ARCHITECTURE SCALE MODELS
An architectural model is a type of scale model - a physical representation of a structure - built to study aspects of an architectural design or to communicate design ideas.
Applications of 3D printing in architectureThere are two main applications of 3D printing for architecture:
- 3D printers to create low-cost architectural models used as study models during the creation process.
- 3D printers to build realistic and detailed architectural models, often used to promote a project by showcasing the final result in 3D, in a visually striking way.
What are the benefits of 3D printing in architecture?Tangible scale models are paramount to many architectural projects, as a complement to computer simulations and virtual 3D models. Using additive manufacturing, it is quite easy to build cost-effective architectural models with a 3D printer. Here are some benefits of 3D printing in architecture:
- Building cost-effective architectural models: 3D printing enables architects and designers to create low-cost 3D architectural models with a high level of precision. It is for example possible to 3D print several models for different versions of a project. Having tangible 3D printed architectural models to present to clients can help them visualize the project at different phases of completion.
- Saving time by 3D printing scale models: instead of building by hand scale 3D models, you can 3D print them and work on something else while the 3D printer does all the work. Many architecture firms have 3D printers running 24/7 to efficiently produce 3D printed versions of their projects.
- Easily updating architectural 3D models: if you have a new idea or if your client changes their minds, you can modify the 3D model and reprint it quite easily. 3D printing is a great tool for iterative design, which can apply in architecture.
- 3D printing accurate and vivid architectural models: you can 3D print architectural models with a high level of details and choose among a wide range of materials and finishes, depending of course on the 3D printer used. That said, 3D printed architectural models require post-processing before they are ready, from basic support removal and cleaning to more advanced finishing operations such as painting and coloring.
What are the benefits of 3D printing in architecture?To make 3D architectural models, you can choose among a wide range of materials:
- ABS: the most popular material for the creation of architectural 3D models. ABS filaments are very commun and are affordable. Most of the 3D printers used in the architecture industry are using ABS.
- Polyamide (nylon plastic): ): the 3D models are made from a granular powder and the final surface has a sandy, granular look, and is slightly porous.
- Prime Gray: also known as Gray Resin can be used to 3D print precise scale 3D models, it has a very smooth final touch. However the freedom of design is limited because of the structure necessary to support the 3D models during the 3D printing process. The colors can be painted on the 3D print.
- Multicolor: the models are constructed from a granular powder and the final surface has a sandy, granular look. It is perfect if you don’t want to paint your 3D model.
- Transparent Resin: the models are fabricated from a hardened liquid resin. With it, you can 3D print parts of your final 3D model such as windows.