For centuries, architects had to go to painstaking efforts to fabricate 3D models of their proposed buildings.They would spend countless days or weeks creating these models.Once the models were complete, it was no easy feat to institute changes.

These days, the ability to present 3D printed architectural models has changed the face of architecture and construction. Below are seven reasons that architects have shifted to 3D printing.

1. Easier to Visualize

While architects and other artists may be able to easily visualize a project by looking at 2D renderings, clients and stakeholders often need something more concrete.

Since most people are more visually oriented, it can be difficult to get them to grasp spatial concepts. A 3D architectural model helps clients and stakeholders see the project rather than merely imagine it.

3D models can be startlingly realistic. It gives clients, as well as any other person involved with the project, the ability to understand the scope of the project.

Using 3D printing also helps the architect. They’re able to manipulate 3D models in a way that’s just not possible with 2D renderings.

With 3D models, architects can try out different options to test potential scenarios. This sort of accuracy enables them to confirm their decisions or identify areas where there may be problems – long before the project is underway.

2. Helps Interior Designers

When using 3D design, architects are able to show physical dimensions of objects, as well as their distance in relation with other objects.

This helps customers to see space, movement issues, room sizes, etc. and then enables them to make adjustments in how these objects are arranged.

Beyond all of those benefits is the added fact that interior designers can also use 3D printing to create life-like models that show wall paint and design, furniture, ceiling details, etc.

When customers get a view of the entirety of the project, they’re bound to be even more impressed.

3. Saves Time

As we mentioned earlier, it takes a lot of time to build a working scale model. It is especially difficult if the architect has created a building with a lot of complicated design elements such as complex facades or double-curved surfaces.

Using a 3D printed model will eliminate the need to set aside all of that time. Plus, it’ll lessen the frustration of having to deal with those challenges.

And if they use an online 3D printing service, they also don’t need to worry about the time it takes to clean and post-process the print. It’ll already be covered.

Architects are not even required to create their 3D printable from scratch. They can print existing 3D models created in programs that already exist and are available for purchase.

All of this means that architects can take the time they formerly needed to work on models, and continue working on other important tasks instead.

4. Eliminates Language Barriers

Because 2D designs are not clear to everyone, there often must be clear instructions to deduce pertinent design information.

That’s not a big deal if everyone involved in the project speaks the same language. But since we live in a global community, that is becoming less the case.

3D designs, on the other hand, essentially speak for themselves. Any person, regardless of the language they speak, is able to comprehend and understand 3D design.

It creates a virtual reality that everyone can experience.

5. Ability to Print in Multiple Materials

If you have it in your head that 3D prints are rough and pixelated, you’ll need to reframe your thinking.

Those days are over.

Architectural models printed on professional printers now are capable of showing an impressive level of detail. The surfaces are relatively smooth too.

Additionally, architects are not relegated to one single material.

Although Polyamide (SLS) continues to be the most popular material among architects, many are venturing outside that box.

The same goes for scale modelers who have stuck with Gray Resin. There is the ability to play with other materials.

Furthermore, if they want colorful elements in their models, there’s no longer the need to hand paint Polyamide or Prime Gray. Architects can now opt for Multicolor.

They’re even able to add transparent 3D-printed elements in transparent Resin or parts in 3D printing metal to their models.

6. Reduces Lead Times

Architectural 3D models must be highly accurate. This is one of the main reasons that architects had to spend so much time building them.

Because constructing these models would sometimes eat up more time than anticipated, it would negatively impact the budget.

Then, if something was wrong with the model or items needed changing, then it was on the architect to go back in and revamp the model. This made it difficult to finish projects quickly, efficiently, and within budget.

3D printing, however, uses data collected from laser scanners can give architects distinct advantages in these areas.

They are now are able to identify any issues ahead of time by using 3D modeling. This saves them from having to increase budgets and rework schedules.

Perhaps sometime in the not too distant future, we’ll be able to use a full body 3d scan to build a better human!

7. Positively Impacts Project Execution

Of course, architects work with an extensive team of professionals.

Along with the aforementioned interior designers, they also rely on the know-how of engineers and construction professionals to make their projects a reality.

Using 3D printing assists in helping these professionals in so many ways. 3D technologies eliminate field interferences, increase productivity, and lessen the need for reworking, requests for information, and change orders.

