How to use a 3D Printer for Architecture

Designing for 3D printing

To ensure a high quality 3D print it is essential to keep the design rules for 3D Printing in mind. When designing your model you need to take into account the fact that your model is build up with closed surfaces and printable wall thicknesses.

3D Print your design

The great thing of 3D Printing is that you are able to print complex shapes and highly detailed designs that will be too time consuming if they were build by hand. A 3D Printer can be used to print detailed designs, e.g.: complex facades, interiors, environmental elements (cars, trees, people), roofs etc. A large flat floor surface can also be printed, however using a laser cutter for these kind of parts might suit this purpose better

The Best 3D Printer for Architects

We would recommend our Leapfrog Creatr HS XL Printer for Architects. The Creatr HS XL is a unique 3D Printer between the standard FDM desktop models and the high-end industrial 3D Printers.

  • Lean and easy workflow, stand-alone printing
  • High quality rapid prototyping
  • Large buildsize, dual extrusion
  • Compatible with e.g. ABS, PLA, PVA, Brick
Working on a new project

The Forbidden City

A prime example of a big project, that would take a very long time to finish following the traditional approach of architectural modeling by hand, is the printing of The Forbidden City for the Ming exhibition in Amsterdam. The project consists of a total of 980 separate buildings and it is the first time that a complete city is being made into a scale model using a 3D printer.

Leapfrog 3 Printerd forbidden city 1Leapfrog 3 Printerd forbidden city

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Definitely one of the best printers we’ve ever tested.


The Bolt is a powerful device with industrial mechanics and proved to be easy to use in the test.

[translated from german]


What I enjoyed most were the two independent extruders, the air filter and the good print quality when printing with ABS and many other materials.