Wednesday, May 11, 2011

3D Printing in AEC: Gaining Client Approvals

Have you ever met with a client to review your design in hopes of gaining their swift approval, only to have the client request more changes?  You’ve probably had this experience.  You walk away from the meeting feeling as though you’ve taken two steps backwards on the project.

Would it have been helpful if you could have shown your client a series of physical 3D models depicting design iterations to steer the client toward your recommended design? Probably, because perhaps your client didn’t completely understand your 2D renderings or BIM walk-through, resulting in ineffective communication.

You might think that building physical 3D models is cost-prohibitive and takes too long to complete. That’s certainly true of traditional model-making methods which are normally reserved for final presentation models.  In fact, by the time handcrafted models are completed, you have probably further modified your design.

What if you could create physical 3D models in a few hours and very affordably? How about several models at once – of either the same design or different designs – all in the same amount of time and for the same cost? Imagine those models could be white or multicolored or both.

Architects worldwide, of all sizes - from under 10 employees to more than 1,000 people - improve their design processes and break through project bottlenecks using 3D printing early and often.

Take a look at the six massing models below. The material cost, assuming you owned your own ZPrinter, is less than $150. The actual printing time is under 3 hours, and the turnaround time to have all six pieces in your hands is less than 5 hours. That means that you can bring your design iterations to life in less than a day! Your clients will be impressed, and you’ll find that your meetings move along more smoothly.

Here are links to two Webcasts in which architects of varying sizes and specialties describe firsthand how they use 3D printing, and the results they see after bringing the technology into their firms:

Andrew Chary Architect, PLLCHow to Win Architecture, Engineering, Construction (AEC) Business with 3D Printing 

OBMI International: Bringing the Third Dimension to Architectural Design  

If you haven’t introduced 3D printing into your firm, why not?  If you have, what are the benefits you’ve noticed?