Cutting Time and Costs in Half by 3D printing Architectural Models
CityCenterDC is heralded as one of the largest urban development sites in the Eastern United States as its impact on the nation’s capital has been compared to the Rockefeller Center in New York City. During its construction, architectural models were used to convey building appearances and layouts to prospective tenants. KMCA one of the lead builders of architectural models were hired to build large-scale models of multiple buildings in the CityCenterDC development.
“The developer was happy about the money they saved and even happier about being able to get their sales people on the road with a scale model one month earlier.”
– Ken Champlin, President and Founder, KMCA
Traditional vs. 3D Printed Model Construction
KMCA was tasked with building models using traditional stick construction but would have taken 8 weeks and cost about $20,000. With 3D printing, the model was printed mostly as a single piece as this approach made it possible to provide a high level of detailing while eliminating the time and cost involved in producing and assembling most of the individual parts. The core of the model was printed mostly as a single part using ABS on a Fortus 3D printer. KMCA technicians separately printed the colonnades, the interior columns of the atrium; the arcade, the series of arches on the top of the building; and the mechanical rooms which are also on top of the building.
Models Created One Month Earlier
“The developer was pleased that we were able to produce a scaled-down model that looked just as good as stick construction and was considerably more accurate at less than half the cost and in half the time of traditional stick construction,” Champlin said. “The developer was happy about the money they saved and even happier about being able to get their sales people on the road with a scale model one month earlier.”
Gould is also developing another high profile project a few blocks away, a 400,000-square-foot office building at 600 Massachusetts Avenue. KMCA also used 3D printing to produce a scaled down model for 600 Massachusetts Avenue while providing the same cost and time savings.
|Traditional Construction||8 weeks||$20,000|
|3D Printing||4 weeks||$8,000|
|Savings||4 weeks (50%)||$12,000 (80%)|