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ERIC Number: EJ1164152
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2014-Feb
Pages: 8
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1089-9995
Printing Space: Using 3D Printing of Digital Terrain Models in Geosciences Education and Research
Horowitz, Seth S.; Schultz, Peter H.
Journal of Geoscience Education, v62 n1 p138-145 Feb 2014
Data visualization is a core component of every scientific project; however, generation of physical models previously depended on expensive or labor-intensive molding, sculpting, or laser sintering techniques. Physical models have the advantage of providing not only visual but also tactile modes of inspection, thereby allowing easier visual inspection as well as access to the visually challenged. Recent advances in three-dimensional (3D) printing technology have created low-cost systems capable of translating 3D shape and terrain elevation models into physical models. Low-cost, commercially available, 3D printers are capable of using data from topographical maps, radar data, altimetry, and digital terrain models and turning them into accurate, handleable, 3D models out of multiple materials within hours. The resultant models not only provide study materials for lunar and planetary terrains and small space bodies but also allow the generation of libraries of physical objects accessible to the visually impaired. Moreover, these models create new tools for introducing space sciences to the roster of accessible science curricular materials.
National Association of Geoscience Teachers. Carleton College W-SERC, One North College Street, Northfield, MN 55057. Tel: 540-568-6675; Fax: 540-568-8058; e-mail:; Website:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A