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I've 3D Printed my grandmother's hometown as a mother's day gift.

The town is Lac-Mégantic located in Québec, Canada. You may have heard of it because of the rail disaster in July 2013 which claimed 47 lives and destroyed more than 40 buildings downtown.

My grandmother and most of my extended family still live in the area, which is now unrecognizable after the decontamination and rebuilding of the affected zone. So I've decided to recreate how Lac-Mégantic used to be, using a 3D Printer and paint. The result is a 8x6 inch (1:3000 scale) 3D map tile that can be placed horizontally on a shelf or hung vertically on a wall, in a frame.

Since there was a lot of interest on these Redditthreads, I've created this step-by-step Instructables on how I modeled and printed this town. It can inspire you on how to achieve a similar result for your own city.

Things needed for this project:

  • SketchUp
  • 3D Printer
  • White PLA filament
  • Acrylic Paint

Step 1: SketchUp

I've used SketchUp 2016 to model 100% the town from scratch.

The plugin Solid Inspector² is really useful to find 3D errors such as face holes, surface borders, internal faces, or stray edges. They are not fatal but would make the slicing process difficult for printing.

Once the mesh is clear of bugs, I use the STL file Exporter plugin to export STL files to a slicing software.

<p>Great!</p>
So nice! I wonder how cities with famous landmarks would look. Paris, London, Moscow...
Well done. Great project and very well explained. I will have to try this out. My wife's family is from the region as well.
This is incredible! Love the detail and the finished color scheme.
Amazing job! What is the 3d printer you are using?
<p>Thanks! I used a Dremel Idea Builder for this project.</p>

About This Instructable

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Bio: Software Engineer & Maker
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