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Architects create beautiful designs, and the initial ideas start in the mind. Transferring this idea to those around you can be a challenge, let alone the client; this is where 3D printing can come in handy and help architects. In this blog, we take a look at what 3D printing is and how it is used in architecture.

What is 3D Printing?

3D printing allows you to create a three-dimensional solid object from a digital file. The method works by using additive processes; this is an object that is created by laying multiple layers of a material until the desired model is created. 3D printing enables you to form complex models using fewer materials than traditional manufacturing methods.

How Can 3D Printing Be Used in Architecture?

3D printing creates a tangible model, and therefore, it can be very beneficial for the architectural sector. Architects who use a model to showcase their design will find it far easier to explain the idea to their team and the client. Architects can use the 3D printed model for pitches as well, to show what their concept is in a more visually appealing form.

A 3D printer forming models

The Benefits of Using 3D Printing in Architecture

The obvious benefit of a 3D printer is that it can provide architects with a model that can easily showcase the design they had in their mind. However, there are numerous other advantages of using 3D printing in architecture.

Improves Visualisation

Having a physical object can help to visualise the structure in its true form. Looking at a design on a digital screen can make it difficult to envision what it would look like in real life. Having a model of the structure can help the architect, the team, and the client to imagine the building in its real form.

Freedom of Design

Using a 3D printer can open the door to freedom of design. More traditional methods can restrict the design to box shapes as they often struggle with curved edges.


By printing a 3D model of a design, architects can speed up the overall time of the project. Using a traditional method to create a to-scale model of a structure can take hours. Using a 3D printer can achieve the process within hours. Once an idea has been sent to the 3D printer, the architect can continue with other work as the printer can work independently with no assistance required.

A laptop connected to a 3D printer constructing models

Adds an Element of Professionalism

Using a 3D printed model can give the impression to the client that the architect is proficient and talented, which can certainly work in their favour. 3D printers can form a model of exceptional quality and smooth surfaces, making the structure look professional. A multitude of different materials can be used with a 3D printer as well, providing different finishes. Polymide tends to be the most popular material with architects, and they often opt for a grey resin. However, should you need an array of colours on your model, you can choose coloured elements. You can also use transparent resin or metal to form the perfect model.

Easy to Edit

Should the architect want to change the design, maybe because they have decided to make amends or the client has other suggestions, it can be achieved in just a few clicks. The architect can go on to the computer software, amend the design and re-print the model. Alternatively, if the architect requires more than one model, they can just print another with one click.

Here at ANY Weld, we are specialist in top quality steel and glass products, including balconies, staircases, and structural steelwork. From design to installation, we carry out projects throughout the UK and Channel Islands. If you require steel fabrication in Devon, please do not hesitate to get in contact with us. Email us at [email protected] or give us a call on 01271 860794 (Barnstaple Head Office).