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  • Stuart and Paul

Turning the virtual to reality

Since getting into 3D printing, I've wondered if we could take the DEM models from photogrametry outputs and turn them into physical objects. Cool right?


Images taken with the drone are processed in photogrametry software where 3D mesh files can be exported. The mesh models contain the surface profile and detail which can be used in traditional CAD or survey software or applications


After many attempts using numerous 3D design and re-meshing software packages I've finally printed a successful test print.



The main issue is the mesh thickness, which is so thin that slicing software often won't recognise it as a solid, resulting in some patchy and useless prints.

Although it looks rough (which it really is) this is owing to the print settings I have used to keep prints quick. More detail means thinner layer heights and slower prints - hours rather than minutes.

It's still early days on this, though I'm 'geeking out' a little with some of the possibilities.


More updates to come as I fine tune the meshing process and refine the print settings.

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