Reading architectural plans, sections and facades can be difficult. When dealing with intricate road systems, or other advanced design, even architects struggle with 2d drawings. During the last two decades 3d has found its way into more and more architectural offices, and with the advent and requirement of BIM, 3d has gained momentum.

3d-printing, through its unique ability to physically manifest a digital 3d-model, gives architects and their clients an unparalleled opportunity for new and better understanding of what they are working on, and paying for. One thing is having a digital model on the computer screen – having it physically in front of you, or even holding it in your hands is something else.

At a 1:500 scale things become very small. People are only 3-4 mm tall and details in the facades are barely visible. The most important elements are the building volumes and their relationship to each other, the roads and the terrain. This scale is typical for master plans and large area planning.Amfi Madla, 3d print, justpressprint, Even ErichsenIn the image above you see the complete project with details. In the image under some roofing and streets have been removed to show internal flow of people, and the underground tunnel leading to commercial and private parking.Amfi Madla, 3d print, Justpressprint, Even ErichsenFor this project I had done some earlier freelance work for Alliance Arkitekter in Oslo. I modeled and 3d-printed most of the buildings, and now I wanted to add some details. I had one criteria – everything had to be 3d printed.

Even though the scale is 1:500 this project is pretty big. I started with a 100 cm x 70 cm foam board onto which I glued a high resolution glossy 2d-print of a “close to orthographic” aerial photo. The 3d-model was divided into 98 smaller pieces – both to have the parts fit on the actual print bed, and also in case of future reprints of sections of the project. Total printing time for these 98 pieces was about 145 hours.Amfi Madla, 3d print, pieces, Justpressprint, Even ErichsenThe above image shows all 98 pieces after printing. In the image below you see how all the parts are shaped to lock and fit into each other for a better, more rigid model.

Amfi Madla Stavanger Justpressprint Even ErichsenMadla interlocking piecesImage (above) shows small positive and negative pyramids modeled onto and into some of the pieces. This makes stacking and placing effortless, and no glue is needed.

Madla 3d printed details Justpressprint Even ErichenDetails give a sense of scale. It also helps you to read the model – you can instantly tell the highways from the walkways. I printed people, cars, buses, trucks, trees and some cubic art in different colors. Some of these parts are really small!

JustpressprintJustpressprintPreferred tools.

JustpressprintThis is the parking grid. It is only two layers thick. Under you see some of the parking space populated with cars.

Madla Parking JustpressprintMadla JustpressprintMadla JustpressprintMadla JustpressprintMadla JustpressprintAmfi Madla, 3d print Even Erichsen, JustpressprintThe main model was printed at 0,3 mm layer height @ 40 mm/s with 15% infill in PLA on an Ultimaker2. The total printing time was about 165 hours. All included there are 1257 individual 3d printed parts in this project. That’s a new personal record!