In other words, clear and concise design makes it far easier for the construction engineers to complete the project in the allotted time, at a lower cost, and with far fewer headaches.

3D Printed Architectural Models Offer Many Benefits

With 3D printed architectural models, architects are able to more easily share their vision with the world.

As this technology continues to advance, it’s likely that 3D printing will benefit many other professionals too. We’ll be keeping an eye out.

In the meantime, keep your eye out for more great and informational articles right here on our technology blog.

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How NEOFECT Created a Smart Glove (Robotic Arm) That Uses Online Gaming for Rehabilitation

Wearable technology keeps evolving. And it is transforming the way we experience the world. Watches, eyeglasses, rings, bracelets and even smart home devices like the thermostat are changing how we consumer information, monitor our health and use home products. Smart technology has a significant role to play in how people will live in the future.

NEOFECT wants to change how to aid rehabilitation and the provision of clinicial real-time patient data. In an interview with  Scott Kim, Neofect’s co-founder and CEO of the US office, he spoke to us about how he started NEOFECT, the company’s success factors and challenges they have faced in their bid to change physical therapy using online gaming.

Brief summary about your startup

Established in 2010, NEOFECT is a mobile health startup with a vision to deliver an affordable and effective at-home system to aid neuro patients with central nervous system disorders such as a stroke.

Its first product, RAPAEL Smart Glove, combines a wearable device, virtual reality and gamification for rehab exercise, while its software analyzes the data from built-in sensors and provides training tasks based on the patient’s activity level.

The device has been successfully employed by a number of major hospitals in South Korea since December of 2014, and approved for use in the US and Europe. NEOFECT has offices in S. Korea, San Francisco, and Poland.

Why and how it was started

The President of NEOFECT, Ho-Young Ban, experienced first-hand the difficulties faced by stroke patients and their families when his father and two uncles fell victims of stroke.

Although his uncles were fortunate to survive, they had to turn down the rehab therapy because of the costs involved. So, when his friend Young Choi came up with an idea of Rapael, Ban could not resist.

Soon after, their classmate from the University of Virginia’s Darden MBA program Scott Kim joined the team to launch the US operations.

Kim was born with spinal bifida and went through a surgery and a long rehabilitation process, so he immediately recognized the opportunity and became a co-founder and the CEO of the Neofect’s US office.

What has been the biggest success factors

Personal motivation of the founders combined with the latest, most advanced smart technologies have become the major engines behind the company’s success.

– Gamification, which motivates a patient throughout the rehab process. It helps to induce neuroplasticity for hand function of a patient with a brain damage.

Various rehab games are updated monthly and each game targets specific movements such as squeezing the orange for finger flexion/extension and pouring wine for forearm pronation/supination, for example.

– Artificial Intelligence: the software analyzes data from the glove’s sensors and provides training tasks based on the patient’s activity level. The algorithm is designed to enhance learning multiple functions by offering an optimal task at a proper level of difficulty.

– Wearable Device: RAPAEL Smart Glove is a wearable bio-feedback training gadget. Lightweight and designed to fit different hand sizes, it uses the Bluetooth technology to collect the patient’s data.

What are the biggest challenges you have faced launching and running the company?

The biggest challenge was the product’s concept itself. Many people believed that Rapael could be a threat to the therapists. Fortunately, after we launched the program in several hospitals, we’ve been able to prove that our device is designed with the doctors’ and patient’s needs in mind and helps them make the rehabilitation process more efficient.

Which do you think is most important: the right market, the right product, or the right team?

This sounds like a cliché, but the right team is easily the answer to me. With the right people, you can make necessary adjustments based on new information to make sure there is a product-market fit.

My previous job was to lead a team to make mobile apps – without any exception, all great apps loved by users were made by great teams.

Final words for those chasing the startup dream

Never underestimate the importance of execution. Many people waste their time just to validate what they think or others think, or even just to finish the conceptualization.

However, you should “fail fast” in order concentrate your efforts on building a product which has a market demand, and of course, to save time and money as well.

Plus, you should fail while you are small rather than big, if you’re meant to face it. The earlier you do the reality check, the faster you can reach your goal, although it might cost you a couple of failures at the beginning.

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