3D Carving STL

I want to make a carving of Perdido Bay in Pensacola, FL. I live near there and my family has always been around there. Wanting to make a carving with all the depth changes and what not and then fill it with epoxy as a gift for my Cousin. But i have no idea where to start to find an STL file for this. I have googled and came up empty. I found a “generator” for it but its just flat top of water with no depth change at all. Any one have any experience with this and can point me in the right direction? Thanks!!!

What you are looking for is a topographical height map for specific GPS coordinates. I’d try the National Geologic Survey site, maybe even the local to there online mapping tool, sometimes available at the County website. Don’t know if you can download as STL, might be some other format, but there are online converters, maybe

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This is an interesting question, so I did a bit of searching. I got the best results with the term “Bathymetric maps.” In the short time I looked, I never found a clear path to what you are seeking. The best I found was this Instructable, and I think the Instructable is dated since its descriptions did not match what I found at the links.

All the examples (image search) of “carved” Bathmetric maps were course/layered like this. I found rough contour lines on Topo maps of the area plus charts of the bay had reasonable amount of soundings. If you have a some skill with a vector drawing program, you could use these two sources to hand draw contour lines of the bay that could be used by either a router or a laser cutter to cut layers of wood that can be stacked to produce a layered view of the bay, or be used for extrusions to produce a single 3D model that can be carved.


Touchterrain spits out a STL from a map.


I’ve had this on my list for some time now but haven’t been able to attempt it yet. Here are a few additional links that might be helpful.



NOAA’s Bluetopo

Good luck and keep us posted on your progress.


@stevempotter has done some awesome carvings on terrain, including water:


Thanks Jeffeb3!

I am just about to release an Instructable tutorial on terrain carving using TouchTerrain, which I love.

I had planned to make a video to go with it, but it might be helpful to get construcive criticism from this forum before I finalise that.

Keep an eye out for a new Topic on this soon…


I will be on the look out for the instructable. I can find marine charts for the bay with the water depth changes but im completely lost on how to get that into an STL. I actually have a few i would like to do of these so learning how would be amazing.