No. 299 . 16 August 2006 
ArchitectureWeek
ArchWeek Image

Model Milling

by Thomas Seebohm, with B.J. Novitski

Rapid prototyping technologies such as 3D printers and stereolithography have achieved some popularity in producing architectural models. But these methods are limited in the size of the models they can produce, and they require expensive materials. So at School of Architecture at the University of Waterloo, we have been working with computer numerical control (CNC) milling to produce architectural models. We have demonstrated the utility of CNC machining by producing a 1:33 scale model of a curvilinear, precast-concrete structure for the Ballingdon Bridge in Suffolk County, England.

Although most major structures are designed today with digital technologies, there are still times when a physical model is necessary. To understand a structure as complex and innovative as the Ballingdon Bridge, we wanted a physical model that we could hold in our hands.

In investigating techniques for creating physical models from digital data, we found limitations with other rapid prototyping technologies. For example, the largest 3D printer from ZCorp produces models of a maximum size of 20 by 24 by 16 inches (500 by 600 by 400 millimeters). While it is possible to produce larger models by assembling smaller pieces, this is cumbersome.

Another concern is the expense of materials. Producing a 40-inch (101-centimeter) model of the bridge with a 3D printer would have cost over $3000 (Canadian).

To produce larger, less expensive models, we purchased a three-axis CNC router from Techno-Isel with a 50- by 50-inch (127- by 127-centimeter) table and with a Z-axis travel of 6.5 inches (16.5 centimeters). The material cost of building the bridge model, using basswood, was less than $200.   >>>

Continue...

Departments   ·   News   ·   Design   ·   Building   ·   Design Tools   ·   Environment   ·   Culture

 

ArchitectureWeek Daily Headlines

IN THIS ISSUE
 Contents/RSS
News
Michigan AIA Awards
Design
Faculty of Music
Tools
Model Milling

AND MORE
  Current Contents
  Blog Center
  Download Center
  New Products
  Products Guide
  Classic Home
  Architecture Forum
  Architects Directory
  Topics Library
  Complete Archive
  Web Directory
  About ArchWeek
  Search
  Subscribe & Contribute
  Free Newsletters
   

 
QUIZ
 
NEXT WEEK
Send this to a friend       Subscribe       Contribute       Media Kit       Privacy       Comments Next Page >
GREAT BUILDINGS   |   DISCUSSION   |   COMMUNITY   |   NEW BOOKS   |   FREE 3D   |   SEARCH
http://www.ArchitectureWeek.com/2006/0816/index.html
© 2006 Artifice, Inc. - All Rights Reserved