Autodesk have teamed up with Steelblue, a design company, to produce the world’s largest 3D printed model of San Francisco. The model covers over 115 blocks of the city and was printed on two Objet Connex500 3D printers at a layer height of 16 microns at Autodesk’s Pier 9 facility. The total print job took around two months to complete.
“For developers, architects, urban planners, city officials and the public at large, there is nothing quite like a scale model of your city to gain new insights into your surrounds. With 3D printing, we add in a rapid-prototyping capability. We can swap in buildings or entire city blocks to explore design options and to keep the model up to date in rapidly evolving neighborhoods,” said O’Brien Chalmers, president of Steelblue. “Adding layers of data visualizations gives us even more power to understand and visualize the way new buildings and infrastructure will impact the urban landscape and the people who live and work there.”
Real-estate developer, Tishman Speyer commissioned the 3D printed model of the city, which is designed to showcase some of the numerous development projects underway in the area, such as the Transbay Transit Center and a number of buildings under construction are shown as finished models in the 3D printed city.
The 3d printed city has been such a success that Steelblue are already planning to print other cities. Autodesk have also developed 3D digital models of numerous other cities that Steelblue could use. “We’ve been creating digital 3D models of cities around the world. They are incredible tools for urban planning, but sometimes the tactile experience of a physical model provides insights and understanding you can’t get from a screen,” said Justin Lokitz, senior product manager at Autodesk.
A second 3D printed model is planned, which will be displayed at the Autodesk Gallery, where it will be open to the public.