Multilayer map shows main road and waterways of Saint-Petersburg, Russia.
Could be made from materials suitable for laser-cutting.
I've made two versions: cork + carton + MDF and tinted plywood.
- materials suitable for laser-cutting
- PVA-like glue
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Step 1: Region Selection
Step 2: Data Grab
Usually, it is the main roads and waterways, but depending on region and topic you can add linear, area or point objects which you need (e.g. letters "A" "Д" on cork map)
If you are not a GIS person - simply make a screenshot or scan your map and highlight objects of interest.
Step 3: Cutting Layout Preparation
For this step, you need to use a vector graphics editor. The result - files ready for laser-cutting.
I'm using Adobe Illustrator.
Select the size of the map. Design the frame and labels (remember that elements shouldn't be too small, otherwise it will be broken easily after cutting).
From vectors imported from QGIS or with a raster base create a vector layer for each future physical layer - it should follow the topology rule - "no breaks". All Lines should be connected, no "islands" allowed (they will fall out of the map). Lines shouldn't be too thin.
Combine layers with frame and labels. The first layer should have background and can be used for engraving, without any topological rules. The top-most layer usually has no geography objects, but have a label.
Before next step re-check carefully topology and thickness.
Step 4: Cutting
Find a laser-cutter and cut your layouts. Usually, there is a FabLab or MakerSpace near you. I'm getting kind of hypnotized looking for the cutting process. Have fun
Step 5: Assembling
Use PVA glue to collect your layers. Do it carrefully, joiner's clamps could really help.
Step 6: Finishing
Remove excess adhesive, wait until it becomes dry. Great, it's finished!
Second Prize in the