Shaper - Tools for the development of terrain park design.

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What if the technology we use today to transform digitally created products into physical forms could be applied to the development and construction of terrain parks? With snow as the material tools could be developed which allow the terrain park designer to shape and form the surface of obstacles and jumps before construction.

How could the terrain park designer adapt their process to use this new technology? In this project I explore how the users ideas can be expressed and quickly sketched in digital 3D models with focus on harnessing the park designers knowledge and skill, without the need to learn complicated 3D programs.

Inspiration and Method

The technology exists to turn the piste machine into a 3D milling tool which can carve out the terrain park design. The implementation of an accurate 3D modelling process would allow the park designer to apply mathematical models for safer speed calculation, more accurate measurement of resources such as snow volume and the ability to export the 3D data to mediums such as physical models or even games.

Observing the process of park designers I could gather information on what the user needs before making decisions on how to form the park, what kind of environmental constraints control the development and the limitations of the process today.

A large part of the project was focused on finding out out how the park designer could work in the form development stage. Exploring methods such as physical modelling, analogue sketch tools or interaction with a graphical interface.


Shaper is the combination of a physical device which can be held or worn by the park designer and a digital sketch interface.

The physical device is used by the park designer to collect and check points in a 3D space with centimeter accuracy. These points act as a sketch surface for the designer to work on.

The sketch interface allows the designer to develop the park in a 2D graphical environment. This 2D environment allows the user to easily express their ideas without having to master 3D modelling software. The exported models are then used by machine control systems to produce the final result.