Converting 3D model ( STL ) to a laserable raster map

Does anyone have any suggestions on how to do this?

Essentially, taking a 3D STL file of say…a topographical map, and convert it to a raster so I can lasercut it using greyscale cutting option of Glowforge?

You’ll need to convert the STL into a depth map.

This tutorial post recommends MeshLab for the task.


Also, if you had some 3D software, you could paint it with a grayscale height map and render a top-down view to directly output a raster image.

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Meshlab should definitely work for this task. I had some quirks with it on Mac when I first tried it, but the last time (a month or two ago) it worked fine, so I assume there was a bug fix, or I was just doing something stupid with it the first time.

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Worked like a charm. MANY THANKS!