One of the greatest difficulties facing any designer is the ability to communicate their vision to a client who may not be used to thinking visually. Traditionally, this communication has occurred in the form of drawings, renderings, and painstakingly crafted models. Through these creations, a glimpse into the mind’s eye of the designer can be given and it has been successfully and repeatedly demonstrated that this is of primary importance when trying to convince someone they should part with their money in exchange for something that doesn’t yet exist.
Jason Vander Griendt, CEO of J-CAD International, has been working for years to create enticing renderings of designs that help to sell the vision. While interfacing with the design and architecture community in this fashion, he recognized a need for the production of physical models to complement the digital renderings. When a client can see something realized in 3D, it makes it that much easier to understand the power of the idea being presented. Unfortunately for architects, the creation of models of their designs can run anywhere from $25,000 to $50,000. That is quite an upfront investment when the work is not yet assured. Vander Griendt quickly realized that by 3D printing the models through Render3DQuick, he could charge around $5,000 to deliver a top quality product.
One of the reasons why architectural models are so expensive to produce is the number of hours of skilled labor required for their creation. With 3D printing, the time and humanpower necessary for the model’s creation is significantly reduced. This means that as an added benefit to the models being less expensive, they are also available with a much quicker turnaround, a combination of benefits that makes this an unbeatable way to produce them.
In an interview with 3DPrint.com, Vander Griendt explained the method behind the Render3DQuick 3D printed architectural model madness:
“The reason we can do them so [cost-effectively] is because rather than spending hours carving out balsa wood or painting pieces, we just 3D print the parts in one shot, every small detail of the part’s shape comes out and in full color as well. We can 3D print brick, wood, concrete and other realistic surfaces…By using 3D printing instead to build the structure we can usually make them for under $5,000 and in only a week instead of weeks or months. I believe we are one of the very few companies, if not the only one, offering 3D printed architectural models to architects, builders, and developers…the feedback and demand we are receiving for them is unreal!”
The models from Render3DQuick come complete with landscaping details and offer clients a unique way to examine a project from all angles while not breaking the bank for the designer. It will be interesting to see if this kind of approach becomes generally incorporated into architectural education thus preventing countless deep thumb gashes with exacto knives while cutting balsa wood at 4:00 am. I’m sure there are some who will say that it isn’t a model until there has been blood, sweat, tears, and balsa. I, for one though, am looking forward to seeing this type of model production becoming increasingly refined. As a professor in a department of interior architecture where students regularly have to wrestle sheet goods into 3D models, I am hoping to see a savings in my bandaid budget.
Let’s hear your thoughts on these models in the Render3DQuick forum thread on 3DPB.com.