3D printing has been one of the most talked about technologies for the past few years. Many portrayed it as the beginning of a third industrial revolution and compared it to the invention of computers predicting that such an innovation will have a similar impact on our lives to that of PC and data processors.
For Architects in particular, this technology could not have been more useful, and it soon became an indispensable tool to translate ideas and designs into three-dimensional creations within a relatively short production of time frame. The technology can also be considered cost-efficient when dealing with flow production of standardized elements.
But will 3D printing be able to replace the traditional architectural scale model making?
Although this fast-growing technology represents a great complement to the industry, we believe that scale model making will still require a certain level of “human touch”.
While the technology is a great tool to model and explain complex designs and compositions, it is still primitive when it comes to elaborating on textures and feel of actual material finishes, something that is achievable through laser-cutting techniques, and human skill and craftsmanship. Understanding the design concept, introducing colors and textures, trees and landscaping make the architectural presentation stand out better and generate greater interest with prospective client and investors.
3D printing also has a long way to go in terms of offering its clients with a high-quality end product, at a feasible cost. High quality expectations are to be met with an even higher expense, and therefore, it still requires further advances in production to be able to be considered for mass production of models of superior quality.
Metro station design- competition model
The mesh construction of the building facade was replicated using 3D printing, and then placed over an acrylic mold, hand-crafted as per the client’s design. The overall building sits on a site completely fabricated using laser cutting technique and manual fabrication.