Innovation in architecture with desktop 3D printing

Tuesday, 19 January 2016  |  Sabina Gonzalez-George
Make's 3D printed architectural model image

Innovation in architecture with desktop 3D printing by leading architects, Make.


As an innovation-led architectural practice, Make push boundaries to develop new concepts, ideas and structures for their clients. Specialising in creating a wide variety of buildings, from offices to sport stadiums, including the Copper Box, the London 2012 Olympic Handball Arena, Make have embraced desktop 3D printing to achieve stand-out creativity.


Everyone at Make creates models. Alongside photographers, renderers, video makers and model makers, Make have now introduced a third dimension. Working with CREAT3D, Make have installed a farm of 10 FDM (extrusion) desktop 3D printers, designed to enhance their existing repertoire of design tools. Now designers can head to the Model Shop to realise their ideas by 3D printing them, quickly and at low cost.


The low cost of 3D printing models, balanced with the good quality of the printed part mean that Make designers print up to 10 design iterations that are all slightly different, e.g. the pitch of a roof, to see the preferred outcome, or to cater for design brief changes.


The flexibility provided by desktop 3D printing means Make can be exceptionally responsive to clients, engaging quickly after initial meetings and producing a concept of the project discussed the very same day. Previously this would have taken around 2-4 days.


Make's entire processes have been improved. Generating 3D models allows lots of people to gather round and truly understand the project and design, somewhat easier than gathering around a 2D model or plans, and trying to visualise the output.


Paul Miles, Model Shop Manager explains “3D printing has increased the capacity of what we can do. We are more efficient and can do more with less people. Previously no one would be available to generate a model so we would have had to use a bureau. Typically, a tower would be £120.00 from a bureau, but using our own printers it is £3 to £4. We have won business and shortened our development times using the 3D printers, plus it's really satisfying to come in the next morning and see the models ready and waiting to be used!"


Make's range of 3D printers image

The innovation doesn't stop there. Having the 3D printers on hand has also allowed the creative juices to flow. Make are using the printers to experiment with new ideas to further stretch boundaries and help them to remain at the forefront of their industry. For example, the latest experiment is about how Make can use motion capture to control how you view a building. How are they doing this? By 3D printing a window display of interactive robots, modelled by Make, and watching responses. Why? Because resource is available to them to make thinking outside the box an easily reality!


Contact CREAT3D for more information on 3D printers

0800 689 10 11


For more information on Make’s services, contact

Make, 32 Cleveland Street, London, W1T 4JY

020 7636 5151


Download Make case study.pdf


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