Top 5 benefits of 3D printing for architecture | homify

Top 5 benefits of 3D printing for architecture

Johannes van Graan Johannes van Graan
A4AC Architects
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A4AC Architects was founded in 2013 by Dirk Coetser and John Saaiman. Located in Johannesburg, this architectural firm is at the forefront of providing architectural plans, interior design ideas, construction documentation, and management services to South Africans (although the company has also completed projects throughout the rest of Africa).

The professionals that make up A4AC Architects are also proud of the fact that they are quite experienced when it comes to refurbishing shipping containers – one of the trendiest phases when it comes to the evolution of architecture. 

Recently, the firm also took another great step forward to put them on-trend with 21st century designers: it acquired a 3D printer. Thus, for any forthcoming new builds, A4AC Architects offers free 3D printing services to further bridge the communication gap between architect and client.

Let’s further explore this fascinating feature that enhances communication and design in the modern era! 

1. The wonder of 3D visualisation

Thanks to 3D printing, professionals can showcase their ideas much clearer. In the case of architectural designs, a 3D printed scale gives colleagues and clients a much better understanding of the ideas for a project instead of a visualisation. 

Two models are currently available: Low-Cost Architecture Models and Realistic and Detailed Architecture Models. Usually, the architects use Low-Cost Architecture Models during the creative process – designs which are made fast and cheap to speed up productivity and identify any possible problems. 

The second model – Realistic and Detailed Architecture Model – is used to promote the project in a much more visually striking and accurate manner for the client. 

The use of both these models has great advantages for architects.

2. Advantages of 3D printing: Cost

With the right 3D printing techniques, costs can be reduced by up to 75%, which will eventually make the most out of the architects’ modelling budget. 

This allows concepts to be tested faster and zoom in on any possible issues much sooner, resulting in numerous architectural companies saving money on expensive mistakes relating to volume and the general structure of the building.

3D printing allows the professionals to work with a wide variety of materials and printers – if they further want to keep costs down, cheaper materials and cheaper printers can be opted for. 

3. Advantages of 3D printing: Quality

3D models are stronger than your average handmade model, meaning they can withstand much more weight and intricate designs. With 3D models, a full range of designs with a high amount of detail can be opted for, like using various materials and finishes. This enables the printing of accurate and vivid architectural models of a high resolution, which is possible due to the variety of materials with different properties and textures and multi-colour 3D printing. 

4. Advantages of 3D printing: Speed

It can take up to several days (at least) to put together a traditional architectural model. With 3D printing, these same models can be completed within a few hours. 

Should a client change his mind regarding a design, alterations can easily be implemented where required, saving even more time in the case of 3D printing. 

5. Advantages of 3D printing: Communication

Thanks to 3D printing, architects can better communicate their ideas to clients and investors – and vice versa. Architects can also easier (and on a faster level) produce 3D models for the various stages of a project to better communicate the different phases/looks of the design, whether it’s for a residential house, corporate offices, or another design altogether.

After all, the higher the quality of a model, the stronger impression it will make on the client. 

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