One of Stratasys latest and most advanced 3D printing technologies was recently used to produce the largest ever 3D printed model of the San Francisco skyline. Printed on two Objet500 Connex Multi-material 3D printers the model depicts 115 square blocks of the downtown area including nine towers.
Commissioned by real estate operator Tishman Speyer, the model measures 6ft by 6ft and was created using a digital model from creative agency, Steelblue and produced by Autodesk. The print is a 1:1250 scale model measuring just over 1ft and was created with individual parts to allow for changes to be made to buildings without the need for the entire model to be reprinted. Each block took between six and 18 hours to print.
On the Stratasys blog, O’Brien Chalmers, president of Steelblue, said: “Swapping out buildings could be done with other methods of modeling though I believe 3D printing makes it easier. The accuracy that the 3D printing provides is unique so that our ‘puzzle pieces’ will fit perfectly every time. Being able to generate detailed buildings quickly gives 3D printing an advantage. Another advantage is replication. We have 3D printed the city model more than once and at different scales with different materials.”
The model was printed using Stratasys transparent 3D printing material, VeroClear to allow for effective lighting and certain areas to be highlighted using a projector. Steelblue has printed a number of city models in the past including Midtown Manhattan and parts of Boston.
This year’s TCT Show featured a presentation on the importance of 3D printed geographical models. Ian Best, managing director of Micro CADD Services produced one of the world’s largest models of an entire country, a 5.4M x 2.2M 3D printed model of Bahrain. The 1:10,000-scale model showed the value in 3D printed models for national and local leaders in master planning projects.