Why Every Architect Should Be Using 3D Printed Models

January 2, 2017

"What is this? A school for ants?" In the 2000 movie, Derek Zoolander didn't quite understand the purpose of a model before ground was broken on his new school. 3D printing architectural models can let you see how a building or home will render before construction starts. It brings life to a sketch that a blueprint alone cannot. 

Bring your designs to life

Most lay people cannot read a blueprint the same way an architect can. This often makes it difficult for clients to visualize a design. Creating a model gives clients something tangible to examine and ensure everyone involved in the project is on the same page.

Easier than old scale models

Gone are the days of meticulously creating a scale model by hand. 3D printing is rapid by nature. Once the design is rendered as a Computer Aided Design (CAD) file, the model will print. There are specific design rules to follow to ensure a faithful rendering and easy print. Creating a model will be cheaper and faster than ever before to deliver a better product to clients.

Use lighter, more durable materials

Most architectural models are made out of nylon-based polyamides. These plastics are economical materials. They are notably lightweight, replacing the days of hefty, cumbersome models. Nylon 12 materials are tougher than most other materials. It is the same material we use for functional drone parts. So the model can be transported easily without any worries.

Customize everything

Most models are printed in white or black. However, it is common to paint each model in post-production. This can highlight details, rooms and features you want the client to notice.

Redesign with ease and pleasure

Making a new model after making changes with a client used to be an inconvenient and large task. Because the design is saved in a computer program, changes only need to be made to the CAD file instead of drawing up a new sketch from scratch.

A note on the details

Architectural models can provide a wonderful example of how the layout and structural style will appear off the page. However, fine details such as window panes and door knobs are unlikely to print. These details do not inhibit the function of the model but it is an important note to keep in mind.

If you have an architectural design you would like to print, call NW Rapid Manufacturing for a consultation. Our expert engineers will work with you on your design to make sure your model is printed with accuracy.

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