Friday, April 30, 2021

What's new in TouchTerrain version 3.3?

  • Help "bubbles": When you mouse-over or click on a question mark icon, a help text (popover) will appear. If you clicked on the question mark, the popover will remain visible until you click on it again.

  • 3D printer option settings for CNC users: This is mean to help the around 15% of TouchTerrain users who create terrain models using CNC machines. There's no direct equivalent to physical print size or nozzle nozzle, diameter,  so for CNC users, I've added three presets: small, medium, large size, which is related to the final, physical size of the piece of wood; and low, medium and high detail, which is related how much detail your carve can potentially contain.
  • Medium offers a reasonable compromise of level of detail and the size of the STL. If you want a smaller STL and can deal with less detail, set this to low detail. If you are sure that you need more detail, select high, which will create larger STL files and take longer to process. Preview can help to decide on the best level of detail but, as many factors influence the final outcome, you'll have to experiment with different settings in your CNC software and see which work best
  • For CNC users, the rest of the 3D printer settings can be left at their default level. Be aware that using a >1x z-scale can help to make low-relief terrain more interesting. However, this can also be done later in your CNC software.

  • Auto-height values for z-scaling: Many users who leave the z-scale value at the default 1x may be missing out 3D terrain prints that are more visually appealing, especially in low-relief areas. It good practice to set a z-scale that end up creating a 3D print with at least 50 layers, as less layers will not be able to image small terrain details, such as meandering river beds. 
  • However, it can be a pain to determine the "best" z-scale, which in TouchTerrain can really only be done through trial and error using the Preview, (It is much easier to increase the z-scale in the slicer software until it looks interesting!). I've added a few presets for the desired height of the model (i.e. the physical distance from the lowest elevation to the highest) in either mm or inches. 
  • A height of 20 mm is good starting value. Preview the model and change the height as desired. The actually used z-scale will be given in the log file.

  • kmz files for polygons: You can now use kmz and kml files to provide polygons to define your print area's boundary


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