How 3D printers for architects can increase the visual experience of potential customers

Guest post by Sachi Shetty

Local Berlin architects Czyborra Klingbeil Architekturwerkstatt approached our team at DimensionAlley with the task to turn a CAD design into a 3D printed model. The challenge was to convert the traditional way of viewing design into an interesting 3D dimensional physical object. It should be both cost effective and also enhance the customer experience of understanding what could be their home.

There were a few steps involved:

  • Export the file from the Architect’s software into a printable .stl format
  • Check and remodel based on basic rules for 3D printing such as wall thickness, manifoldness, watertightness
  • The digital model was already created with 3D printability in mind
  • To optimise the print process and make it possible to “open up” the building to see inside, CKA provided us each floor, roof, window/door inserts and landscape as separate models. This greatly enhanced the final print quality as only a minimal amount of Support material was needed.
  • Printing took approximately 50 hours for the main building, printed at 0.1mm fine resolution in 3DK white PLA filament


Why choose 3D printing – exploring the technical aspects of visualization on sales

  1. Enhances your customer’s memory

It can be difficult for the customer to comprehend the details of complex design.  Too much information can delay your customer’s decision. A 3D printed architecture model encompasses all the information into an interesting visual. Scientifically, good visuals are processed faster in our brains and also stay in the memory for much longer time.

  1. Creates a Buzz

A 3D printed model speaks for itself and gets people talking. People always tend to share good experiences with their network and you can increase your prospects by building on this network

  1. Emotions

One of the most notable feedback reports we got for 3D printing is the emotional connection to the building that is brings. To actually see the potential “new home”. It gives a scope for better analysis for any change and feel the comfort of seeing something very closer to a reality. If buying is an action, then emotions are the driving energy to make the buying decision.

  1. First Impression

You’ve heard it said that you never get a second chance to make a good first impression. This philosophy can be applied to your presentation of your design to the customer. A 3D printed representation will convey your ideas in an easier format and grasp the attention of your prospect at first sight. The freedom to look around the object in a 3 dimensional view on your desk will keep the draw in the customer.


What the experts said, The architect’s point of view:

3D printing as a useful tool in the planning process

“Although we as architects have been working with ALLPLAN for more than 20 years now, the connection to the DimensionAlley 3D Printing Store in our immediate neighbourhood has been an immensely valuable asset for planning verification during the design process.
There is indeed a difference: Perhaps one played down unrealistic focal lengths in the rooms as planned, or if we can view and  comprehend a physical model from all sides. The advantage of the 3d-printing is obvious because we have to create the data during the architectural planning for the planplot in any case.
Due to the rapid development of the printing technology, the service of the DimensionAlley 3D Printing Store is more appropriate for us than owning our own printer.” – Tom Klingbeil – CKA
If you are interested in a free consultation about 3D printing your architectural design, please feel free to contact us for an appointment.
Images:White 3 story house model: CKA – Marek Czyborra
Multicoloured block building: Norma Barr – model by Architekturbüro Reinhard Paul Groszmann

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