Printing the Forbidden City

In collaboration with Dutch museum De Nieuwe Kerk and the Chinese Nanjing Museum, LeapfrogTM 3D printers is printing the entire Forbidden City for the Ming exhibition at De Nieuwe Kerk in Amsterdam. From October 5th 2013 until 2 February 2014, two printers will be working day and night to print all 980 buildings including temples, halls, houses, gates, towers, bridges and walls. Visitors can watch the 3D printers live at work and see the buildings being added to the floor plan daily.

First printed 3D city in the world

LeapfrogTM 3D Printers had a worldwide premiere this year, by being the first to print an entire city. It is an ambitious project that showcases one of the many possibilities of 3D printing.

Milestones in the Forbidden City project

The project of 3D printing the Forbidden City is highlighted by milestones in the construction. LeapfrogTM 3D Printers made the temples available for ‘adoption’, meaning architectural firms could donate 1 or 2 hours of their time to 3D model the buildings. The latest temple added to the project was the Hall of Supreme Harmony. This is the largest building in the Forbidden City and a true eye catcher. The temples were officially presented to national press and placed on the floor plan by a.o. Bettina Vriesekoop (former professional ping-pong player) and Ms. Cathelijne Broers (CEO De Nieuwe Kerk).

Printing 980 buildings of the Forbidden City

All buildings are printed during the exhibition. The Forbidden City project will be completed on January 27th. This festive day will be celebrated by adding the final piece “The Meridian Gate” to the floor plan.

3D printing for architects

During the exhibition LeapfrogTM 3D Printers organized an afternoon for architects, that included a presentation, a tour through the Ming exhibition and a moment of knowledge sharing. You can read more about this project here.

The lead designer of the project

Lucas Janssen, engineer at LeapfrogTM 3D Printers, modeled most of the buildings. In an interview he shares some background information on the Forbidden City project.

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