Geographic Buildings

Portfolio Categories: Age group 13+.

To explore geographic mapping of objects

Subject: Geography

Aim: For geography projects 3D printing can be used to produce physical objects in the form of models to illustrated geological structures, three dimensional mapping or cultural objects such as building for a better understanding of subject areas.

Outcome: To understand places and cultures of the word through their buildings Problem solving/Outline – This project is based around Google Earth – not Google Maps, where in the Earth version 3D models of buildings have been uploaded to the application. When viewing Google Earth make sure 3D Buildings has been switched on. Zoom in on a selected region to near street level and see if any buildings exist as 3D models. If so they can be downloaded as a .kmz file that can be opened in the SketchUp software.

Age group: 13 years upwards

Estimated time (hours (60 minute hours): 2 hours

Resources: GoogleEarth, SketchUP software, 3D printer.

1 Open SketchUp
• Probably best to use the Architectural Design Template in millimetres
• Clear the screen, delete any elements like the figure
2. Now setup the modelling space with photo views of Leiston Abby Barn to work from
• You need to be able to control Views so if there is not a toolbar showing little houses (the Views buttons), right click in the top toolbar and tick Views that is found near the bottom of the dropdown. Getting Started is the only other useful toolbar to have ticked at the moment
• Click on Top view (second view button)
• You want to open a background image – go File (top left), go down to Import, click. In the resulting window find ‘File of type’ and click the drop down button and select JPEG image. Now find the image called ‘BarnPlan’. (To do this left click on the first image below and then right click and save the image somewhere you can find for the step before)  Select and open. It takes a little time to open in the modelling window. Then stretch the image from the lower left to upper right. The image can be moved with the Move tool   (Key M) and scaled with the Scale tool   (Key S)
• Now click on Front view (third view button in upper tool bar).
• Now open a front image – as before go File, Import, select BarnFront, Open, wait a bit and then stretch across the image. (Download this image that is the second below as for the ‘BarnPlan’)
• Adjust the two images with Move tool   and scaled with the Scale tool  until the same size 3. Now you want to model the Leiston Abby Barn using the proportions and details from the photographs
• First with the rectangle shape   (Key R) draw a rectangle over foundation of BarnPlan photo
• Next pull up the rectangle into a long box with the Push/Pull Tool   (Key P). Pull up to the top of the barn wall.
• Now divide the two end wall in half horizontally with the Line Tool   (Key L)
• With the Select Tool   (Key Spacebar) select the top end edge of one end and with the Move Tool   make the slop of the end roof. Do the same at the other end.
• With the Push/Pull Tool   pull up the central roof space to the height of the roof in the BarnFront photo
• Now you must draw in some lines where the wall meets the roof so the roof can bend. With the Line Tool   make a line on the front wall from the top angle on the side sloping roof to the same place on the other side. Now do the same on the back wall.
• Select the front top edge of the main roof to make it blue and then with the Move Tool move half way across to make the roof pitch. Do the same with the back top roof edge
• You should now have a basic barn.
• With the skills you have learnt continue to add more detail to your model 4. Save your project as a SketchUp file (.skp) and export a copy file for printing
• Go File (top left) and click, go down to Save As and save as with any other program. This is now saved as a SketchUp file that the 3D printer cannot read.
• To capture your model for 3D printing first select the whole model with a box select. (model should all go blue). Now go File, down to Export and across to 3D Model. Save as an .obj file. This file will need to be converted to a .stl file for the printer software. You can install a Stl Export  add on into SketchUp and save as a .stl file ready for printing.

Keywords/tags:  3D Printing, Geography, SketchUp

Notes on Navigation:

  • Left mouse press is for box select
  • Middle mouse press and hold is for Orbit
  • Middle mouse press and hold with key shift pressed result in sideways/up down sift Key Shortcuts
  • Spacebar = Select Tool
  • Key L = Line Tool
  • Key R = Rectangle Draw Tool
  • Key P = Push/Pull Tool
  • Key M = Move Tool

BarnPlan BarnFront