Design of the Week: NYC Cityscape

By on March 14th, 2016 in Design


This week’s selection is designer Troy Haung’s incredible 3D printed cityscape of his home, New York City. 

The cityscape is literally that: it’s a complete 3D print of ALL buildings on the rather busy island of Manhattan. 

The model is actually a combination of laser-cutting and 3D printing technologies. The “base” is a flat, laser cut layer that lays out the streets and parks of the famous city. The buildings are each individually 3D printed. 

According to a story in MAKE, Huang took seven weeks to put the whole thing together, which, as you can imagine, would be incredibly tedious and took very careful work. 

While the street layout data would be easy to find in almost any satellite mapping service, each building required a 3D model. This information, according to MAKE, came from “GIS Information”, which would have had 3D information about the buildings. In fact, you can actually purchase such 3D models, like this one:

The catch is that this style of GIS 3D information is a collection of all the buildings, and Huang likely had to spend considerable time chopping out buildings and preparing build models for printing by arranging quantities of individual buildings on print plates. Just keeping track of which buildings were which would have been challenging. After printing, each building had to be separately glued to the base. 

And that’s why the NYC Cityscape is this week’s selection: it’s a work of supreme effort in 3D printing. 

Huang has not done this just for fun; you can actually purchase one of these, although it is quite pricey. For USD$25,000 and three weeks wait you can have a 3D printed, glow-in-the-dark, Manhattan table. But that’s not all – the designer is currently working on “Chicago”, and his shop indicates Rome, Venice, Hong Kong, Barcelona and “Other Cities”. 

Via MAKE and Troy Huang

By Kerry Stevenson

Kerry Stevenson, aka "General Fabb" has written over 8,000 stories on 3D printing at Fabbaloo since he launched the venture in 2007, with an intention to promote and grow the incredible technology of 3D printing across the world. So far, it seems to be working!

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