Laser-Cut Bathymetric Charts

Craft & Design Workshop
Laser-Cut Bathymetric Charts


Below the Boat (AKA Kara and Robbie Johnson) lasers bathymetric charts, the underwater equivalent to topographical maps, out of birch. Water is shown colored blue for easy reference.

(T)he contours are laser-cut into sheets of Baltic birch and glued together to create a powerful visual depth. Select layers are hand-colored blue so it’s easy to discern land from water, major byways are etched into the land, the whole thing’s framed in a custom, solid-wood frame and protected seamlessly with a sheet of durable, ultra-transparent Plexiglas.

[via core77]

10 thoughts on “Laser-Cut Bathymetric Charts

  1. WidgetNinja says:

    This is just an advertisement. There is no content as to how this was achieved.

  2. Kai says:

    How beautiful, I love how maps can become more than just data presentations, they can take on new meaning when constructed with care like these.

  3. Alan Dove says:

    Sorry my comments on the Make blog have been mostly critical of late, but it seems there’s more and more to criticize. This “story,” for example. Not only is there no actual Make-worthy explanation of how the item was created, as WidgetNinja points out, but even the two sentences of original content in this post manage to cram in some major errors. If you click through to the site selling these maps, then click the “About” tab where the quoted text came from, you quickly learn that the Johnsons don’t actually make or design this product at all. They just sell it. A separate business in Michigan does the design work, and a “small, family-owned shop overseas” (I’m guessing China) actually manufactures the product.

    Does anything made using a laser cutter now qualify for an automatic plug on the Make blog?

    1. Thomas Bruzan says:

      “Does anything made using a laser cutter now qualify for an automatic plug on the Make blog?” You bet. Don’t ya know making is all about buying a laser cutter or one of those 3d computer controlled glue guns.?

  4. 0xfred says:

    I’ve got to agree with the posts above. There’s nothing about making these. I’m thinking about buying a laser and looking for some justification – I thought maybe I could make one of these for my father-in-law who’s a keen sailor.

    Maybe you could post about “making” an iPhone next? You know – ‘cos someone somewhere in a Chinese factory made one and you could buy it.

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My interests include writing, electronics, RPGs, scifi, hackers & hackerspaces, 3D printing, building sets & toys. @johnbaichtal

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