Home > News >

Application of 3D printing architectural models

Architectural sandbox models represent architectural art in the form of miniature entities, faithfully expressing the structure of architectural ideas and transforming the architect’s intentions into concrete images. 3D printing architectural models are fast, low-cost, environmentally friendly, beautifully produced, and save a lot of materials. They have been accepted by more and more people in the industry.
Architectural models are very important so that the client can visualize a complete version of the proposed project. However, the production process of traditional architectural models is very difficult and labor-intensive. Accurately reproducing reduced detail is extremely difficult, time-consuming and expensive. As a result, very often small details that are very important are abandoned, but often differentiate a particular design with a negative impact in the customer’s decision-making process. High detail is very important to users. Keeping these details and losing them makes a world of difference to the client.

Using 3D rapid prototyping can cut down on the labor and time required to create detailed, accurate scale models, effectively conveying the unique concept of each design to the client. They are able to replicate fine-scale design elements very accurately in a fraction of the time and at a fraction of the cost of hand-built models. Made from strong, durable materials, this model has walls as thin as 0.6mm and intricate details that are surprisingly strong.

3D printing building model materials: The materials used for building models mainly include polylactic acid (PLA), ABS resin, light-curing photosensitive resin, and thermoplastic plastic (PA nylon powder). The 3D printing technologies used are FDM fused filament manufacturing technology and SLA. Light-curing rapid prototyping technology and SLS selective laser sintering technology.

There are three main categories of 3D modeling software for architectural models: ①Conventional animation production software Maya, 3DMax, Rhino; ②Building Information Model (BIM) modeling software Revit, Archi CAD, Bentley; ③Basic drawing software Auto CAD. There is also an open source 3D drawing software SketchUp that is also very suitable for architectural model design.

3D data requirements for 3D printing architectural models: In addition to first meeting the requirements for sealed solid files of 3D printing technology. Also note the following adjustments to the model:

Before completing the modeling work and printing the architectural model, it is necessary to adjust the size of the detailed components, split the model, and design the assembly of the model based on the performance of the 3D printer equipment and the selected printing materials to ensure that the final use requirements are met. Due to different 3D printing molding technologies and 3D printing materials, there are minimum wall thickness requirements and post-powder cleaning or support removal requirements. If the wall thickness is too small, the components will be easily damaged during the powder cleaning process.

1. Adjustment of the facade model. Sometimes the final model to be printed exceeds the one-time molding size of the 3D printer, and the model needs to reflect the architectural details. If the model printing size is too small, it will be difficult to show the effect of many detailed lines. According to For later use, the model needs to be split. Follow the block printing and assembly method to achieve the final model printing effect. When splitting, try to choose parts with vertical or horizontal lines on the facade, so that the later splicing joints will not affect the overall effect of the model. When printing building facade models, in order to reduce the amount of material used, the thickness of the outer wall is generally printed thin. Considering the splicing of the model and the prevention of deformation, connecting components with a certain strength need to be designed at the splicing parts to ensure the tightness and integrity of the model assembly.

2. Processing of detailed model components. When the architectural model is reduced by tens or even hundreds compared to the same period last year, some details (such as pillars, window frames, glass frames, railings and other exposed details) will become very thin. There is no way to support or remove the powder. Therefore, some details of the model need to be appropriately enlarged and adjusted according to the minimum wall thickness and diameter requirements. Only then can it meet the requirements for later printing and powder cleaning.

3. Indoor model adjustment. The method of adjusting the size of indoor model components is basically the same as that of facade model components. Both must meet the requirement that the calculated size of the component after scaling down is greater than the minimum wall thickness of the printer. When adjusting the size of indoor walls, the proportional relationship between different walls must be taken into account, and the mutual proportions between walls should be as close to the real situation as possible. In order to facilitate cleaning or clear support, the vertical and horizontal components should be separated before printing the indoor model. At the same time, the splicing method between the vertical and horizontal components should be designed at the later stage. Consider designing the connecting column at the bottom of the vertical component to insert the horizontal component in advance. Leave holes for connection. If the components still need to be colored later, they should be split according to color blocks and coloring operation spaces.
4. Delete the internal structure of the building model. Try to delete irrelevant display parts (such as furniture and some accessories, etc.) without affecting the stress, appearance and some details to be displayed. This can save costs and improve the efficiency of 3D printing.

Related Blog:



Better Service and Better Quality
Follow Us

FTM Machinery-Green Intelligent Mining Machine Manufacturing and Exporting Base

Based on the high quality and complete after-sales service, our products have been exported to more than 120 countries and regions. Fote Machinery has been the choice of more than 200,000 customers.

Provide 7 * 24 hours after-sales consultation service
The overseas service team can arrive at the site within a week
Promise one-year guarantee period and free maintenance
Scroll to Top



Matrix Laser Technology Co., Ltd focuses on cutting-edge laser technologies and applications for unique industrial sectors by carrying on engineering co-development with leading engineering universities in China. With a technology-based, customer-oriented, and process-supported proposition, we aim to serve the global market with 3D printing and ultrafast laser processing technologies.

Contact Us

Please enable JavaScript in your browser to complete this form.