Weekly Roundup: Ten 3D Printable Things – Architectural Wonders, Landmarks and Monuments


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3dp_ten3dpthings_landmarks_bannerRealistically, unless you’re independently wealthy it probably isn’t possible to see all of the world’s most amazing architectural wonders, landmarks and monuments. 2D pictures of the real thing will always be a great way to view them, but being able to hold one of them in your hand, trace your fingers along its iconic architectural features and see the level of detail that went into its design will take the experience to the next level.

Everyone has heard of the Seven Wonders of the World, but there are so many more wonders in the world than seven. There are so many more incredible sites to see, buildings to stand on and natural wonders to experience. The world is full of amazing places and things to see, and while you might not be able to see all of them, it is worth trying to see what you can. And those that you can’t see in person, well, maybe seeing 3D printed versions of them is a workable alternative.

So let’s take a trip around the world and check out some of the best 3D printable wonders of the world. Here are Ten 3D Printable Architectural Wonders, Landmarks and Monuments:

ROMAN COLOSSEUM3dp_ten3dpthings_landmarks_roman_colossium_1

Roman Colosseum by CausalJoemama7

Found on: Thingiverse
Cost: Free

The Flavian Amphitheatre, or as it’s more commonly known, the Colosseum remains one of the largest amphitheaters that the world has ever seen. It is an architectural marvel that the ancient Romans managed to construct in less than a decade, and the fact that it remains standing despite being nearly 2,000 years old is a testament to the prowess of its designers. Over the centuries, the Colosseum, which could seat an estimated 80,000 people, has been used to hold gladiatorial contests, animal hunts, public executions, re-enactments of famous battles, and performances of all kinds, including dramas based on classical mythology and at least once even filled with water for mock sea battles. It has also been used as housing, workshops, the home of a religious order, a fortress, a quarry, and a Christian shrine.3dp_ten3dpthings_landmarks_roman_colossium_2

This fantastic 3D printable recreation was painstakingly created using photo references and information about the Colosseum found online. It is a pretty complex build, so your printer will need to be able to manage a lot of detail, but the finished product is well worth taking time to print it correctly.

SAINT BASIL’S CATHEDRAL3dp_ten3dpthings_landmarks_St_Basils_Cathedral_1

St. Basil’s Cathedral by dodo2000

Found on: Thingiverse
Cost: Free

The Cathedral of Vasily the Blessed was constructed in Moscow’s famous Red Square in 1555 on orders from Russia’s brutal Czar Ivan the Terrible. It remains one of the most unique structures in all of the world, and even in all of Russian history there was never another building quite like it.3dp_ten3dpthings_landmarks_St_Basils_Cathedral_2

This great 3D printable version of Saint Basil’s Cathedral has a surprising amount of detail, and it will need to be 3D printed as large as possible, on your printer’s highest detail setting in order to capture all of it. Even the iconic brickwork is captured by the 3D model, and despite it being a challenge seeing the bold colors on the real thing painted on this replica would be amazing.

TAIPEI WORLD FINANCIAL CENTER3dp_ten3dpthings_landmarks_taipei_101_2

Taipei 101 with Adjoining Mall by Lafudoci

Found on: Thingiverse
Cost: Free

When originally designed it was called the Taipei World Financial Center, although it is now known simply as Taipei 101, as a nod to its 101 above-ground stories (it has 5 basement levels as well). It was built to serve as a symbol of modern Taiwan, and carefully blends classic Asian design elements with modern materials and features. Despite its height, Taipei 101 is a virtual fortress and was designed to withstand the strongest typhoon winds and major earthquakes.3dp_ten3dpthings_landmarks_taipei_101_1

This detailed 3D printed version was made using actual 3D assets of the building, and captures even the smallest of details. The model is easy to scale up, or scale down depending on how large your printer is, and it prints great at any size. In the makes on its Thing page there is even a version printed with no infill and used as a light, so of course I want to make one myself now. You can never have too many purely decorative, completely non-useful lights in your home.

CAPE HATTERAS LIGHTHOUSE3dp_ten3dpthings_landmarks_Cape_Hatteras_lighthouse

Cape Hatteras Lighthouse Desktop Model Kit by estlinhaiss

Found on: Thingiverse
Cost: Free

While most of the North Carolina coast is ideal for ships coming in from the Atlantic ocean, the area of Diamond Shoals just near Cape Hatteras is where the warm Gulf Stream ocean current slams into the much cooler Labrador Current, producing the ideal conditions for massive ocean storms and sea swells that have smashed hundreds of ships onto the rocky shore. In order to protect ships coming in from the sea, numerous lighthouses were constructed in the area to ward lost or off-course ships away from the rocky islands. The lighthouse at Camp Hatteras is one of the most popular, and at nearly 220 years old it remains the tallest brick lighthouse in the United States.

This 3D printable version of the lighthouse isn’t a one and done 3D printing project, it is actually a model kit with nearly two dozen highly-detailed parts. It won’t be easy to build this model, but it will certainly be a lot of fun. It can be painted in its natural colors and designs, or given a painting scheme to suit your own tastes. There is even a set of animated gifs that will help you assemble and paint the final product.

SEATTLE SPACE NEEDLE3dp_ten3dpthings_landmarks_space_needle_1

Seattle Space Needle by Intentional3D

Found on: Thingiverse
Cost: Free

There is little doubt that the most iconic landmark associated with Seattle is the observation tower known as the Space Needle. It was built in 1962 for the World Fair, which drew 2.1 million visitors to Seattle Center, and 20,000 visitors a day. The top of the tower is home to a rotating restaurant that makes a full revolution in just 41 minutes, and gives diners a view of the entire city and surrounding Pacific Northwest geography. Visitors can speed up to the observation deck at 10 miles an hour, making the 520 foot journey in only 40 seconds.  3dp_ten3dpthings_landmarks_space_needle_2

Consisting of 10 individual parts, this 3D printable model of the Space Needle was designed to be 3D printable without the need for any supports. The designer does note that some of the smaller, thinner parts may need to be printed with some rafting however. Other than a few of the smaller pieces, most of the parts were designed to simply be screwed together, so it can be easily transported, or any broken pieces can be reprinted without having to redo the entire build.

