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    Hello current and prospective architecture students!

    My 3D printing startup is toying with a few new ideas and I was hoping to learn a bit more about how architecture students and professional firms get their scaled models created. I know they are typically created for pitching new clients or creating a showcase of past jobs completed.

    Do you ever 3D print replicas of your CAD creations? How do you currently get models made if you do not use 3D printing?

    Would you ever post a CAD design to a community of 3D printing shops so they could bid on printing and sending you the model in the mail?

    Thanks a lot guys. Any advice or knowledge would be extremely helpful!

    Chris
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    I'm an architect - we don't commission 3D printed models and I doubt many students would either.

    Firstly students are expected to demonstrate the skill of model making rather than just sending something to CNC, so its an important part of the course in terms of furbishing them with skills.

    Secondly, as an architect and as a student, making models actually should help you refine your design purely by means of the amount of time it takes to make, and also because you need to figure out a way to put it togehter, it forces you to think about the construction & tectonics of the building.

    Thirdly, through judicious use of the right materials, you can express a lot of the building's character and abstracted materiality though a building made of, say, brown card, white card, black card, some mesh, some acrylic. I haven't seem many 3D printed models that can pull this off - they tend to be a homogenous single material - a quasi clay model.

    For students there is obviously the cost implication. A lot of models are made out of salvaged materials knocking around studio and so the only cost is the time to make them, pretty much.

    When we get models made for high profile buildings, we go to professional model makers who tend to laser cut ply and other materials to attain some of the elements I've outlined above.
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    (Original post by Chris4166)
    Would you ever post a CAD design to a community of 3D printing shops so they could bid on printing and sending you the model in the mail?
    This would be nice in general if it's implemented in a slick way, obviously it's not specific to architectural models.

    For students, 3D printing is often too expensive, and it's too slow to get something done and delivered to you quickly enough.

    Can your start up do some kind of overnight service with pick-up in store for relatively small low-accuracy prototyping, in central London? That would be killer.

    Lots of final models done at certain schools are very large 3d prints, for better or worse! So there's absolutely a market for it in architecture students. For people so heavily in to 3D modelling it's a natural extension and leaning. I'm surprised jrhartley hasn't noticed this in the young guys, I suppose he's 10 years past that world.
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    (Original post by GormlessWonder)
    . I'm surprised jrhartley hasn't noticed this in the young guys, I suppose he's 10 years past that world.
    It is largely to do with realising that as exciting as it is to make all sorts of whacky shapes in SketchUp / 3DSmax, Rhino or Blender - the reality of constructing real buildings in the real world - rather than just on a computer screen - is that - unless you're working for, say, ZHA - they are not made up on non-standard oversized components or vast quantities of in situ RC, but are actually generally mostly made up of off-the-shelf elements that contractors can buy. Which 3D printing with its often homogenous nature has difficulty representing convincingly, in my opinion.

    And I personally am most attracted to the work of students who can communicate that they understand this through their models.
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    (Original post by jrhartley)
    It is largely to do with realising that as exciting as it is to make all sorts of whacky shapes in SketchUp / 3DSmax, Rhino or Blender - the reality of constructing real buildings in the real world - rather than just on a computer screen - is that - unless you're working for, say, ZHA - they are not made up on non-standard oversized components or vast quantities of in situ RC, but are actually generally mostly made up of off-the-shelf elements that contractors can buy. Which 3D printing with its often homogenous nature has difficulty representing convincingly, in my opinion.

    And I personally am most attracted to the work of students who can communicate that they understand this through their models.
    You're critiquing a certain type of model making and trying to teach us about the real world of architecture - that has not got anything to do with the topic at hand. Question is are students interested in rapid prototyping their models? Like I said above, the answer is yes, for better or worse. And if you go to most architectural school end of year shows, there is often plenty of 3D printed models at centre stage, so it's obviously enjoyed by the tutors as well.
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    (Original post by GormlessWonder)
    and trying to teach us about the real world of architecture
    I was really just expressing what my preference is when I crit models and my experience of practice and what communicates a scheme most effectively.

    Just to remind you - the OP did ask about students and professional firms - so I think you're wrong in saying its going nothing to do with the topic at hand. Obviously you are quite keen on the idea, and I apologise if you feel that my opinion has unfairly biased the replies on this thread.
 
 
 
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