printed on paper, which in turn saves even more money, and is more environmentally friendly.
Micro CADD Services (MCS) is a company located in Bahrain who specializes in creating 3D architectural models of industrial projects, and buildings. They provide engineering services, including 3D laser scanning, compliance services, and critical interface engineering.
What do you think of this incredible map? It certainly won’t be the last 3D printed geographical model produced. Discuss in the 3D printed Bahrain forum thread on 3DPB.com. Check out some more photos below (images supplied by and/or obtained from Mcor Technologies and MCS).
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