"The collaboration with Materialise went very well thanks to their exceptional professionalism and customer service. Deadlines were met and the product delivered was of the highest quality. We look forward to working with them on many more projects in the future. When it comes to 3D printing, Materialise is our preferred partner." Bert Buytaert - Architectural and Concept Designer at Archi.des
Architects are discovering the benefits of Additive Manufacturing at Materialise
Archi.des, a design and consulting firm based in Belgium, has an innovative, dynamic vision of architecture and design which shines through in their projects. Their team of architects, designers and engineers keep track of new innovations and technology, using them in order to deliver the highest-quality result possible for their clients. One of the technologies they have already embraced is 3D Printing (Additive Manufacturing), and they have made Materialise their partner of choice in putting this technology to use.
According to Archi.des, there are a number of advantages to 3D Printing architectural models. First, it improves communication with clients as 3D models allow proportions and technical details to be clearly shown, understood, and then discussed. Therefore, any problems or conflicts can be resolved at an earlier stage for less investment than it would take to solve them later on in the process. Second, although scale-models have technically been around in architecture for quite a long time and were made by hand, it was impossible to achieve the level of detail and complexity which 3D printing allows. In addition, the time and investment needed in order to make a scale-model by hand makes the speed and cost effectiveness of 3D Printing with Materialise that much more attractive.
A gorgeous idea brought to life in dazzling detail
A superb example of the projects Archi.des realizes through 3D Printing is their proposed design/renovation for a spa in the Belgian town of the same name, Spa.
The partnership began when the files for the spa were delivered to Materialise’s engineering services so they could be prepared for a successful print. The original section of the building was highly detailed and in order to ensure the best result, the file was conditioned, the glass features were cut out, and the file was “shrink wrapped” in Magics before it was sent to the printer. This process involved a partnership between Archi.des and Materialise, the two working together to adapt the design and find solutions for issues when they arose.
In order to get the level of detail desired, the building was printed using Laser Sintering while the glass features were printed on a Stereolithography machine using a material with a transparent finish. The model was then finished, assembled where necessary, and prepared for display, the finishing touch being added by Archi.des when they painted the roof. The finished scale model was delivered on time, was finished to the level of quality hoped for, and is something which both Archi.des and Materialise can be proud of.