3D printing for Architects


3D printing for Architects

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9 Tips and tricks on 3D printing for architects

The impact of architecture

We have many ways to express ourselves. We do it with the clothes we wear, or the places we go. But we also show who we are with the places we are at, work in and live in. These places have a huge impact in our lives and they can even define a person, like Buckingham Palace or the White House.

The evolution of architecture

Defining the way these places look and how these places are used is a big aspect of architecture and it shapes the world we live in today. A couple of ages ago, architecture had limited possibilities; you could either make something the traditional way, or make something really big! the traditional way. But current technology allows professional architects to create new structures using materials which originally weren’t intended for construction. The creators of steel and glass never would have expected that there would be towers made of dazzling height by using these two materials. And now, other newer materials are being developed in quicker succession which can be made in more than the common flat shape, which can lead to more curved faces and organic shapes

Creating in three dimensions

The freedom to literally shape buildings can create amazing results, and creating these kind of buildings can present problems for their development. Unless you have an amazing 3 dimensional sense, wrapping your head around building from Zaha Hadid for example, can make your head hurt. For example: imagine having to create the building below from a 2D drawing, offering you no sense of depth at all.


Using scale models

This is where scale models can be invaluable. A scale model can explain your idea within seconds making the model tangible. Creating these models is becoming more challenging due to the increasing complexity of modern buildings. In the 20st century, most building were made out of straight planes. The empire state building for example can be re-created using only cubes and rectangles. So creating a scale model could be made rather fast using conventional methods. But creating the Burj Khalifa is a different thing entirely because it is built up using more rounded shapes.

New structures, new solutions

This change in architecture alters the conventional method of scale model making which has become more challenging or simply doesn’t suffice anymore. This is where 3D printing can be an ideal solution. Today it is common to use CAD 3D models for either constructional, rendering or designing purposes. Since these models are already available, the translation from a digital model to a physical model, is a small step using the Bolt 3D printer.

Click here for 8 tips and tricks on how CAD software can be used together with 3D printing.


The value of visual conformation

With the Bolt 3D Printer, you can also create other types of objects which can help you show your client what you mean, or what your vision holds. And showing what you mean is a really strong tool in getting a message across, since people respond stronger to visual information as opposed to written or verbal information.

One solution for multiple fields

But architecture is more than just creating a building which should look good. It is about how a place can be used as well. Designing an interior, or how a large space can be used is equally important. This can be done by placing scale models of furniture, unique objects, or playing different heights. Creating small object, or custom object can be difficult to do so by traditional methods. But the Bolt 3D printer excels in this field of work. Any object can fit on the large print bed, and complex object can be printed using soluble support. This results in super clean models, exactly on scale.

Create objects, highlight parts

With some structures or objects, the designer might also like to highlight certain parts. This can be easily done by printing two different colours, or filament, at the same time with the Bolt Pro. This is called dual extrusion and the Bolt has a unique system with Independent Dual Extruders, which allow you to print super clean dual colour prints. With this system you can easily highlight any part you want of the printed object in one print job. This means that there isn’t the need for additional assembly afterwards.

Working on a new project

Create scale models yourself

Making a beautiful and correct scale model also used to be done by craftsmen, who would have an expertise in this field of work. But with the Bolt 3D printer, you can easily upload the model to the Bolt and have it 3D printed without leaving your desk. This means that you can have your model ready the next day.

Accelerate the design process

Creating a 3D print on the Bolt 3D printer means that the designer can create his own models, without losing time. This means that the designer can also accelerate its design process by faster iterative design. And keeping track of the progression of the design can also encourage even bolder ideas, since these ideas can be directly communicated quickly with their commissioner or superior.


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In this fast evolving environment that we live in and with all the things changing and developing we can only imagine that fast solutions and services are also in need. Clients are transforming businesses through their more and more specific requests and needs while businesses are searching for methods for providing. 3D printing for architecture bridges this exact need through rapid modelling and prototyping so that clients can have a more complex and complete experience.

Read more about using Architecture and 3D printing and learn 9 benefits and best-practices you can directly use!