Printing 3D models of buildings
Professions such as architects, landscape designers and other property experts used to rely on time-consuming, sometimes cumbersome techniques to create small-scale models of buildings. Now there is a more efficient option: the 3D printer. These devices can rapidly create accurate, fully-functional models of any almost any aspect of the built environment.
To get the best results, these simple steps should be followed.
 Consider the building qualities
Before beginning printing, it is important to think about the characteristics of the structure that will be replicated. In particular consideration should be given to:
- The required size of the model.
- Important external features.
- Visual details of the interior.
- Important colours and patterns.
It is only by recording as many of the significant details as possible, that the final 3D model will accurately represent the original vision.
- The dimensions will be more accurate.
- It is possible to make adjustments more easily.
- The image can be viewed from all angles.
There are printing specialists that can help with this if necessary. Being involved in this stage can make their own job easier in the long run.
 Find a suitable printing specialist
It is then necessary to find a locally-based agency specialising in 3D printing. These experts should have the following qualities and capabilities:
- A fully-equipped, modern workshop.
- Prototyping, engineering and design capabilities.
- An experienced, professional team.
- A keen eye for detail on all projects.
It is important to research which 3D printing specialists will be able to take on the project in a rapid, efficient and affordable way, producing an accurate scale model that properly replicates all the characteristics of the property.
 Choose an appropriate method
Lastly, it is necessary to work with the chosen 3D printing specialist to determine exactly how to create the model. While they will certainly use the 3D printers they have in their workshops, they may also suggest the following techniques for certain parts:
- Computer Numerical Control (CNC) machining.
- Hand crafting.
It is also important to think about how to finish the model. For example, what colours will be used, will it be necessary to sand or polish the model and so on.
--Blueprint4d 03:21, 16 December 2014 (UTC)
 Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki
- 3D concrete printer.
- 3D printed bridge.
- 3D printing
- Building information modelling.
- Computer aided design.
- Computer aided manufacturing.
- How can drones transform construction processes?
- Modular buildings.
- Off-site prefabrication of buildings: A guide to connection choices.
Featured articles and news
Find out about the different types of delays on construction projects.
Researchers at Wien university have developed new system to create an inflatable concrete structure.
ICE responds to the first consultation on the government's industrial strategy post-Brexit.
Take a look at this newly-opened tower in Chicago with a remarkable 20:1 height-to-base ratio.
An Arc de Triomphe for the late-20th century, the La Grande Arche of Paris.
Richard Hayward of Legrand asks whether technology could help developers meet the needs of an increasingly diverse population.
Thomas Heatherwick's ambitious steel structure begins construction.
The principles, practice and formwork of one of the most important components of modern architecture.
New report claims that inappropriate standards and regulations are holding back the use of composites.
The global smart homes and smart light commercial market will grow fastest in the UK.
Futurist Thomas Frey explores the concept of Disposable Housing - could it be a reality sooner than we imagine?