For architects, 3D printing has been like a gift from above. When planning any project, scale models are needed, and in the past, architects had to rely on handmade models, which took time and money to craft, and often had to be ordered from outside craftsmen. When inevitable changes were made in the designs, new models would have to be ordered, taking more time, costing more money, and causing the architects more headaches. With 3D printing, a model can be whipped up on-site in a matter of hours, for very little cost.
With so many architects turning to 3D printing, there has been a demand for software specifically tailored to the design and printing of architectural models. Eleco Software Ltd, aka Elecosoft, is the latest company to offer such software. The English company has been producing its Arcon Evo architectural CAD design software for years, but now it is offering a new version of the software with full 3D printing capabilities.
Arcon Evo was already a pretty impressive software package. An automatic, instant 2D to 3D interface allows for a fully interactive model to be created in seconds, complete with furniture, lighting and decor. Detailed settings allow the user to make changes to each design element at the smallest component level, guided by dialogue boxes that take the user through the changes one step at a time. The software also contains a huge library of over 8,000 pre-designed furniture models, as well as over 4,500 textures and materials that can be applied to the decor. All designs, of course, can be adjusted and customized to the user’s desires.
The Arcon Evo software, which does not require any prior CAD knowledge on the part of the user, can be purchased for £550. Features of the 3D design mode of the software include:
- Automatically create a 3D model
- Drag and drop objects and textures
- Add realism with 3D textures
- Increase your library with import options
- Add objects direct from Sketchup 3D warehouse
- 3D virtual walk through
- Define the site, plot or landscape
- Enhance your 3D scene with picture backgrounds
- Check lighting and shadows
With the addition of 3D printing capabilities, Elecosoft hopes to give its users an extra edge they didn’t have before:
“For many architects, physical 3D models are a key marketing tool to impress a potential client or persuade relevant authorities to approve construction projects,” the company states. “There is nothing better than a finely detailed 3D architectural model to communicate architect’s idea clearly and make clients have a better perspective of the proposed design. In the same way, having a detailed 3D model is invaluable for technical meetings and can help to find engineering problems and correct them early in the design phase.”
Arcon Evo is compatible with Windows, and the company suggests using MakerBot or CraftBot printers for architectural applications. Discuss this latest software in the Arcon Evo Forum thread on 3DPB.com.