There’s something almost irresistible about the ability to hold a skyscraper in the palm of your hand…maybe it’s the feeling of power that you wield over its diminutive inhabitants, or maybe it’s just the possibility to appreciate the entirety of what is normally too large to be perceived as a whole. Whether your preference is for god-like stature or a better bird’s eye view, the Dutch company Ittyblox has what you are looking for in their series of miniature 3D printed building sets.
The models they produce are true to their company’s name and at 1:1000 scale they assemble on a snap-in-place base to present an entire city block at a size easily accommodated on a side table. Their most recent city block is taken directly out of the heart of Paris and has shopping, banking, mass transportation, gardens, the Sainte Chapelle cathedral, and some apartments for Lilliputian Parisians. If this is the kind of thing that interests you, you’ll be excited to know that they have already released a NY block, featuring the iconic Flatiron building, an Amsterdam set, and a series of pieces from Miami.
NY, Miami, and Amsterdam can be purchased at their Shapeways store, following their own successful Kickstarter campaigns, but your itchy fingers will have to wait a bit more for the Paris set as they have just begun a Kickstarter campaign to take this petite city from single iteration to ready to order. Even better is the fact that the buildings are available as rewards for a price that is significantly less than if you wait and buy the buildings later. With 52 days still to go in the campaign, Ittyblox has already received $2,820 towards the $16,395 goal (the numbers are a bit odd because of conversions from the euro, as the crowdfunding goal sits at €15,000).
Ittyblox itself has been around for just over a year and its founder Stef de Vos is finding that his creations are every bit as contagious as he had hoped. Each building is a bit like that old potato chip commercial, it’s impossible to stop with just one! In his Kickstarter plea, de Vos explained how he started down this path towards diminutive world domination:
“I started Ittyblox as a way to combine my passions for both architecture and 3D printing. The buildings I design in 3D software, are 3D printed in full color by Shapeways.com…[and]…now it’s time to add Paris! The reason I chose Paris as the next city to add to the Ittyblox collection months ago is because of its beauty, peace and romance…I tried to capture the typical Parisian style and also added two famous Paris buildings.”
These buildings are highly detailed, something that is not as simple as it sounds given the limitations of 3D printing, the scale, and the Gothic to Art Nouveau to Modern stylings of essential Paris.
“Much time is spent to get the balance right between detailing and staying within the possibilities of current 3D printing technology. The delicate production process makes it hard to design little details without breaking them during handling. However, a gothic chapel isn’t a gothic chapel without the many little edges, corners, curves and lines.”
And he’s captured the essence quite nicely. The pledge amounts are about 20% less than what the price will be when they finally go up for sale on Shapeways…and I’m already clearing off a space on my coffee table. Now, I just have to figure out how to break it to my husband that we now collect tiny cities. Discuss this incredible design in the 3D Printed Itty Bitty Pretty City forum on 3DPB.com.