WhiteClouds 3D prints models in monochrome and in full color, and their architectural models are something to behold.
The models printed in full color require no painting and they’re made of a gypsum-based powder which is bound together with a liquid binding agent. The result is a sandstone-like material composed of layers thinner than a human hair, and the models can capture fine architectural details.
The company takes designs in 3D or 2D blueprints and elevations, and they build the models from there. The price for these creations, based on the size of the model and the required level of detail and file preparation, can range from $800 to $2000. The company says that while they generally need four weeks lead-time for the architectural models, they can change the estimation according to tighter deadlines.
Their latest effort, a kitchen model for a high-end home, features a blend of granite countertops, marble flooring, the look of stainless steel appliances, and light wood custom cabinets. and it includes several windows for a realistic look.
WhiteClouds says customers use the 3D printed models to visualize details of a project before construction begins, and that the models help a designer determine the placement of each component and analyze them for any necessary changes.
According to WhiteClouds, a 3D printed floorplan “makes it easy to determine how accessible and efficient the day-to-day activities will be in any living space.”
Jerry Ropelato founded WhiteClouds in 2013 and serves as Chief Executive Officer. Prior to founding the company, he was the CEO and Chairman of TechMediaNetwork for 10 years.
“We’re really focusing more on the masses, the people who are just getting into 3D printing,” said Ropelato in a recent interview. “They’re not experts at this. Our goal is to help it explode.”
Ropelato says there are few limits on the process beyond time and materials.
“We can print any size of model—the sky’s the limit as long as you’re OK with a seam,” Ropelato told architectmagazine.com. “We find that most of our customers like a single model without any seams, so it has to fit within a 10-inch-wide-by-15-inch-long-by-8-inch-tall build tray. Typically, once the design work is completed, we can print a model of a home at the rate of about 1 inch in height per hour. So if your model is 5 inches tall, it will take about five hours to print. Our pricing structure is based on the amount of material it takes to print it and the time that it takes to prepare the design for print. The smallest cost is actually the material cost—the largest cost is usually just getting the files ready.”
When building the models, the designers pose a number of questions: Is the room well balanced? Is the overall effect pleasing to the eye? Does the room feel crowded? Is there wasted space?
This kitchen model was printed in a single piece using a Projet 660Pro, and it includes some 45 different textures. The build time for the model was a bit over 13 hours, included 1521 layers, and took 22 hours of design time using Maya 3D software.
WhiteClouds say they’ve “dialed down the modeling and 3D printing process” by combining industrial-grade 3D printers with designers specializing in 3D printing to create architectural models in full color and monochrome, with precision detail, and in unlimited shapes and sizes.
WhiteClouds says architects, developers, and builders can save time and money while simultaneously showcasing a particular building design to a clients.
Have you ever had an architectural model 3D printed? Let us know in the WhiteClouds 3D Prints Your Dream Kitchen forum thread on 3DPB.com.