There are many reasons why 3D printing for architects is growing in popularity though the opportunity to design and modify concept models quickly is a big plus.
Also, 3D printing makes the process of developing a concept model easier and quicker and this can be done at a fraction of the cost of traditional models.
It’s also easier for architects to test their ideas with clients by offering real-life models of their concepts to remove any ambiguity.
Previously, model makers may have struggled with creating a stadium, for instance, but those tricky corners aren’t such a problem for a 3D printer.
The other big attraction for architects to consider is the ability to recreate textures, colours and finishes for their models as well as complex geometry and shapes.
The ability for 3D printing systems to create concept models from the early stages of a project make them a very attractive proposition; there’s no need to wait for client feedback and discussions can begin from day one.
For those architects involved with urban planning, a 3D printer can create an entire city and the firm’s thoughts and concepts can be reviewed and developed easily.
Architectural firms around the world have ambitious plans for using 3D printers and one firm in Amsterdam, DUS Architects, has revealed it will build a house on-site by using a purpose-built 3D printer, the KamerMaker.
This printer will create the facade of the house first and they will then create the rooms separately.
A spokesman for the firm said: “In the coming months and years we will then print the other rooms.”
The architectural firm’s 3D printer is 3.5 metres high and is housed in a shipping container with each component for the building being printed and tested on a scale of 1:20 before being created on a 1:1 scale.
The idea is that once the first part of the home is finished, it will be then used as a base for the architects to design and print the property’s additional rooms.
It is this opportunity for rapid prototyping that is underpinning the growing popularity of 3D printing since the ability to create intricate scale models for architectural projects is of huge benefit.
Also, the ability for testing models in a scale representation of its surroundings means an architect’s designs can be considered within context.
Essentially, architecture is about creative people realising beautiful visions and designs that combine function and form to deliver something that’s new and impressive.
There’s no doubt that 3D printing will enable architects to create quickly tangible models to deliver a bigger impact than having computer visualisations for clients to look at on a screen.
With a 3D printer, all of the hard work has been done so architects are not spending time creating models and their efforts and experience can be put to better use.