How is 3D printing used in Architecture?
Showcasing a high rise apartment, commercial building, or sculpture at a small scale in a boardroom environment can be a challenge. 3D printing allows you to quickly and cost effectivley produce scale models right in your office.
Early stage planning
Gathering feedback is critical throughout all stages of design. This is even more important when talking of the large scale involved in many architectural projects. 3D printing allows architects to produce scale models to present to clients throughout all stages of the design life cycle.
Inevitably, changes to design will need to be made. 3D printing allows you to produce many variations of a design in a short period of time. Not only does this allow for time savings, but also in terms of cost.
A desktop 3D printer allows you to create an entire city in just a matter of hours. Incorporating all of your visionary thoughts, down to the last detail, brings your concepts to life in a whole new way.
Seeing from all angles
The team from Bercey Chen Studio based on Austin, Texas started working with 3D printing in 2015. Their focus is primarily on commercial projects and and around Austin in the areas of architecture and construction. They use 3D printing to help with presenting designs to clients to showcase full-scale buildings and wall section models.
Though they originally purchased a 3D printer to produce designs that would help a client better understand their drawings, the machine remains an essential tool for their processes today. They’re able to mail models directly, show them off in video meetings, or present models in person—effectively clearing up design questions with tangible examples. Daniel Arellano joined the team over seven years ago and now acts as a Senior Project Manager who oversees design projects with the firm.
"Our clients are always giving us great feedback about how much the model helped them understand the project."
Everyone involved enjoys the 3D printed samples, with some clients even requesting to keep their models; though the Bercy Chen team prefers to hold onto them as favorable examples of past projects.
The models do more than simply provide tangible build site plans. These 3D prints show clients how key architectural features can bring the entire design to life. “They fall in love with the design faster,” Daniel says. “It's almost like a reaffirmation that this can be a real project. It can be built and it can be their home or development.”
"It's such a great tool for Architects. There is something intangible about holding a design and working on it through model iteration."
Desktop 3D printers allow architects to create plans and concept models of any scale to realize them in 3D. This drastically increases client buy-in and makes it far easier to communicate your ideas and your vision for a project.