As well as being a focal point in the Collaboration Area at Lafferty, the 3D Printer is proving to be a very important part of the design process.
3D printing provides us with the means to create a physical model output from our virtual BIM platform. The rapid workflow between BIM and 3D printing technology allows us to implement changes quickly and produce multiple physical models of design iterations, demonstrating the impact of the modifications.
Physical models provide an understanding of scale and proportion that often cannot be perceived through virtual platforms and CGI’s. By viewing the proposal in its context and moving around the physical model, we gain a better understanding of scale, massing, shadow & light, solid & void and how the proposal sits within its context, it allows both the client and design team to engage in the collaborative design process at a more meaningful level. The massing models are a valuable means of conveying the intent of the design at the Concept and Planning Stage.
At a more detailed scale, we can now create realistic prototypes of intricate and complex designs such as façade patterns, which would be challenging and often impossible to produce with traditional card or foam.
In essence, it is a form of rapid prototyping which allows everyone to share the vision and better understand the design proposal.