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Published on 10/21/2016
A 3D printed object makes your design tangible. So a detailed scale model of the final project can be a valuable way of communicating your design idea to colleagues or – more importantly – your clients. A 3D printed architectural model takes out the guesswork and theoretical nature of technical drawings and sketches. Perfect for pitching an idea that stands out from the rest.
With a 3D printer you can make your design come to life while saving yourself the hours of work that creep into creating a scale model. Once you place an order for a 3D print, you can continue working on other important tasks – the 3D printer will do the job autonomously. 3D printing is especially useful if your design is made of complicated design elements (such as double-curved surfaces or complex facades). If you use an online 3D printing service like i.materialise you won’t even have to worry about cleaning and post-processing your 3D print.
Another amazing time saver: after applying essential 3D printing design rules, you can even print existing 3D models created in programs like SketchUp. There is no need to create your 3D printable file from scratch.
Time is money. So saving hours of work ultimately means saving expenses.
Gone are the days where 3D prints looked pixelated and rough. Professional 3D printers now print architectural models with a great level of detail and pretty smooth surfaces. Additionally, you can choose from a wide range of materials. Polyamide (nylon plastic) tends to be the most popular material amongst architects. Scale modelers often go with Prime Gray. If you need colorful elements and do not want to paint your Polyamide or Prime Gray model by hand, Multicolor is your best bet. And you can even add transparent elements (Transparent Resin) or metal parts (Steel,Brass, etc.) to your model.
3D printing allows you to be more flexible with your models. If the client requests a change, you can simply edit the file, share it with colleagues and re-print the object. If you need a second scale model you can simply print it again. That’s the beauty of 3D modeling and 3D printing – you are always in full control.