In the past year, we've seen 3D-printed models of the San Francisco skyline and Coney Island's Lunan Park, but the Middle Eastern company Micro CADD Services (MCS) is one-upping the three dimensional topography game by printing a 17' x 7' model of the entire country of Bahrain. The 1:10,000-scale model highlights everything from major buildings to roads and ports—a sprawling, tangible map of the country's most salient features.
To build the model, MCS used Mcor Technologies' Matrix 300+ paper-based 3D printer. The company first segmented a digital map of the country into smaller pieces, then printed each part individually before gluing them all together like a giant diorama. In certain ways, this project calls to mind On Exactitude In Science, Borges's short story in which a map is so elaborate that it is as large as the world itself.
"A 3D printed map has so much more informative than a piece of paper, a flat map or a computer screen," said the managing director of MCS. "It's really captured people's imaginations and is an incredible sales tool for us, demonstrating our capabilities in a novel way." Of course, only so much information is detailed in this 3D-printed model, but if we could somehow fold this map up, it would make a mighty guide to the Middle Eastern nation. We'd have no excuse to get lost during a visit.
See some photos of the model below and for more information on the project visit Micro CADD Services' website.