Swedish reseller reaches new customers with GIS applications from the highest mountains to the bottom of the sea!
“GIS is a very important application for me and, thanks to the Mcor IRIS, I am able to reproduce the world’s most breath-taking structures to wow audiences”.
– Carl Schillander, founder of Thaiber 3DP AB.
Although 3D printing has been around for over 30 years, it is still completely underused as a design and communication tool in so many sectors. In particular colour 3D printing could be much more widely used for the purposes of printing GIS (geographic information systems) maps for communication and planning purposes.
Far beyond pure aesthetic purposes, GIS (geographic information systems) mapping can be very important for many applications. In education, GIS models magnifies efficiency and understanding. Researchers use it to evaluate and map data from many sources to create new theories and models. Teachers can enhance classroom assignments by applying mapping technology. Also for commercial purposes for determining new retail locations, identifying real estate hot zones and growth trends in real time. In the public sector, it can also be used to manage and plot data visually in order to make collaboration with crews and regulators seamless and simple. And for those who manage, preserve and restore our natural resources, you can easily see, share and analyse important data. And so, from flood and evacuation planning to preparation for a mountain hike, a 3D printed map can come in handy!
Reaching new heights
GIS enthusiast Carl Schillander of Thaiber 3DP AB, Mcor’s Swedish reseller, was keen to explore the possibilities for Mcor’s technology in the GIS sector and so set about printing Sweden’s highest mountain, called “Kebnekaise” on the Mcor IRIS. The Kebnekaise massif, which is part of the Scandinavian Mountains, has two peaks, of which the southern, glaciated one is highest at 2,097.5 metres above sea level (as of August 2014). “It is world famous in all of Sweden and is very popular amongst mountain hikers and climbers so I took this mountain based on a satellite image that has been “draped” over the height curves”, says Carl. “We took the official height curves and combined them with a satellite photo that I purchased and the result is great. Here we see the photorealism of Mcor’s technology put to the best use. You could never ever get this amount of details with competitor full colour printers, not to mention the price of doing a model this size!”
The importance of full colour in 3D printing can be seen in the model above as it allows you to easily identify the different sections of a mountainous region. Carl printed this particular model as he wanted to print something that Swedish people can relate to, something that was local. “The model is quite nice and I have displayed it at several shows and it always amazes people. I displayed it at a recent GIS conference in Sweden called “Kartdagarna” (Swedish Map Days) and so many specialists raved about it and it was also highlighted both in TV and newspapers”, said Carl. He continued: “I have been to plenty of seminars and brought samples with me showing mountains and other builds. These people have all been working with GIS, area planning etc so they are professionals but, still, they stand there in amazement and don’t believe what they see. They immediately tell me that this would be very useful and sometimes they don’t even think it is possible to do – even though the model is sitting right there in front of them!”
Showcasing nature’s underwater phenomena in 3D to help underwater explorers and marine museum
Carl is also currently working with some major underwater explorers and a marine museum. “Since so much exists underwater that most people will never see and since the bottom of many seas are now sonar measured and many interesting wrecks are 3D-photographed, it is of course very possible to use Mcor’s unique technology to make models of sea beds and shipwrecks in any size”, says Carl.
The model showcased here was an initiative Carl took based on some pictures of a real shipwreck located off the east coast of Sweden. He explained “This particular one is from 1534 and is very unique. I made a 9-build display of it on the Mcor IRIS with a wreck side that is easy to lift away so you can look at what is underneath”.
These models were 3D printed in photorealistic colour on Mcor’s technology. They are durable and stable and can even be disposed of in the recycling bin for cradle-to-grave sustainability. At 10-20% the cost of any other 3D printing technology, this makes a significant difference when printing models of this size – it would just be prohibitive using alternative technologies because of extremely high material costs. And this is achieved by simply dividing the model up into several sections that can be easily fitted together after printing. Colour is also critical for GIS models adding texture and detail that would be lost on a monochrome model. Mcor is also the only tech to include the global-standard ICC (International Colour Consortium) colour map so Mcor 3D printers produce the industry’s most accurate and photorealistic WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) colour.
Carl is delighted with the GIS model results and sees this paving the way into penetrating a new market for him in Sweden. Carl has a very strong belief that GIS is one of the most perfect applications for Mcor 3D printing. In fact, he states: “At shows and seminars, I claim that NO OTHER 3DP system is even close to doing what can be done with Mcor’s technology.”