Epoxy Resin Fantasy Maps

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Introduction: Epoxy Resin Fantasy Maps

About: Project Manager by day, Maker by Night. Based out of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. I make things based on the Geeky things I like.

    I love maps. There something about being able to look over an entire world, to really see the intricate details, that are just so fascinating to me. One of my favorite things to make are recreations of maps using our laser cutter and some epoxy resin. My favorite subjects are always from the shows and games that I have spent so much time with.

    While each map is very different in its own way, the construction is quite similar.

    In this Instructable we will go over how I make build my maps. I will not be explaining the process to make files, more the just process of how to construct the maps once they are printed.

    Shown here are three different videos of how we made these maps. The Map of Middle Earth and The Witcher videos are traditional videos. The video of Tamriel from the Elder Scrolls goes into more detail about how I make my files.

    Middle Earth Video

    The Elder Scrolls - Tamriel Video

    The Witcher Video

    Supplies

    Below are Amazon Affiliate Links to tools used in this build. Using these links don't cost you any extra, they just help us feed the cats and leave the lights on:

    Used to make the files

    Used to make the Map itself

    Step 1: Laser Cut the Pieces

    There are 4 separate layers to all of the maps I make

    1. Back 1/8th inch thick MDF Panel
    2. Main Land Masses Panel with resin safe border made from 1/8th inch thick Plywood
    3. Acrylic Panel made on 1/8th inch thick Clear Cast Acrylic
    4. Veneer Border pieces made on 1/32nd inch thick adhesive-backed veneer.

    Start by cutting out the pieces using the appropriate settings on your laser cutter. I use Glowforge Proofgrade settings for my materials as they are the machine presets values. Make sure to figure out what settings would work best for your own machine.

    Shown is an image of how I set up my files for laser cutting.

    Step 2: Assemble and Prep for Resin

    • Start by gluing the panel with the Land Masses to the MDF board with E6000 Craft Glue. (photo 1)
    • Using sewing clips, hold down the two layers to ensure maximum contact and to maintain alignment.(photo 2)
    • Use CA Glue to seal off any areas around the border that the resin will come in contact with. (photo 2)
      • This will ensure you will not have leaks when you pour the resin in the "ocean areas"
    • Paint the board engraves based on what every preference you have. (photo 3)
      • I personally like to paint all the engraves on the Land Masses panel black before removing the masking tape. (photo 4)
      • After removing the masking tape, use Paint Pens to paint in all the trees (photo 5)

    Step 3: Pour the Epoxy Resin

    Put on Gloves! Resin gets messy fast! Work in a clean space and prepare something to use as a dust shield.

    • Using your choices of 2 part 1:1 Epoxy Resin, pour out two equal parts A and B in two different cups.
      • The amount needed will be a best guess. Maps are hard to judge how much resin will be necessary.I try to just eye ball it and have a back up silicone mold available for extra resin.
    • Add in the pigment colors into Part A. (photo 1)
      • I use a mix of all the blue powders from Artisan Pigment Powder's as well as blue alcohol ink to round out the ocean blue color.
    • Using a Popsicle stick, scrape the resins from the first cup into a new combined cup and mix thoroughly ensuring that the resin is fully mixed.
    • Pour mixed resin slowly into the ocean void and with a tool or stick of your choice (I used a tool meant for carving clay) push the resin into every crevasse it needs to be in. (photo 2)
      • I have also been using 14gauge 10 ml Syringes to getting into the rivers easier. It causes less mess over time.(photo 3)
    • Using a Q-TIP, Clean up any resin that may have dripped on the land masses layer.
    • Use a heat gun to pop all bubbles. Check back often for the first 15 minutes and apply heat when necessary.
      • DO NOT OVERUSE HEAT, you can overheat the resin and cause extra bubbles.
    • Add swirls to the water and cover for 8 hours to make sure no hair or dust gets in the resin. (photo 4)
      • If you notice hairs with in the first 2-3 hours of curing, you still have the ability to remove them. Make sure you do with tweezers and hit the area you touched with a heat gun to level the resin back out.

