The architecture industry is changing due to advanced technologies. Just as computer modeling provided new horizons for architects, 3D printing can help architects and designers bring new ideas into physical form for the first time. Whether they are creating a scale model or looking forward to printing an entire house, the scope of 3D printing is still becoming visible for many architects. Of course, this technology does not replace the historical approaches to architecture that have crafted the buildings that we know and love today, but it offers new possibilities for concept and execution that could revolutionize the future.
Scale Models Are Easier
In order to envision the scope of an architectural project, scale models are key. Almost every project involves a miniature model that portrays the concept for the building in 3D form, which has multiple advantages. Over the years, many architects have developed skilled, handmade scale models to accurately represent the final vision for their work. Now, 3D printing can make the creation of scale models easier and more accurate. Architects can constantly revise their vision when they can easily create a new model with the 3D printer. This allows architects to dedicate their time to other tasks while the 3D printer creates the detailed, accurate scaled representation.
Creation of Customized Designs
While 3D printing has a great deal of utility in creating plans and designs, it can also be part of the final project. Architects may want new tiles, molding and other patterns that do not already exist to give a unique look to a building, room, or design. With 3D printing, architects can create customized items and designs to be integrated into the final project. 3D printed models can also be used to create factory molds and prototypes for a full-scale run of a new, customized idea. Some architects have already used 3D printing to craft unique ceramic tile patterns for their projects.
Aspiring architects are being taught how to get used to advanced 3D tech in their coursework. There is tremendous educational merit to the use of 3D printing in the classroom. Architects in training can see firsthand how their designs translate into physical reality and gain a deeper understanding of the effects of their design decisions. The ease and accessibility of 3D printing can encourage students to develop their creativity while deepening their understanding of the structural and geometric principles involved.
While 3D printing is already changing architecture, the full scope of its potential is yet to be discovered. 3D printers are being developed to handle a variety of materials, from ceramic to concrete to metal, and innovative projects provide the potential for fully 3D-printed homes and buildings. 3D printing may make it possible to create long-term, secure individual shelters for homeless people or for astronauts to explore different environments. New potentials of this technology will continue to change the industry for years to come.