The discovery of 3D printing technology, and precise 3D printers that can make amazingly intricate functional models changed our perspective. There is an incredibly long list of its applications, with amazing capabilities from even the basic 3D printers, so it’s very clear that 3D printing is a thing of a future.
Like in any other technology in development, there is a lot to define and specify with 3D printing, but its foundations are already strong. We’ve seen the importance of 3D printing in various different cases, applied in medicine, mechanical engineering but also in architecture. As we aim to get to teach our visitors and people from our surroundings about the 3D printing technologies, we’ve decided to go a bit deeper into the various applications and uses of it. For the first piece, we decided to take a bit more detailed perspective about 3D printing applications in architecture.
Benefits of 3D Printing in Architecture
● Cost - If we take what seems to be the most important factor for almost anything these days - money, we immediately see how 3D printing correlates with it because of its price. The cost of the entire 3D printing process is quite low. All the necessary materials are quite cheap and in cooperation with other 3D printing facilities and organizations, the process of learning and mastering new techniques is easier and cheaper than it ever was.
● Time - The known saying: “Time is money” can also be quite easily demonstrated from the 3D printing perspective. Time spent on developing incredibly delicate and complex models of buildings, blocks or interiors and furniture is decreased to its minimum. The price of the finished product, therefore, gets cheaper.
● Diversity - Another great benefit that comes from 3D printing is the diversity that it can provide to the architects. Whether it’s aimed at city block design, or it comes to the details of the furniture, 3D technology made printing complex and intricate models incredibly easy. This diversity is already helping countless architects develop fascinating ideas just because of the amazing 3D printing capabilities.
● Application - Application and representativeness of 3D printed objects provide amazing capabilities for both architects and interior designers, as well as to clients and customers as they can understand the message behind the idea more clearly once it’s printed as a real life 3D object.
3D Printing Methodology
We can sum up the basic 3D printing methodology to the following three steps:
● The 3D software modeling - first step that calls for designing a precise and detailed 3D model of the desired object. 3D modeling has become one of the necessary professions in the modern world, and best 3D modelers are quite expensive to hire, but they can do magic with 3D modeling software. Depending on the needs and specifications of the desired object, as well as the specifications of the 3D printer, modelers use their own approach in similar programs to achieve their goals. Completing the precise model, and properly rendering it finishes the first step of the process.
● 3D printing - the second step of the entire process. Here the 3D printer takes the information from the designed 3D model, and it thermally treats the material used for the desired object to build it from scratch. The type of material depends on printer and object specifications. Printed objects can have various structures, and they can be made from different materials simultaneously. They can practically be anything its designer thinks of, depending on the 3D printer’s capabilities. Some printers can provide printing with even more materials, or printing objects within other objects.
● Post-processing - the last step that practically covers all, from object assembly from 3D printed parts, fine processing of surfaces, coloring through all the steps in the finishing process. With great materials and a good modeler, post processing can be taken to its minimum, which in turn, speeds up the entire 3D printing process and lowers its cost. Once the completed object is finished and prepared as a done model or a functional prototype, it can start all over again.
With technology advancing, some of the things that were previously observed only as a sci-fi reference became a part of our everyday lives. The entire process of making functional models and operational prototypes took incredibly long time in the past, and it called for certain expertise. With 3D printing technology, this entire process has been accelerated and simplified. The doors for new research and goals have been opened.
With 3D printing development, the architecture as a science can develop more easily, providing concrete knowledge and experience to all the architects and designers out there. It will help architecture bloom as an industry as well as a science. It remains to see which great opportunities 3D printing technology can provide for us in the future.
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The discovery of 3D printing technology, and precise 3D printers that can make amazingly intricate functional models changed our perspective...
Dr James Gardiner idea is based on the fact that 3D printing is very easily applicable in architecture for producing one-of-a-kid molds for panels and concrete components.
Just a few years ago the process of 3D printing was thought of more as Sci-Fi than anything else, making detailed 3D objects called for a lot of time and skill, and nowadays it’s somewhat part of our daily lives.