    Step 4: Prepare the Acrylic Layer

    • Before removing the masking tape from the acrylic panel, paint in all the engraves with white acrylic paint. (photo 1)
    • When the paint is dry, remove the masking tape and clean the acrylic with a glass cleaner to remove fingerprints and streaks. (photo 2)

    Step 5: Attach the Acrylic Panel

    Using UV Resin and sewing clips, let's attach the sections.

    • Put a very small bead of UV resin around the edge of the landmass layer. (photo 1)
    • Place the cleaned acrylic panel down onto the resin and use clips to hold everything in place. (photo 2)
    • Using a UV Lamp, cure the resin and the two pieces will be attached. (photo 3)
    • Remove the clips

    Step 6: Prepare the Veneer Layer

    • Wipe clean the acrylic panel again to ensure there is no dust.
    • Place your Veneer pieces down by removing the sticker back and pressing in place (photo 1)

    Step 7: Display Your Work

    Add any final pops of color to your veneer layer with paint and show your work off!

    Maps are super fun to recreate and the resin oceans really add a special something extra to them!

    I encourage everyone to give something like this a try!

    Go make something awesome!

    Nicole C

    When Geeks Craft

    www.whengeekscraft.com

    Epoxy Speed Challenge

    First Prize in the
    Epoxy Speed Challenge

    1 Person Made This Project!

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    13 Comments

    0
    DianaHM
    DianaHM

    1 year ago

    It's really super great work!

    0
    Auroris
    Auroris

    1 year ago

    Very cool work! Voted ;)

    0
    shazni
    shazni

    1 year ago

    This is a beautiful piece! it's too intimidating for me to try as I have no experience in resin. I'm tempted to try a small jewelry with the UV resin that I just got to experiment. No way of buying the 2 part resin to try a bit bigger pieces as we are all still in lock down. :-(

    1
    Fall-Apart-Dave
    Fall-Apart-Dave

    1 year ago

    Great work!! This has given me some inspiration for a new project. Unfortunately that list is very long and my days remaining on this planet comparatively few... Creativity is a harsh taskmaster.

    1
    Fall-Apart-Dave
    Fall-Apart-Dave

    Reply 1 year ago

    PS

    I need to get with the times and try this affiliate marketing malarky you have expertly woven into your instructable.

    0
    WhenGeeksCraft
    WhenGeeksCraft

    Reply 1 year ago

    hahahahha its taken me a long time to get my affiliate game on point. it will happen for you in time. the first place to start is signing up with amazon and hope they approve you. i was denied twice before finallu getting approved. you have to have over 500 followers on all social medias.

    0
    Fall-Apart-Dave
    Fall-Apart-Dave

    Reply 1 year ago

    That's where I fall down. I have no social media. Too busy building stuff for that!

    1
    jomas.naumann1999
    jomas.naumann1999

    1 year ago

    Looks abso-f****ing-lutely awesome!

    but now i am sad that i never will have one of these :D

    1
    WhenGeeksCraft
    WhenGeeksCraft

    Reply 1 year ago

    dont be sad!!! make one ;)

    1
    jomas.naumann1999
    jomas.naumann1999

    Reply 1 year ago

    sadly neither do i have the fine skills to do this nor do I own a $3000 Laser printer (≧▽≦).
    But I still like to see awesome stuff like this. Its like going to a Ferrari shop with enough Money to buy 3 Hamburgers...


    I can only hope, that one day i meet a cool girl that can do this kind of stuff, or win the lottery XD



    Again, Your Maps look absolutely breathtaking and you significant other can be very happy to have a cool girl like you :D

    1
    WhenGeeksCraft
    WhenGeeksCraft

    Reply 1 year ago

    hahahhahhhahahha theres always hope with the lottery. God speed my friends and thank you!

    1
    AnandM54
    AnandM54

    1 year ago

    Nice look maps!! Great work..!!