AGU2013- IN41B-1606

An open source workflow for 3D printouts of
scientific data volumes
Peter Loewe¹, Jens F Klump², Jens...
Paraview

Petrel

GRASS 7

Geo
Data

Pre-press

3D
Printing
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An open source workflow for 3D printouts of scientific data volumes

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As the amount of scientific data continues to grow, researchers need new tools to help them visualize complex data. Immersive data-visualisations are helpful, yet fail to provide tactile feedback and sensory feedback on spatial orientation, as provided from tangible objects. The gap in sensory feedback from virtual objects leads to the development of tangible representations of geospatial information to solve real world problems. Examples are animated globes [1], interactive environments like tangible GIS [2], and on demand 3D prints.

The production of a tangible representation of a scientific data set is one step in a line of scientific thinking, leading from the physical world into scientific reasoning and back: The process starts with a physical observation, or from a data stream generated by an environmental sensor. This data stream is turned into a geo-referenced data set. This data is turned into a volume representation which is converted into command sequences for the printing device, leading to the creation of a 3D printout. As a last, but crucial step, this new object has to be documented and linked to the associated metadata, and curated in long term repositories to preserve its scientific meaning and context.

The workflow to produce tangible 3D data-prints from science data at the German Research Centre for Geosciences (GFZ) was implemented as a software based on the Free and Open Source Geoinformatics tools GRASS GIS and Paraview.

The workflow was successfully validated in various application scenarios at GFZ using a RapMan printer to create 3D specimens of elevation models, geological underground models, ice penetrating radar soundings for planetology, and space time stacks for Tsunami model quality assessment.

While these first pilot applications have demonstrated the feasibility of the overall approach [3], current research focuses on the provision of the workflow as Software as a Service (SAAS), thematic generalisation of information content and long term curation.

[1] http://www.arcscience.com/systemDetails/omniTechnology.html
[2] http://video.esri.com/watch/53/landscape-design-with-tangible-gis
[3] Löwe et al. (2013), Geophysical Research Abstracts, Vol. 15, EGU2013-1544-1.

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An open source workflow for 3D printouts of scientific data volumes

  1. 1. AGU2013- IN41B-1606 An open source workflow for 3D printouts of scientific data volumes Peter Loewe¹, Jens F Klump², Jens Wickert², Marcel Ludwig², Alessandro Frigeri³ 1. German National Library for Science and Technology, Hannover, Germany. 2. GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences, Potsdam, Germany. 3. Istituto di Fisica dello Spazio Interplanetario - INAF, Rome, Italy. Contact: peter.loewe@tib.uni-hannover.de Challenge: As the amount of scientific data continues to grow, researchers need new tools to help them visualize complex data. Immersive data-visualisations are helpful, yet fail to provide tactile feedback and sensory feedback on spatial orientation, as provided from tangible objects. The gap in sensory feedback from virtual objects leads to the development of tangible representations of geospatial information for science interpretation of real world problems. Examples are animated globes [1], interactive environments like tangible GIS [2], and on demand 3D prints. Target group Paraview Scientist Scientific Data Technical Printing Process Interpretation GRASS 7 3D Print Metadata Management Figure C: Complex faults can be used as cutlines to split geologic bodies in a 3D print. Data: GFZ Potsdam Visualisation: Paraview Petrel Figure A: The core aspects of scientific 3D prints: The primary use for interpretation of science is enabled by the 3D print specimen, produced from technical printing process including data reduction and generalisation. In addition, metadata preservation must be ensured to preserve the scientific content. Geo Data Pre-press 3D Printing Figure B: Overview of the 3D printing workflow: Geologic models (created in Petrel) and other geodata sources are processed in GRASS GIS to create prepress data sets for the actual 3D printing process. Paraview is used both for visualisation and data filtering. Approach: The production of a tangible representation of a scientific data set is one step in a line of scientific thinking, leading from the physical world into scientific reasoning and back (Figure A): The process starts with data from an environmental sensor or a simulation result, which is turned into a geo-referenced data set. This data is converted into a volume representation which is transformed in to a suitable pre-press format for the printing device, leading to the creation of a 3D printout. As a last, but crucial step, this new object has to be documented and linked to the associated metadata, and curated in long term repositories to preserve its scientific meaning and contex. Figure G: 3D printed stack of the underlying geology of the eastern german basin. The 3D prints depict permocarbon volcanics (red), Rotliegend sandstones (brown), permian Zechstein (blue), triassic Buntsandstein (purple), upper cretacious (green), and quaternary deposits (yellow). Figure D: 3D print (top) of a Space-Time stack modelling of a simulation of the Tohoku 2011 Tsunami (bottom). Simulation by A. Babeyko, GFZ Potsdam, 2011. www.gfz-potsdam.de Results: The software workflow to produce tangible 3D data-prints from science data at the German Research Centre for Geosciences (GFZ) was implemented based on the Free and Open Source Geoinformatics tools GRASS GIS and Paraview. The workflow was successfully validated in various application scenarios at GFZ using a RapMan 2.0 printer to create 3D printouts of various scientific data sets (Figure B). These comprise elevation models (Figure E), geological underground models (Figures C and G), ice penetrating radar soundings (Figure F), and space time stacks for Tsunami model quality assessment (Figure D). While these first pilot applications have demonstrated the feasibility of the overall approach [3], current development focuses on software modularisation (GRASS add-on modules) and the provision of the workflow as Software as a Service (SAAS). In addition, best practices for thematic generalisation of information content and long term curation are being defined. Figure E: 3D print of the digital elevation model of martian volcanoe Olympus Mons. Data Source: HRSC-Sensor, Express Orbiter Misson (provided by INAF). Figure F: 3D print of the volume body of the north polar cap of Mars. Data Source: Ground pentrating radar from the SHARAD and MARSIS sensors [Frigeri 2012]. [1] http://www.arcscience.com/systemDetails /omniTechnology.html [2] http://video.esri.com/watch/53/landscape -design-with-tangible-gis [3] Löwe et al. (2013), Geophysical Research Abstracts, Vol. 15, EGU20131544-1.
  2. 2. Paraview Petrel GRASS 7 Geo Data Pre-press 3D Printing

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