When I first met Gregor Lütolf at the 3d workshop in Triest I started pestering him to explain me how he generated his detailed 3d maps that he then printed on his Ultimaker. For various reason I have worked with cartographers a great deal and being able to print out in 3d the chosen area is absolutely fascinating (and will be a great gift for many friends!)
So I pestered poor Gregor and took notes, than I compared them, changed them, had an awful period trying to understand WHY I wasn’t able to replicate some steps before understanding that the last software used (windows only) worked strangely when emulated with Virtual box. Finally we managed to document everything, and here is our italian-swiss gift to you, a detailed step by step tutorial on how to generate 3d maps staring from free satellite data available on the web.
The software used are all free with the exception of AccuTrans 3D for which you can download a trial version (30 days) and then buy the license for 20$.
Let us know what art of the world you will print out!!