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3D Printers In Construction 

3D Printing Of House Plans

A common question asked of Architects and Builders is, “How can I get a better visual of what my home will look like once it is built?” Some builders are now embracing 3D technology to provide prospective buyers with a house plan printed in a scale 3D model.  This is very helpful for home builders to give real 360-degree views of a house plan, with much more detail than static images and renderings. 3D printing technology and software can convert Architects drawings into an actual physical model of the house. This process allows home builders and owners to get a far better sense of the actual home to be built.

Digital model of house plan 187-1001 with 3D printing files








A US company named The Plan Collection (above picture) are already offering this service (March 2014).

As a design tool, 3D printing has arrived

Boston-based architect Elizabeth Whittaker says 3D printers produce architectural models better and faster than manual techniques. “I have one where I teach [at the Harvard University Graduate School of Design],” she says, “and more and more people are using it to make things that are otherwise un-makeable.” With their ability to produce highly complex shapes as easily as very simple ones, 3D printers have revolutionized model-making and product prototyping, Whittaker says, and they are destined to influence the design process, too. “They make forms that you can’t make with flat materials,” she says, a capability that—like CAD and 3D computer modeling before it—will free architects to think in new ways.

How 3D Printing Works

3D printing sounds like something from science fiction, but the process is similar to that of CNC machining, where slabs of materials are cut into specific shapes and products. But rather than cutting, it prints.

A 3D printer works by “printing” objects, but instead of using ink, it uses more substantive materials; plastics, metal, rubber, even foodstuff. It takes an electronic scan of an object and slices it into layers it can then convert into a physical object.

The result is a product that while not as intricate, durable, or functional as the real-world equivalent, is otherwise a real thing that didn’t exist a few minutes before you printed it.

In fact, what it is you’re actually producing depends on what is being printed. If it’s toy jewellery, rubber balls, and plastic chess pieces your after, you’re printing not an model of the real thing, but the real thing itself. Confused yet?

As far as how this can be used in education, it’s a matter of bringing objects out of the computer screen and into the hands of students for inspection, analysis, and other processes that can benefit from physical manipulation. In that way, 3D printers may eventually be able to bridge the gap between the physical and the digital–use a screen to find what you need, then print it into existence.

Supplying 3D-Printers & More Information

Cotswold Printers are approved to supply and support a range of stunning 3D Printers from 3D-Systems.

We provide full support to our UK user-base, from UK-based support staff.  Most other products on the market rely on distance support from the USA.

Visit our 3D printer page for more information on the products we supply from 3D Systems, or call us on 01684.276178.



Cotswold Printers, Unit 5E Ashchurch Industrial Estate, Tewkesbury, Gloucestershire GL20 8NB
Email: Tel: 01684.276178  Fax: 01684.297083

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