STATUE OF LIBERTY3dp_ten3dpthings_landmarks_statue_of_liberty_1

Statue of Liberty by tbuser

Found on: Thingiverse
Cost: Free

The Statue of Liberty is an iconic symbol of the United States and its base principles of freedom, democracy and as a welcoming home to people and cultures from all over the planet. She stands proudly on top of Liberty Island in New York Harbor, and for decades was the first thing seen by immigrants travelling to the United States. The statue was originally a gift from the French people, designed by renowned designer Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi and constructed by Gustave Eiffel, yes he designed the tower that bears his name, in 1886.3dp_ten3dpthings_landmarks_statue_of_liberty_2

Depending on how tall your 3D printer is, this model will likely need to be sliced into a few different pieces and then glued together. The model was designed to be printed without supports, but if you slice the model into parts it might be wise to support some of them.

TAJ MAHAL3dp_ten3dpthings_landmarks_Taj_Mahal_1

Taj Mahal by Gnietschow

Found on: Thingiverse
Cost: Free

At the center of a 42-acre complex is a stunning structure made from ivory white marble as a tomb for Mughal emperor Shah Jahan’s favorite wife, Mumtaz Mahal, called the Taj Mahal. The scale of the Taj Mahal is hard to comprehend, but it was simply a massive undertaking that took well over 20 years to complete. More than 20,000 artisans, craftsmen and architects worked on the project, and adjusted for today’s dollars the project cost more than $820 million.3dp_ten3dpthings_landmarks_Taj_Mahal_2

It would be virtually impossible to 3D print a replica of the entire Taj Mahal, its surrounding structures, formal gardens and walls, it is just too massive. But this great model of the main building, the tomb itself actually, is another story. While the model can be scaled up and down, there is a lot of detail that would be lost if the model is 3D printed too small, so it is a good idea to have a large build envelope available if you’re going to 3D print one of your own.

ARCHES NATIONAL PARK DELICATE ARCH3dp_ten3dpthings_landmarks_Delicate_Arch_1

Delicate Arch – Low Poly by AlexJDrew

Found on: Thingiverse
Cost: Free

Utah’s Arches National Park is located near the banks of the Colorado river, and is the home of more than 2,000 awe-inspiring natural sandstone formations and structures. They have been carved out of the solid bedrock over periods of hundreds of thousands of years by fierce winds and water erosion. Of all of the amazing rock formations in the area the most famous is the Delicate Arch, a 65-foot-tall natural stone arch that is represented on Utah license plates and stamps of famous American landmarks.3dp_ten3dpthings_landmarks_Delicate_Arch_2

While this 3D printed version isn’t nearly as detailed as the real thing, it is an admirable recreation all the same. Because the model is low poly, it is actually pretty easy to 3D print and shouldn’t need any sort of support materials. It is also a great model that can easily be scaled up or scaled down, depending on what you plan on using it for.

EMPIRE STATE BUILDING3dp_ten3dpthings_landmarks_empire_state_building_1

Empire State Building by biludavis

Found on: Thingiverse
Cost: Free

If New York’s Statue of Liberty is an icon that represents the entire country, then the Empire State Building is an icon that represents the entire city of New York. The 102-story building is located right in the center of Manhattan on Fifth Avenue and stands nearly 1,500 feet tall. Incredibly, the entire building was completed in just over a year thanks to the work of more than 3,400 workers. The art deco-style skyscraper was built to be the tallest building in the world, a title that it held for almost 40 years.3dp_ten3dpthings_landmarks_empire_state_building_2

This simplified 3D printable model may not have all of the detail of the real building, but instead it focuses on the classic art deco shapes that make it one of the most beautiful buildings ever designed. The model has been cut into three separate parts that will simply need to be glued together, and the parts were designed with tabs that allow the parts to be fit together perfectly without any misalignments or gaps.

ARC de TRIOMPHE du CARROUSEL3dp_ten3dpthings_landmarks_Arch_of_Triumph_2

Arch of Triumph by Olooki3D

Found on: Thingiverse
Cost: Free

The Arc de Triomphe de l’Étoile is located at the centre of the Place Charles de Gaulle near the end of the famous Champs-Élysées boulevard in Paris, France. It is one of the most famous monuments in the historic city and it was built to honor everyone who fought and died for France during the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars. Inscribed on the inner and outer surfaces are the names of various French victories and famous generals, while World War I’s Tomb of the Unknown Soldier is located in a vault below it.3dp_ten3dpthings_landmarks_Arch_of_Triumph_1

This 3D printable model has a huge amount of detail that, frankly, is probably not going to be able to be reproduced on any but the highest resolution desktop 3D printers. A skilled maker with a high-quality desktop unit is still going to manage to create an incredible amount of detail. While the first image is printed using a 3D Systems 3500 HD MAX 3D printer, the second was printed using a Zortrax M200.

And there you have it, a trip around the world to see some of the most amazing wonders that our world has to offer, on a budget. Perhaps 3D printed versions of the world’s wonders aren’t the most ideal way to see them, but for many it can be a great way to see exactly what it is about some of these places that makes them so incredible. And maybe inspire people to go see the real things one day.

As always I would love to see what 3D printing projects you all are working on, especially if you’re working on reproducing landmarks or monuments. Feel free to email me or just send me a Tweet @SJGrunewald.

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