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Customers Include...



Our models are accurately cut with CNC machining.  Horizontol scale, vertical exaggeration, irregular border shape, recessed holes, data rotation, data and tool resolution are custom parameters considered for each model. Our laser marking capability allows high resolution black and white image marking on the surface of

3D models.


Stepped vs Smooth

Stepped models are made with a flat bottom tool and a stepped contour interval. Stepped contours give a visual metric in the model showing drainage characteristics. CAD file land survey data is given in contour steps.


Smooth models are made with a round tool. Using a round tool and reducing the step size gives a smooth visual appearance.




The largest single section base model size is 48" x 96" x 8".

Models can made in horizontal and vertical sections to give unlimited size.

The largest single section laser marked model size is 48" x 96" x 7.75".



We make models in the tool diameter range of .5" to .005". 



Standard material is polyurethane foam. Foam density, from 4 to 70 pounds, is chosen based on cost, weight and resolution and touchability. Plastic is used for higher resolution, touchable models. Models have also been made using aluminum, wood and styrofoam.



Model shape can be specified by CAD or lidar data in DWG, DXF, STL, LAS, BIL and other standard formats.  Public data can be used such as the USGS National Elevation Data, BODC bathymetric data, MOLA and NASA data. Many states have high resolution lidar digital elevation model data bases useful for accurate, detailed larger scale models. Models can also be made from drone digital elevation models (DEM's) and high resolution images. Shape data is typically generated at 100 data points per inch. Models up to 1000 data points per inch resolution have been made. 



The laser marked image may be from CAD, aerial orthoimagery or other photo 

source in JPG, TIFF, and PNG, etc., format. The image is marked at 300 or 500 dots per inch. Color images are converted to gray scale and dithered for laser marking. The image is registered to the upper left corner of the shape. Image and shape must have the same projection. An image may also be marked on a flat surface.





About Us

Clinton Systems was started in 1992 by Donn Arrell.

Donn designed and built several 3, 4 and 5 axis milling machines, programming them to cut geometric shapes and topography.  He also built a laser marking system for marking images on the 3D shapes.


Donn Arrell

BA Mathematics, Physics, UNC, Greeley, CO

MS Computer Systems Management, USNPGS, Monterey, CA

MSEE Eletrical and Computer Engineering, UCD, Denver, CO

AKC Champion "Ziva"


Please contact John Howe at 303 548 4779 for using our technology to solve your project needs.

Block of Foam 

After Cutting and Coating

After Laser Marking

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