3D Printing for Functional Architectural Models

May 13, 2019 in Articles

3D Printing for Architectural Models
3D printing is a disruptive technology that is being used more and more in traditional sectors such as construction and architecture. Take for example the creation of physical models. Whether you are an architect, a real estate developer or an urban planner, architectural models are often required in order to have a physical feel of what a building will look like once built or renovated.

The Functional Architectural Model: Simple, Fast, Affordable
In a recent article, we explored the fabrication of aesthetic architectural models. Today, we will explore a more affordable solution, the functional model. This type of model, usually quite simple, is used mostly to give a physical view of the general elements of a building and its immediate environment. The example below is a 3D printed model of Place du Portage – Phase III, a federal government building located in Gatineau, Québec.

Functional Model of Place du Portage III, Gatineau, Quebec


It is also possible to print the model in different pieces, as shown in the example below. The model was built in four sections: three sets of building that clip and unclip onto the base plate. This way, one can manipulate the buildings easily, or position them in different configurations for planning purposes. Another advantage is the ability to print different features of the building environment, such as street names. These models are usually bigger and a little bit more expensive to print than models printed in one piece but remain very affordable compared to aesthetic models which incorporate more architectural details.

Disassembled Model of Place du  Portage III

The level of details that can be achieved with 3D printing is relatively high – we can print internal divisions, open areas and hallways- depending on the client’s needs and the purpose of the model. In the Portage III example, the model was printed for renovation planning, and the client wanted to have a clear representation of various elements such as elevators, streets and so on in order to ensure a good representation to direct the flow of goods and labour during the renovations. The security stations and the areas prohibited to construction workers were also clearly identified to ensure a good understanding of the various controlled zones and open access zones in the buildings.

An Innovative Product for an Evolving Industry
3D printing brings a lot of possibilities for your architects, urban planners and real estate developers, either to simply have a visual effect within a public consultation context for example, or to represent what building will look like after proposed renovations. With Creadditive, you will find the right model to fit your budget and requirements.

Interested in our services?