Good Use of a 3D Printer Would Be to Create Scaled Models of Terrain for Table Top Viewing
Not long ago, I was talking with a gentleman who had a small business – he specialized in re-creating war-game terrain – the same type of terrain that is used for model trains, and plastic model dioramas. It occurred to me that in the future someone can come to him with a specific battle in history in a specific location, and using ESRI software along with GIS – GPS data points. Next, he could re-create the whole thing on a CADCAM using a grid like terrain model.
Then, the person would be able to print the exact terrain using a 3-D printer, and indeed the 3-D printers of the future will allow instant prototyping and other things of this nature. Let’s say, a Navy SEAL team is going to a specific target in a country far away – the satellite could pick up the basic terrain and differences in elevation, and all that could be put into the CADCAM program and a 3-D printer could print an instant model so the strike team could view it in advance.
This would also be perfect for the ready rooms of attack pilots on aircraft carriers. It would be almost as if they were they are looking over the whole area prior to their mission. It could also be used by astronauts landing near certain moon craters, or trying to land on asteroids. Or in designing a space colony in advance, knowing exactly where to setup the inflatable habitats during the building phase.
It seems to me that a good use of the 3-D printer would be to create such scale models of terrain for table top viewing, in advance of creating an infrastructure project, doing a design of the building, or before preparing for a mission. In fact, I can’t think of a better use for it actually, other than the uses already stipulated such as prototype modeling. Please consider all this.