3D visualization has completely transformed interior design and architecture. Interior designers and architects are increasingly implementing 3D visualization into their projects, from the first time they showcase designs to clients to the point when they finish the project.
Gone are the times when they needed to draw sketches and illustrations or make physical models of their projects so that they could better present various concepts to their clients. Today, with the help of 3D visualization, they can showcase every concept just the way it is.
That’s precisely why 3D renderings have become so popular. They can help easily present all the aesthetic details of a home or office, as well as every single functionality aspect of the space. They can help visualize the space like never before.
Here are all the ways 3D visualization has taken 3D interior design to a whole new level.
When you show a 2D presentation of a particular space to a client, they cannot exactly visualize the space with all its details. They can do it to a certain level, but they cannot fully grasp how the actual result will look like once it’s finished, especially if they are not very technical.
This significantly slows down the decision-making process, and eventually the entire project completion.
On the other hand, if you show a photorealistic 3D rendering of that same space to your client, you would be able to instantly paint a real picture of the project in their mind. Your client can see exactly how everything will look like before you even start designing the space, or before it’s even constructed.
Just as the name suggests, realistic visualizations take you to a level of realism that you simply can’t get to with traditional sketches and illustrations. They help you showcase visuals that look real, which is precisely what helps your clients make informed decisions.
When you create a sketch of a particular design, there are only so many changes you can make before you need to start from scratch all over again. Needless to say, this is definitely not the best way of planning the interior design of a project, but it’s the way it has always been done.
However, with 3D visualization, you can say goodbye to endless revisions that put a brake on the entire project and increase the costs of the project. Now, you can easily make as many changes as necessary until the desired result is achieved. This is simply because you don’t need to draw anything on paper.
With the help of various 3D visualization tools, you can easily change every single detail you need, and effectively provide all the required revisions to your client. What’s more, they don’t need to wait forever for you to make the changes, as the tools help you do it very quickly.
They have plenty of different features for changing the style, the tone of a space, and pretty much anything else involved in the design. With just a few simple clicks, you can make all the design revisions, and achieve the desired results.
Virtual reality has made it possible for people to virtually walk through a particular property, and see exactly what it would feel like to live or work there. All they need to do is put on a VR headset, and virtually step into a home or office, feeling as if they were actually there in real life.
This is one of the most significant innovations in 3D visualization that are revolutionizing interior design. It is still fairly expensive for a lot of projects, but it is slowly becoming one of the most essential things in 3D interior design.
With VR in interior design, you can truly show your clients the end result of a project before it is even built. You can bring every project to life, as your clients can see it unfold right before their eyes. They can experience it like never before, and see exactly what you may need to adjust to fulfill all their needs.
Augmented reality provides even more realistic experiences than VR, which is why interior designers are increasingly relying on it as well. AR and VR are quite similar, except AR is somewhere between the real and virtual world.
It overlays the real-world environment with digital elements, just like those you see on Snapchat, or your smartphone camera. As opposed to VR, which takes you to a completely virtual environment, AR enhances the physical environment to give you a more real-world experience.
With AR, your clients only need their smartphones to see how the space you’re designing will look like with a variety of different tones, styles, and furniture. They can almost touch everything in the room, and see exactly how the layout will look like.
Mixed reality is still in its infancy stage, but it certainly won’t be long before every 3D interior designer uses it. MR is a combination of VR and AR, combining the best of the two worlds to provide you with an immersive experience you’ve seen only in sci-fi movies.
It’s similar to AR in that it overlays the physical world with digital objects, but it actually allows you to manipulate those objects. This means that you can enable your clients to manipulate your designs, practically touching, changing, and moving pieces of furniture, or any other design detail.
With MR, you can instantly make all the revisions together with your clients, greatly saving time and costs, and ensuring every project is successful.
3D mapping technology helps create almost the same immersive effect as mixed reality. The difference is that it transforms a space into a 360° projection area, with the help of projectors. This means that you can’t manipulate the digital objects, but you can still perfectly represent all the furniture and other design elements in a room you’re designing.
This is obviously more cost-effective than mixed reality, and it can help your clients see exactly how the space will look like once the project is finished.
The best part about 3D mapping is that it helps you accurately map all the design elements so that they can perfectly fit the layout. For instance, if your client would like to incorporate a particular piece of furniture but isn’t sure whether it would actually fit, you can map it accurately, and help the client make the right decision.
3D visualization files usually take a lot of storage space. VR, AR, and MR simulations are really big files, so it can be challenging showing them to clients, as you would need a USB drive with quite a lot of storage.
