3D Architecture Models

Physical architecture models make an impressive addition to your floor plans, photos or digital visualizations. A model you can touch and feel makes it easier for customers or decision makers to understand and remember your object, and is therefore a valuable addition to your real estate marketing.


Application of Architecture Models


3D printing makes it possible to not only see, but also ‘feel’ architecture. The models can be used for the alignment of a design, in presentations to decision makers and as a tool in your real estate marketing and sales.

Visualization

3D printed architecture model single family home

Your 3D printed architecture model to aid in your marketing and sales efforts; it can be shown to your customer, or given as a gift after a successful purchase. A physical model of an object is particularly beneficial if the object cannot be visited by the customer or investor, for example because it’s still in the planning stages or under construction, or if the object is in another geographical location.

Presentation

3D printed architecture model presentation

3D printed architecture models are a great way to present your project. Models are often used at fairs and exhibitions and are a more effective way of attracting potential customers or investors than just images. Furthermore, models are a great tool to use in aligning with partners or investors in your project planning.

Design Agreements

3D printed architecture model Design Alignment

Architectural models help in ensuring constant communication on a design. Due to the short turnaround times available, changes can easily be included in a 3D model and used to communicate or decide on potential changes. Using this approach, planning errors or interruptions in your timeline can be effectively avoided.


Advantages of 3D Printed Architectural Models

Short turnaround times, cost-efficiency and freedom of design are the main advantages of 3D printed architectural models. While a manual model may take weeks or months to construct, 3D printing can create your models literally overnight, including small details and color. Moreover, while free shapes are difficult to create using manual techniques, they are easy to produce with 3D printing. Don’t let outdated technology limit your design ideas!

Increase Efficiency
Save time and money by printing your architectural models. Entire models or individual parts can be created that are challenging to produce using other methods.

High level of detail
Creating shapes of high geometric complexity is one of the key features of 3D printing. The high resolution available (Polyjet can go down to 15µm layer height)enables the creation of very small-scale models of just a few cm, in stunningly accurate detail.

High Precision
3D printing offers high accuracy; most professional technologies allow tolerances of only 100–200 µm. Furthermore, you can visualize details as small as 0.2–0.5 mm (depending on the technology used).

Simplify Project Planning
The creation of physical models in the early planning phases enables you to clarify details at an early stage, as well as agreeing on your overall approach to a project. The high precision of the technology helps you to identify potential design errors or obstacles in construction that could delay project timelines.

Use existing assets
Nowadays, most developers and acrhitects have already created the 3D files of the object for planning and/or visualization purposes. Those files can be used to create a 3D printable model and create your model in mostly only a few days.


Model Types

Exterior Model
3D printed architecture model Exterior Model

If the focus of the model is its exterior, this type of model is right for you. Since there are no interior details, this type of model is very cost-effective and fast to produce.

Interior Model
3D printed architecture model Interior model

An interior model is essentially a 3D floor plan. It is often used in marketing and sales for the individual units of larger buildings.

Hybrid Model
3D printed architecture model Hybrid Model

A hybrid model is a combination of the interior and exterior models. The outside is fully visualized, and each floor can also be removed to view the interior details.

Large-scale Models
3D printed architecture model city or landscape model

City and landscape models are suitable for larger projects involving more buildings, or for placing an object within the context of the surrounding area.


Technologies

Numerous 3D printing models are available for architectural models. Often, the basic models are printed in gypsum and are supplemented with models using other technologies. The most popular are Polyjet or Stereolithography, which allow transparent printing with a high level of detail, as well as Laser Sintering for geometric complex parts.

Colorjet 3D Printing
Layers of plaster are solidified by an ink containing glue. The Colorjet technology allows the creation of full-color 3D prints with a resolution of roughly 100 x 100 x 100 µm. The full-color material is hardened gypsum, which is very similar to artificial sandstone.

Stereolithography
Liquid photosensitive resin is selectively cured using a UV Laser. Stereolithography is able to produce very accurate parts with an excellent surface quality. It is often used to create specific parts (e.g. transparent parts) to complement architectural models.

Finishing
There are multiple options for the finishing of your architecture model. The prints themselves can be post-processed, and varnishing is a post-production service which is often requested. Furthermore, the model can be supplemented with elements of classic architectural model-building, such as miniatures, nature/landscape parts (e.g., grass, trees), and transparent parts such as windows and water elements.


Cost of 3D Printed Architecture Models

Each project is individual and requires a different set of technologies and post-production finishing to reach your high demands. For this reason, the cost of each project is quoted individually, after understanding your needs and the use for which the model is intended.

Creating a 3D Model
If you do not yet have a model which is ready for 3D printing, we can offer two options:

  • Making an existing model print-ready: many 3D models used for digital visualization are not yet ready for 3D printing. The cost of cleaning up these models for 3D printing differs from project to project. Typically, for single family homes, the cost is between EUR 300-500.
  • Modeling based on floor plans and photos: If no 3D model exists, we can create this based on floor plans and photos (if colors are required). In addition to 3D printing, you can use this model for visualization on your website or rendering in your marketing materials. A wide range of pricing applies here, from prices of around HKD 3,000 for simple set-ups to high five-digit amounts for complex models. A typical price range for one apartment or a single family home is EUR 500–1.500.

Production
The cost of printing depends on the technology. You can find more information on our pricing on the 3D Printing Cost and Prices page or on our pages giving details of materials. For architectural models, extensive post-production finishing work is often required which may involve an additional cost. This finishing may include surface optimization or the assembly of larger or more complex architecture models.



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