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Making a globe (convex hull)

Question asked by Valentine Kunin on Sep 24, 2014
Latest reply on Sep 28, 2014 by Jamil Snead

I want to 3d print a globe with continents actually being a little bit extruded from globe's surface, so that you could actually feel them with your fingers. I can find coordinates of the continents' boundaries online; I am thinking about doing the following then:


0) Create a unit ball A (the globe itself)


For each continent:

1)Transform coordinates of its boundary from spherical coordinates (longitude, latitude, r=1) to x,y,z, getting a bunch of points on a surface of a unit ball

2)Create a convex hull of all those points and the origin, getting some kind of pyramid, with a vertex at the origin and with a base in a shape of, say, Australia:) 

3)Scale this pyramid about origin by a factor of, say, 2 (doesn't actually matter if it's large enough); let's call this new large pyramid B

4)Create a ball C of a radius slightly greater than 1 (say, 1.01), also centered at the origin

5)Take (A union B) intersect C


Australia is now extruded from the surface by 1% of the globe's radius. Repeat for the next continent:)


I'm a little new to Solidworks, maybe there's a better way to do this? If you think it's all right, how do I do 2)? I found no info on how to create a solid convex hull of a set of points.