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3D Printing


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The firm I work at just got it's first 3D printer today! If you have ever seen, operated, or printed something from it then you might know how exciting this is as well as is exciting for me :D. As far as Architecture is concerned. I remember when it was a cool little gadget that could print mini stuff and was really more of an oddity, but something to keep a look out for in the future. That was about 3 years ago. By the time I was finishing my last semester of college last winter it was turning into a huge deal! One prof I know who was the kind of "out there" prof lol pretty much dedicated a full graduate class on aesthetics and form achieved through 3D-printing. Over the past year or so, in general, it's been making quite the splash. It's creating a whole new discourse about the future of the profession which is very interesting.


Anyway I really wanted to know what the community thought about 3D printing! What does it mean for the architecture profession, design, materials, manufacturing, and everything else? What's the coolest thing you have seen it make? Lots of possible things to discuss :)

Edited by Luminare
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Coolest thing so far was a 2 inch high oil well drill bit with rotating cones.The high end printers are pretty awesome. I think there is a lot of potential for model printing, especially of process plants, ships, etc.

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I'm stoked about 3d printers.


It will change manufacturing (I'm not sure about revolutionize), and it will change R&D (has changed already, and revolutionize might not be too strong a word for it).


As these devices become more available, things are really going to get going with it. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Two industries where it will really change is D&D type models and model railroading. Both of those have high costs (model railroading because of model complexities and not having a big enough base to lower the cost; D&D type similar reasons).

To be honest, my first thought when there was 3D printing to make a little miniature city in a bedroom, with full color even better. Like Rudy, you could start with just a few downtown buildings...and then downtown...and then Midtown...and then the Texas Medical Center...and before you long, you have the Inner Loop and a good part of Uptown already done.

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I think learning cad programs is going to be a valuable trade as well, once these really take off.


I imagine less for D&D, but more for the warhammer kind of thing. Hell, it's probably cheaper to buy a printer and print out your warhammer army than it is to buy a complete set of figurines.


then it would probably take you a few weeks of non-stop printing to make an army. is my dorkyness showing? ugh, I should stop typing.

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