Challenge and solution

Challenge

Challenge

Prior to incorporating 3D printing into their practice, MATT Architecture’s models were handmade, using pieces of paper or cardboard. This was an adequate solution for conveying basic ideas, but not ideal for complicated designs. Handcrafting complex models was labor-intensive and time-consuming, particularly when working out all the geometries and scales required to replicate results.

Solution

Solution

When working on the Ilona Rose House project, the team swiftly realized that they’d need to reiterate the design several times in order to get it right. 3D printing proved invaluable – letting them prototype detailed, beautiful models, quickly and easily. Using their Ultimaker, the team 3D printed the full-sized facade pattern. From this, they were able to cast a silicon mold and produce a tile, assisting communication with the site's planners and manufacturers.

Cost comparison

External suppliers

Ultimaker 3D printers

Iterations/model 1-2 Iterations/model 3-4
Cost/model £400 Cost/model £15

It’s difficult to do a direct cost comparison, as MATT Architecture print materials in a range of sizes. On average, however, print materials cost anything from 20 pence to £30.

Results

Reduced prototyping times

Reduced prototyping times

By printing the prototypes in-house rather than outsourcing, prototyping times are reduced from weeks to hours, without ever going over budget.

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Multiple iterations

Multiple iterations

Unlike traditional modeling, 3D printed models are relatively simple to produce, making it possible to do a number of iterations in a short space of time.

Learn more about concept models
High level of detail

High level of detail

It’s difficult to achieve complexity with traditional architectural models. 3D printing lets designers create models with far more detail and finesse.

3D printing in architecture
Reduced costs

Reduced costs

By printing prototypes in-house, all the costs associated with outsourcing are eliminated. Lead-times are also reduced, which saves money in the long run.

3D printing for molds and casting

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