Creating raised 3D maps issues

So have a bit of a project going and I ran not into a snag but a full on brick wall.

My first map of the town I grew up in came out great no real water features small town.
I attached a photo it’s unfinished but you get the concept.

We plan on having a wall at the house with each city we have lived in (quite a few) and have like a road connecting them mine starts then sort of y’s together where me and my wife met and then continues.

All wonderful thus far.


Until I started on my current town. Cape Coral Florida if you look on a map we have a lot of canals it’s basically what the city is so leaving water out is a non starter.

So what I thought I’d do is print one board with streets and canals both engraved then print another where the streets are cutouts.

My issues are alignment is becoming a bit more difficult than I dreamed.

There has GOT to be an easier way of doing this am using snazzy maps then snipping out the map taking that to silhouette and tracing out found that program easier than Inkscape for that function at least for me. But I’m using 3 images from snazzy one with just water one with just streets and one with both for alignment.

Anyway that’s where I came up with the issue I had earlier of the masking error I was helped with.

Can’t really say I’m having a problem just seems there has to be an easier way.

Thanks for reading this far even if you don’t have a solution.



Have you considered using the existing data for other than cuts? For example, on the base layer, scoring the street data which will effectively create a placement guide for that layer going on top?


That’s what I’d use too. I’d add a separate layer to the engraving water file that was just the outermost roads of the cut layer, and then I’d score it to create a gluing template for the cut layer. (Wow, that was kinda convoluted to say lol.) Or, if you don’t mind the extra engraving time and you want a more full-proof method, you could engrave the outer road layer so the cut layer sets into the engraved channels just a bit.

And your idea sounds wonderful! I hope you share it when you’re all done.


Yah that’s what I’ve done is I’m engraving everything roads and canals and then cutting out just roads it’s just the alignment that’s giving me nightmares so far the snazzy map print image function I’ll be honest I couldn’t get a reliable result so have been using the snipit tool on windows worked a lot better.

Are you using the placement tool for help with your alignment?

1 Like

No I am not since I don’t know hat that is.

When you have a design open in the interface, click one of the elements and then the little ruler icon. You will notice that the flyout includes the coordinates of where on the bed the design is located as well as whether or not the coordinates relate to the center, upper left, lower right, etc. position. It is very useful.


Well this map is a wash. Simply to may elements in my current city I live. The city is covered in canals over 400 miles of canals it’s what we are known for more canals than any city in the world everyone has a boat so leaving the cans out just doesn’t seem right but since every road has a canal on both sides of it it’s simply to busy. Can’t leave the small roads out or the canals look odd can’t leave the canals out or it isn’t our town.

So we decided this one is just going to be an etch all the rest of them are coming out fine though with only one or two rivers and a bay or something but half the city is water half is land just to much to cut out. I just started with way to hard of a project is all.

I’ll snap a picture or two when I’m all the way done will be awhile though have quite a few cities to do.


I do raised cuts all the time. Its relatively easy but can get tedious. I did a tutorial a while back on how to do it. While it is not a map, the principle is the same. Feel free to reach out if you have questions.

1 Like

I’ve been looking at snazzy maps. How do you get the separate layers to export ‘separately’?

So there’s the catch. You can’t really. At least not directly.

What I did was download the map I want with the settings I want. Then without resizing or moving anything take another grab with water off roads on then another with roads off water on.

Then I have my 3 layers turn just roads on and cut turn just water on etch. Use the both combined one to align everything.

Like I said before worked fine till I got to my current town which just has to much water so no way to cut out roads to raise them. But it’s worked great on every other city I’ve tried.

QGIS might be of interest to you. It has a learning curve, but it’s very, very flexible and can output vector data. Almost every map feature can be modified in some way. Great labeling that can be modified, and the list goes on.


That’s pretty cool he’s to fast in the video for me to garner any useful info but it’s a lot more powerful than snazzy maps I can see that. I’ll have to mess around with it this week. Have to many things I’m messing around with right now can’t keep up with all of what I’m doing hehe.

I’ve seen some people do some pretty cool 3D city skylines as well gonna mess with that but that’s gotta come from pictures I guess and don’t have any cities in mind just thought it was neat. My home town city would be like one 2 store building and a microwave tower lol.

Thanks for the info.

He does move fast. I just used pause a lot to follow along.

Omg your a lifesaver. Had to redo a couple of my maps for the 4000th time so that my rivers and road engrave map was the identical in size and setup to my roads only map but the end result was fantastic using the little ruler

Anyway due to that fish eye lense I never would have gotten them aligned perfectly without using the coordinates and size numbers. Thanks.


This topic was automatically closed 32 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.