3D Printing Of
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.
A US company named The Plan Collection (above
picture) are already offering this service (March 2014).
As a design tool, 3D printing has
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
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
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.
our 3D printer
page for more information on the products we supply from 3D Systems,
or call us on 01684.276178.