AMS Spring 2023

3D Printed Cities — Ittyblox Offers Manhattan’s Flatiron Building in Miniature Form on Kickstarter

Inkbit

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Do you have one of those amusing and somewhat irritating snobby city friends — or are you one of those people — who thinks absolutely nothing can top the fine cuisine, upscale shopping, and twobuilding landscape of classic large cities like New York?

I have a friend who simply can’t be impressed, no matter the unique beauty or the sophistication of any locale. “Nope, it’s just not New York. No one else can pull it off.” I’m so tired of hearing that, but I think I’ve found a solution — not to mention the perfect gift for city lovers and admirers of places like New York, Chicago, and Miami.

Meant to whet the architectural hobbyist appetite, while also a fantastic novelty item, Dan Bosch, an architect from the Netherlands, created the 3D printed Ittyblox phenomenon which we reported on just last summer. Since then Bosch and his team have gone on to create many different famous buildings, parks, and even different bits of 3D printed infrastructure.

With the intent for everyone to be able to enjoy the famous and classical architecture of beloved cities in creating familiar or altogether new dioramas, the miniature buildings are designed and 3D printed at a scale of 1:1000.

You can purchase the 3D buildings and arrange geographically correct landscapes, or even mix and match, with 1.177 x 1.063 x 0.994 inches being a typical size for a building. Bosch has had some success with Ittyblox already, as the readymade 3D printed buildings are featured on Shapeways, affordably, with buildings costing as low as $10. A new building is released every week, and quite a bit of ‘real estate’ has been created thus far for enthusiastic lovers of architecture and featured cities.

Now though, Bosch has launched a campaign on Kickstarter to reach a modest €500 goal by May 16, offering you the chance to order his new Flatiron Building, a Renaissance-style piece of architecture. The real skyscraper is in Manhattan on Fifth Avenue, and was originally the Fuller Building. It is one of the most iconic architectural works of New York City.

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Other buildings they’ve done

Bosch is reproducing the Flatiron in one of his 3D printed miniatures, and with the Kickstarter campaign, supporters can order it for €35 (roughly $37 USD), or for €130 (around $138 USD) with the Flatiron’s neighboring skyscraper and baseplate included. This is a great way to receive the buildings not only before everyone else, but also at a considerable discount, as they will be placed on Shapeways for sale at €170 (for the Flatiron with skyscraper/baseplate) after the Kickstarter campaign concludes.

Manhattan's Flatiron skyscraper and baseplate

Manhattan’s Flatiron skyscraper and baseplate

With the Kickstarter capital, Bosch simply hopes to improve the Ittyblox collection with:

  • Improved photography equipment
  • A better photo studio
  • Extra resources for hiring 3D designers and photo editors

A great deal of care and precision goes into the 3D printing of the these buildings. They are small, delicate, and often require re-printing, and Bosch states that, “Because these buildings are very delicate, sometimes they are printed correctly 9 times, but fail the tenth time.” Sometimes shipping can be a bit later due to that, but Bosch has had very good success working with Shapeways in producing and distributing his miniature and wondrous pieces of architecture.

Have you purchased any of the Ittyblox pieces already, and are you planning to support the Kickstarter campaign? Tell us your thoughts in the 3D Printed Itttyblox forum over at 3DPB.com.

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