The distinction between Art and Science is increasingly blurred by modern technological advancements. The manufacturing industry extensively makes use of 3D printers though their use was limited and restricted to specific procedures before.
3D Printing Makes a Mark in Architecture
Nearly as fast as the architects swapped their pencils and sketchbooks for CAD programs, the traditional physical architectural models were also replaced by the interactive 3D digital versions. Since CAD programs have evolved today for inclusion of 3D modelling capabilities, the architects today can design in the 2D/3D synchronized modelling workflow capacity to produce 3D digital building models. This offers the clients, builders, investors and the design review boards much better understanding of the way a building may appear.
In the commercial sector, this process is hastened by uptake of BIM or Building Information Modelling software across engineering, construction and architectural industry.
With the advent of 3D printing technology, the age old practices of architectural modelling may make a comeback. The architects of today point out that the 3D models, as opposed to 2D drawings help clients understand things better.
3D Printed Houses
For the architects, 3D printing is not simply a mode to create scale models of buildings but actual structures too. In 2014, 10 houses were built within just the space of a day. The process made use of quick-drying cement as well as construction water for building the walls layer by layer. The multi-directional sprays were also used for creating the house. As opined by the company behind this construction project, this is capacity to save the construction workers of working in a hazardous work environment.
3-D Printing of Amsterdam Canal House
The 3D printed houses are not the only ones to be in news. In 2014, news was released on 3-D printing of Amsterdam canal house. For years, the wealthy merchants built narrow and tall brick houses that define the skyline of Amsterdam. The architects updated this process in the 21st century.
The architects fabricated the pieces of canal house out of plastic using a giant 3D printer. Next, they arranged them together like the oversized blocks. While the house was built again and again over a period of years, the goal of the project was to share word on the potential uses of 3D printing in construction through creation of new materials, trying designs and testing the building strategies.
The news doesn’t stop here. 3D printing is making its way into the architecture and design firms. The 3D printers are quite in demand for the designing phase in large buildings like the skyscrapers. An international architectural firm believes that the advances like 3D printing undoubtedly allow the trade to produce modern marvels that were not seen previously.
Since project designs begin earlier now than it used to in CAD or computer-aided design software, the buildings today are designed in 3D. As soon as the architects have the CAD files, it’s pretty simple to utilize 3D printing for making 3D versions of their project.
Not so Easy
According to a renowned architect, creation of the 3D printed models is not as easy as exporting STL files to printers. He says, “There are still a number of things to be developed”, “like checking the watertightness of the solids, “normals” and other technicalities.”
The other considerations that must be taken up here include balancing the weight distribution, texture, sizing and understanding that most of these 3D printers can print just one material, that too, in a limited range of colors. We hope that soon it will make itself available in comparatively cost effective rates thereby being significantly more accessible.
The 3D printers are just another tool in the toolbox of the architects since the architects today still rely on CAD and BIM. The 3D printers reduce time as well as manual labour involved in constructing models by hand. It also makes space for variance of materials, helping to communicate what a design is chiefly about, including all the details. The best thing about 3D printer usage in designing a skyscraper is the option to quickly produce the basic shape. Moreover, it is possible to get a perfect representation of the building.
Author: Through this content Satyajit, the author, wants to focus how the Architectures get new opportunities by using 3D Printing Technology and Architectural visualization.