Design of the Week: Picadilly Circus Architectural Model
This week’s selection is the highly detailed Picadilly Circus Architectural Model by Fixie and RPS.
This is a large, highly detailed 3D print of London’s famous Picadilly Circus and surrounding buildings.
The buildings in this print are highly realistic, as you can see in these images. I tried to put the camera at eye-level so that you can see how it would look if you were scaled down to that level.
It’s uncanny how detailed this appears.
How was this detail achieved? That’s the job of one of the partners on this project, Fixie. They are a London-based architectural service provider. Here’s their description:
“Fixie is the complete 3D printed model service. Our specialist industry expertise is dedicated to taking your project seamlessly through model choice, file preparation, 3D printing, post processing and finishing.”
I’m not sure how, but somehow Fixie obtained the 3D modeling information for this portion of London, and transformed it into a 3D model of the neighborhood.
Fixie worked with 3D printer manufacturer RPS to perform the massive 3D print. That’s because RPS’s NEO 800 3D printer has a rather generous build volume of 800 x 800 x 600 mm, one of the larger stereolithography units.
Evidently the print was not completed in one operation. It seems that the base was 3D printed first in a single print job in the NEO 8000’s huge build volume.
Then various parts were 3D printed in high detail and subsequently attached to the base print. But that wasn’t all.
The print was finished with spray paint by expert finishing service Kandor ModelMakers.
A project like this clearly demonstrates the potential of 3D printing for architectural models. With this print one can literally see what it would be like to exist in that space.
Sure, one can view architectural models on 2D screens in virtual reality, but there’s something special about being able to see and interact with the scene in physical reality.