Some of the best ideas come before their time and it seems like treasured designer Antoni Gaudí was years ahead of the game when he designed the world famous Sagrada Familia cathedral.
Finding 3D models more effective than 2D designs, Gaudí realised early on the significance that real, tangible models hold for designing unique and complex structures.
Left unfinished during his lifetime, the Barcelona monument continued to be designed and built by the Familia Consortium from 1882 and since 2001, 3D printing has played a major role in realising Gaudí’s modernist vision.
Throughout his work Gaudí concluded that working in a 3D plane was a much more effective way of making models for architecture than 2D but during the Spanish Civil War much of these blueprints were destroyed, leaving the consortium to piece the puzzle together for themselves.
For the Familia Consortium, much of the process included crafting models and prototypes by hand, a time consuming an expensive process. But this all changed when they discovered additive manufacturing.
A case study by Materialise shows how using Magics software has resulted in the architect’s work is well on its way to completion. 3D design provides the ideal platform for artists to represent Gaudí’s whimsical style and Magics has been a vital tool in helping architects get large STL files visualised, analysed and ready for production in just minutes.
Materialise’s software has been supporting the Sagrada Familia for over thirteen years through data preparation, file repair and cutting tools such as Fix Wizard and ShrinkWrap. The automatic ShrinkWrap feature allows users to transform impossible architectural designs like the spiky forms and twisted towers in Gaudí’s vision into usable, printable ones. For larger designs, the file must be cut it into multiple parts and is done so using the Cut & Punch function which cuts sections with integrated connector pins and perforations for a perfect fit ready for 3D printing using ColorJet technology.
Magics has helped architects stay true to Gaudí’s design by providing a more effective way of creating technical geometries that hand crafting simply cannot achieve. With the help of Magics the cathedral is anticipated for completion in 2026.