There’s no doubt that 3D printing is a revolutionary technology. It makes complicated tasks as easy as falling off a log. Architects are perfectly aware of this, and they use modern solutions increasingly often.
Contrary to what you might think, the architect’s job is not only about drawing more and more drafts of the building they’re designing. That was true a dozen or a few dozen years ago. Today, the architect is like a software engineer who creates a virtual model of an object to be built in the future. 3D software enables the architect to create a model of the building quickly and efficiently, adjust it to the client’s needs, and—with a few mouse clicks—generate all the necessary documents, projections, and visualizations.
However, that’s still not enough. The building may look gorgeous on a sheet of paper or in the virtual world, but in many cases, it’s impossible to assess it in its entirety without seeing it with your own eyes. This is where a three-dimensional mock-up comes in, presenting the building’s full appearance. Unfortunately, making it on your own with enough precision takes a lot of time. Some buildings are so complex that creating such a mock-up is downright impossible. But the problem is solved once and for all by the new technology, 3D printing. Thanks to them – creating a detailed mock-up is extremely simple now.
Until recently, 3D printers didn’t have such capabilities. The 3D printing technology allowed users mainly to create simple elements. This changed, however, with the emergence of the most modern solutions in the field, such as the Zortrax Inventure 3D printer. It provides very high quality prints and is, thus, able to recreate every detail of the building. This is possible owing to the closed heated chamber, which keeps the temperature of the print constant. This, in turn, lets the user achieve the highest 3D print quality and protects the model from deforming.
Another extremely important feature is the dual-material extruder, which allows you to print the model with two different thermoplastics. One of them is the base material, and the other is used for support and dissolves in water-based solution. Each melts at a different temperature. With this feature, you can create highly complex elements and support them with a different material. Then, all you have to do is dissolve the support, and you’ll get a supremely made model that would be impossible to create otherwise.
These solutions, though they might seem like a vision of the distant future, are already here and are used by many architects. For example, the Szczecin Philharmonic Hall, Poland, which has already accrued numerous awards, had its model made with the Zortrax M200 printer. The designers, who created the model of the philharmonic hall, admit that due to the faithful resemblance of the printed model with the design, they were able to conduct a detailed analysis of the project. More importantly, this solution, once expensive, is becoming cheaper gradually with every passing year. This is why many architects use it to visualize not only large investments of millions but also ordinary houses. Therefore, more and more customers can now hold their future home in their own hands and examine it up close. A few years ago, this sort of capacity would’ve been impossible.