Discover how 3D printing is immensely influencing the field of architecture, from concept models and custom design to interior design and 3D printed homes!
Benefits of 3D Printing Models for Architects
Architecture as we know it has been shaped by the countless cultures and civilizations that came before us. And that’s great because we can appreciate all the structures and styles that he applied to modern works, leaving behind his design and construction techniques.
It is important to understand the history of architecture, as it gives us the basis to build and innovate. New on stage, even 3D printing takes advantage of traditional methods and materials, bringing any idea to the physical world in an easy and cheap way. From concept models to home construction, 3D printing has a lot of useful applications for architects.
Here we list some of the most important innovations that 3D printing has made in the designing or manufacturing process within architecture. Some of them are still in an experimental phase, but they will have a huge impact in the near future.
Concept model and visualize your architectural designs
Every architectural project requires a concept model that helps architects and clients to visualize the idea, but a lot of time and effort is invested in building a handmade concept model, and when complex geometries are involved It becomes even more difficult.
Fortunately, 3D printing is here to simplify the process. A highly-detailed physical model can be produced in a CAD program, not to mention the fact that designers can choose from a wide range of different materials and colors.
This makes the task more efficient, allowing architects to make the model faster while performing other tasks. An example of this can be seen with Make Architects – an architectural studio based in London, Hong Kong and Sydney – whose concept model is primarily designed by Ultimaker 3D printers.
Customized detailed design model
An architect’s imagination proposes a special type of wall tile that cannot be found anywhere else. With 3D printing, architects are able to easily 3D model and produce that piece to obtain a mold and reproduce it with another material. They could also deliver the piece to a factory or workshop that produced large quantities using other techniques, such as concrete casting or injection molds.
In this way, architects are able to provide customized designs and unique pieces to their clients. MATT Architecture is a London-based studio that has used 3D printing to make ceramic tiles for the construction of facades.
Interior Design concept and model
3D printing can also be used in interior design projects. This technology allows architects to design lamps, panels, sculptures, and decorative objects that can be 3D models and are printed directly to be used as finished products and to enhance interior design.
An example of this can be found through Emerging Objects, a creative office focused on developing and realizing architecture and objects with 3D printing. They experiment with many different materials including PLA, cement, nylon, wood, metal and chocolate.
3d printed house
Building an entire house is a very difficult task that involves a lot of people, money and time, but in recent years, a lot of 3D printed house prototypes have come up, proving that the entire house is 3D It is possible to print which has a durable material. A few weeks and with a very cheap price. One of these prototypes is built by construction technology company ICON in Austin, Texas. According to him, the house was built with Vulcan II, ICON’s first commercially available 3D printer.
This printer uses a special concrete mixture as a building material and is designed to work under limited conditions. The company’s main goal is to reduce the housing problem for those who need an affordable shelter. Perhaps 3D printing will be the solution for many architects to manufacture in a more efficient way. To see this in more examples, you can read the following article here in All3DP: 33 Greatest 3D Printed Houses, Building and Structures 2019.
See our article on 3D printed homes, buildings and structures for even more examples!
Of course, all these technological developments open the door to further expectations of what can be achieved with 3D printing.
An ambitious project is the Large Additive Subtractive Integrated Modular Machine (LASIMM), which aims to become the world’s largest metal 3D printer. If successful, it should be able to build large custom structures for engineering and artefactual purposes.
NASA’s competition, “The Mars Habitat”, is a project that considers the possibility of building 3D printed shelters for astronauts who, prior to their arrival, use materials that have been found on the surface of Mars Can go, such as rock and soil.
New technologies always bring innovation, and this is what 3D printing architecture provides: a way to make work easier, but not more efficient.
In just a few years, architects have adopted this technique for many purposes, allowing them to go beyond the limits of traditional design and construction techniques – but this is just the beginning. Perhaps in the future, people will be able to live in fully 3D-printed homes, communities, or cities.