3D printing using architectural visualisation models created by visualloft

We were involved with QP Architecture based in Christchurch, Bournemouth producing concept imagery during the early design stage of a healthcare project. We produced various axonometric aerial views for them, showing the site layout and massing of the building designs. The images were used as an aid in the design development process. As a result, several updates and changes were made to the design upon being able to visualise the scheme.

As an additional step to the design process and to aid in communication of the design to the client, QP Architecture asked visualloft to optimise and adapt the 3D model we produced for 3D printing. 3D printing is an exciting new technology, and we were very keen to see the results and how our 3D model would translate into the physical world. I am pleased to say the result was fantastic.

What is 3D printing?

3D printing is a way of creating a three-dimensional physical object using a digital computer generated model as the source. The model can be printed using a variety of materials, commonly plastic. The 3D printing process creates the model by a build up of successive layers of the chosen material. The printer adds layer after layer to form the different shapes needed. This is different to common forms of manufacturing, where material is removed from a solid form to leave the object required. Instead material is only laid where required, resulting in less waste and the use of less material.

It has numerous applications from the medical world to machine part manufacture. Or even as in this case study, to create a physical architectural model for client review and understanding.

Who visualloft uses

The 3D printing was undertaken by Hobs Reprographics in Bournemouth. Visualloft liaised with Hobs to provide the 3D model in the required format and made any necessary amendments to the model to ensure a successful 3D print was achieved. We were very impressed with the service provided by Hobs. The model we produced had a high level of detail and additions such as landscaping and cars. This resulted in a very large file size, and we were a little concerned about the work ability of such a file size. To their credit, the software at Hobs for 3D printing was able to work well with the high level of detail we use in our projects – something visualloft has become synonymous for.

In this instance, the 3D print was produced in a single colour. However it is possible to print in full colour. This means we are able to translate our textures and materials onto the printed version to clearly see the design intention.

What 3D printing and visualloft can do for you

As an alternative to using a traditional architectural model maker, visualloft and 3D printing can provide you with a quick method of producing physical models. Used for client discussions, public consultations, and planning appeals – not to mention to replace the out-dated hand make white card models used in the design process. 3D printing is a quick way to mass a physical version of your design.

We can create a 3D model of your design using your architect’s drawings, or adapt one we have already created for you during the production of architectural visualisation. We are more than happy to discuss any current or future projects with you to establish the most suitable solution for your needs. We can also offer interactive augmented reality models for real-time viewing.

Please contact visualloft for further information.