(Science Network Western Australia) — Australia’s Department of Agriculture and Food research officer Nick Wright combined his hobby of 3D printing with his work in the department to produce a plastic model representing the land surface and underground water systems across 3.5 million hectares of the La Grange groundwater allocation area, south of Broome, Australia. Wright said the model helps people better understand the department’s research. “Straight away they could see what we’re dealing with, as the model provided a nice, visual way to explain the irrigation opportunities and constraints of the area,” he said.
The model transforms masses of complex data into a hand-held representation to enable pastoralists and traditional owners to better understand the makeup of the region’s land surface and underground water. The 3D model shows the relationship between surface topography and the underground freshwater aquifer, saltwater and siltstone (rock consisting of consolidated silt).Tags: 3D printing, aquifer, Department of Agriculture and Food, Nick Wright