Jacobsen Architecture - Large scale residential take-apart model

Posted by LGM | Friday, August 14th

Assembling multiple 3d prints of a house

This quarter scale, take-apart residential model was 3D printed from ArchiCAD geometry. The window details were laser cut from a white plastic for higher accuracy and resolution. The site was CNC machined on LGM's large mill from a high density foam.  The milled terrain was pocketed to accept the 3d printed building parts.

Additional images can be found on the portfolio page here.

When planning for a large take-apart model there are a few challenges that are best addressed in the drafting stage to insure the highest quality output.  
The first is to understand and address the interior of the model.  Unlike smaller scale, exterior only, models, take-apart models must address the thickness and solidity of the interior walls and components.  Larger scale models can display smaller details, but many smaller scale architectural details, such as a faucet or cabinet hardware, need to be omitted.  Segregating non-printable items on particular layers during the drafting phase will save a...

Kim Thoman’s Venus 6 - 3D printed sculpture

Posted by LGM | Wednesday, August 12th

Venus 6 3d printed sculpture

LGM worked with artist Kim Thoman to produce her color 3D printed sculptures. Kim provided the geometry and texture maps, while LGM prepared the file which included splitting it to fit within the printer build envelope. Final assembly and finish work required extra sanding to produce a very smooth surface on the completed piece.

From Kim's website: 

Venus Series: Diptychs and Triptychs - In this series, I engage the concept of duality by creating diptychs and triptychs that juxtapose panels that are digitally created with panels that are traditional oil paintings. The Venus shape on the computer-generated panel is digitally textured with my scanned paintings. These electronically created panels are a more intellectual process that I contrast with an intuitive mark-making energy on the oil-painted panels. 

See Kim's work at:

See Kim's work in our portfolio

Great Rhino V5 3D Printing Tutorial

Posted by LGM | Friday, July 10th

Rhino published a great tutorial for 3d printing with Rhino 5.  Here are the highlights and link to the full pdf.

General Principles •
Only closed surfaces, closed polysurfaces and closed meshes will export correctly to an .stl file.

Document Set Up •
There are 3 main areas to focus on:

  • units and tolerances will allow better control during the design process and easy export to .stl - Model units – Millimetres Absolute tolerance – 0.01
  • display options can be set in a way that will allow you to spot any potential problems during design process -  “colour backfaces” and “flat shading”
  • additional toolbars can be loaded to allow access to .stl specific commands - Analyze and STL Tools will allow quick access to .stl specific commands

Basic Drawing Rules •
CheckNewObjects option at the very beginning of the design process
Osnap is very helpful in correct modelling
Avoid trimming polysurfaces, and use boolean operations instead. A good alternative to trimming is the...

How To - 3D PDF commenting

Posted by LGM | Friday, May 23rd

The free Adobe Reader software that most people already have installed on their computers has a uniquely useful feature that allows you to view and comment on 3D CAD models in 3D space.


1) Save the PDF to your computer

2) Open the .PDF file that has been sent to you for proofing.

3) Click anywhere in the document window to activate the 3D features.

4) You can rotate your model by holding down the left mouse button and moving your cursor.  You can zoom in and out by either holding down the right mouse button and moving your cursor, or use the scroll wheel on your mouse.  You can pan the model by holding down with the left and right mouse buttons while moving your cursor.

5)You can adjust the Rendering settings and Lighting Settings in the 3D Palate that traditionally shows up in the upper left-hand portion of the document.

6) To Comment on the model, click on the Comment tab in the upper right-hand corner of the document.

7) You can then Comment on the model using...

Color 3D Printing

Posted by LGM | Wednesday, May 21st

Color 3D Printing

LGM offers the option to 3D print a given part in full CMYK color using a Zcorp 650 additive powder printer.  (Now renamed the 3D Systems Projet 660Pro).  The addition of color and the ability to use texture maps, opens up a world of possibilities to designers from in house form reviews to sales and marketing.  Color 3D printing can be a cost effective way to add an extra level of detail when leveraging your existing 3D CAD data.

As ground breaking as it can be, color 3D printing carries with it some caveats.  It is important to understand where color 3D Printing excels and where it falls short in order to get the full and best use of color.

Within architectural modeling (at the time of writing this) it is our opinion that color 3D printing will not be able to replace laser-cut, hand-painted and assembled  textured plastic when it comes to producing a photo-realistic model.  That said, color 3D printing is much faster and often less expensive, so it does have a place within our...

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