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Planet Mars 3D Printed On A DaVinci V1

How the 100mm diameter spherical STL file was created is explained here, this page is about what happened when I printed it on an XYZPrinting DaVinci 1.

The first time I tried to send the file to the printer using 0.2mm high layers the software complained with a "slicing error". I've seen this before and think it is something to do with having too many triangles in the STL file and too low a layer height. That combination causes the program to complain. That is just a hunch. (It has happened before with a 120mm high lithophane which I was trying to print at 0.1mm.)

So I tried again at 0.3mm, knowing that the resolution would not be great. This time XYZWare gave no slicing error message and transmitted the whole file to the printer with no problems. The print of planet Mars lasted about 5 hours.

I had printed it upside down, so that the rim of the hole would give a bit more stability. From a distance, inside the lit box, it looked quite nice:

I could immediately see the tallest mountain on Mars, Olympus Mons. But when I looked closer I saw that it's upper surface (South Pole) had a few holes:

And when I took it out I could see that the whole sphere had a definite wobble to it:

The print had not started well, remember I started with the hole at the bottom hoping to give it more stability. But this was a first attempt. In the future, if I print any more planets or moons I will print in two halves, so that the whole of the equator rests on the print bed.

Still, I can identify several Martian features from my print:

How the STL file was actually created is explained here.

PS: Printing the Earth...

My 3D printer struggled a bit to get the Martian sphere spherical, and maybe that it because it had a very small base. So when I decided to do a similar larger print of the Earth's elevations I split the job into two parts, the Northern hemisphere and the Southern Hemisphere (shown below)

3d printing globe of the Earth

Then when I came to actually print the file I make both objects equator rest on the print bed of the printer, thus giving a more solid base. Here is the printed Northern hemisphere:

3D printable globe

You can try the demo PhotoToMesh free and gratis, download the program by clicking on the button below:


"I imported the STL's from PhotoToMesh into my CAM package (Cimatron E) and machined the STL directly."
I was searching for topo terrain conversion plugins. My detailed contour maps just crash Rhino and a few other 3d modeling programs. PhotoToMesh solved the problem. Thanks! - Scott


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