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This colorful 3D topographic model shows the relief of Mt. Rainier, a beautiful volcano in Washington State. I built this model as both an art piece and an educational tool. Here’s your chance to hold a mountain in your hands!
This model is a colorful, abstract representation of an inspiring natural landmark. My childhood home had a great view of Mt. Rainier (when it wasn’t raining). I spent hours imagining climbing up and down its snow-covered slopes. I tried to distill a little of that wonder into this model which allows you to cradle the mountain in your hands and examine its ridges and peaks from all angles.
Each colorful layer of the model includes a variety of curves and angles to provide visual contrast and accurately represent the shape of the mountain. Even the flashy color scheme has a purpose and helps to distinguish between different elevations. A solid black base visually anchors the model and provides enough stability to be hung on a wall or passed around a classroom.
This topography model illustrates how contour lines are used to show terrain. For example, a top-down view of the model (second photo) shows how effectively 2D contour lines represent a 3D object. Each colored layer represents a specific elevation. By examining the space between the layers, you can determine how steep a slope is: the colors are very close together on the steep bottom slope of the mountain, but far apart on the surrounding flat plains.
Mt. Rainier is a fitting subject for this topography model, since it is the most topographically prominent mountain in the United States. I included a few features unique to Mt. Rainier, like the tiny volcanic crater on top (which in real life includes the highest lake in North America) and several ancient volcanic peaks which jut out from the sides of the mountain.
Let me know if you have any comments or questions! Thanks for your support!