3D printed models are changing the way architects and property developers show off their designs and new buildings to their clients. For architects, 3D printed architectural models allow them to display details that are hard to grasp in digital renders or traditional old-school paper and cardboard models. For property developers, 3D models allow them to show their potential buyers how the development will look, from the overall placement on the property to the interior floor plan.
For this model, we partnered with Urko Sanchez Architects to show off their fantastic Tudor Apartments by Swahili Gem. This apartment building is already built and occupied in Mombasa, Kenya, but its design was perfect to show what 3D printing architectural models makes possible.
How we make 3D printed architectural models
In order to 3D print, we need to have a 3D digital design. Architects use 3D modelling software to create the digital models of their designs. Almost all of these software programs allow exportation of the file type we use in 3D printing (.stl or .obj file). If the files are designed well (water-tight, walls thick enough etc), then we can slice the file and send it to the 3D printer. Sometimes our designers need to fix the file a bit, and if it’s to be a big model, then we need to split it up so it can be printed in pieces and assembled.
- Architect creates digital 3D design in 3D modelling software
- Design is exported to a .stl or .obj file type
- Kuunda 3D checks that it’s printable, and if not then ‘repairs’ the design
- File is prepared for 3D printing (called ‘slicing’)
- Kuunda 3D prints on our high quality printers
- Assembly of parts if necessary
3D Printed architectural models at work at AAK
We took this model to the Annual Convention for the Architects Association of Kenya. Not only was it a great way to show off the work done by Urko Sanchez Architects, it was also a great teaching tool. Shown here is Ahmed from Urko Sanchez explaining the design features to architectural students using the 3D printed model. The model allowed him to explain how the design allowed for natural cooling and ventilation, while still providing great views and space to each apartment.
How to get a 3D printed architectural model
Email us at info @ kuunda3d.com to get a quote. We need your 3D file and the desired print size in order to give an accurate quote. Prices depend on the size and the printing time – it starts at 30,000 KES or $300 USD for small models.