This is where cloud computing comes into play. Being able to upload all your 3D visualizations to the cloud makes all the difference, making your every design project run as smoothly as possible.
Also, since you don’t need traditional sketches and illustrations anymore, you don’t even need to meet face to face with every client, as you can simply send them the digital files of your designs. They could be located on the other side of the planet, and instantly access your digital copies.
This also makes the review and revision processes much simpler, and naturally saves both costs and time.
Needless to say, the emergence and availability of cloud technology have made it incredibly easier for interior designers and architects to find more clients. This is precisely because you don’t need to be in the same room for you to showcase your designs to clients, and revise them when necessary.
All these innovations in 3D visualization have truly revolutionized interior design. They opened the door to 3D interior design that completely transforms the way interior designers work, and the way their clients’ properties are brought to life.
We’ve only touched the tip of the enormous iceberg that 3D interior design is now, as 3D visualization technology keeps advancing at a very fast pace. With ever-evolving technology, we are bound to see more extraordinary innovations like these in the near future.
What new innovations will come our way, only time will tell, but you can be sure that they will be just as magnificent as all the aforementioned ones.
As an interior designer yourself, you should definitely jump on the 3D visualization bandwagon as soon as possible, and join the wild ride. You will stay ahead of the curve, attract a greater number of clients, and make sure that your every project is seamless and successful. So, embrace the future, and enter a whole new dimension of 3D interior design.
Nowadays, modern architects use visualization, rendering, and virtual reality to communicate design plans with their potential clients and prospects. Offering visualization is the best way to generate buy-ins. With the visualization industry being so highly competitive and overcrowded, virtual reality, rendering, and visualization are something of a near commodity.
Renderings and visuals are supposed to engage and excite the clients and architects are expected to produce outstanding imagery in a timely manner and at the most affordable prices. Now, creating visuals that easily beat competitors isn't as easy as it sounds. This is where we encounter a dilemma.
The architectural design can be the best of the best but without a proper effort to sell it, no client will buy it. With all that in mind, it's important to deliver visualizations that actually sell.
Of course, to be able to sell your visualization, it has to be impactful and stunning in order to lead to fewer revisions and clearer communication. Make the process of your architectural visualization smoother with heightened quality.
Before you start any visualization project, you have to be clear on what the main goal of your project is. The needs of your client play the most important role in determining the focus of the visualization.
Every architect should be using visualization for the sake of projecting a positive sense about every new development that takes place to create intrigue and convey an idea. In the end, the long-term goal of the project is what drives the type of visualization needed. The best thing to do it is to divide your architectural design into three categories:
● Conceptual visualization
● Architectural visualization
● Marketing visualization
Conceptual visualization is a rough way to demonstrate or present a project idea. It's photorealistic in nature and is an excellent way to gain buy-ins from your clients before you move on to the next design stage where you’ll determine the intricate details of the project.
Architectural visualization helps you convey the exact design with all the elements included. Architects use this visualization to convey plans and make design decisions with their clients as these details are essential to the final visualization.
When building a project, each architecture company has an overall marketing campaign that is supposed to sell that project to the highest bidder. Marketing visualization is a key element of that campaign as its main goal is to raise positive client awareness, educate them, and generate excitement for a landmark project.
This is where the overall aesthetic and finish are being added to the final product. To be able to sell a project, you must first determine the general idea in order to refine the client's intention. This isn't an easy thing to do as clients have really high expectations when it comes to their ability to visualize the design architects create.
The best way to sell a project is by creating a visual representation of a model that clients can explore and see with their own eyes. With all this in mind, here are a couple of good ways to use visualization for marketing purposes.
We already mentioned the high expectations that clients have when it comes to buying a project from architectural companies. A lot is at stake so you have to be tactical. If your client can visualize a project, it will be much easier to sell.
They want to know what they're paying for so explanations and 2D drawings simply won't cut it. Visualization is what sells projects simply because 3D modeling is the best way to show your skills, but most importantly, to show your clients exactly what they're paying for.
Offering visualization brings some very useful benefits your way. When you're selling a product, your success depends on the ability to communicate with your clients. Offering just a dry description isn't going to be enough.
Your clients benefit the most when you throw in some visuals. The reason why this is so is that visualization allows you to thoroughly explain each step of the project during your presentation.
That way, you’ll be educating your clients which is extremely important for generating buy-ins. If you manage to ensure them at the early stages that you're on the right path with your project, your chances of selling suddenly increase.
It's much easier to convince your clients to buy your design if you can point out some of the design flaws that might cause major issues when actually realizing that design in reality. If you can assure your clients that they can avoid such mistakes, which is a real money-saver for them, there are no doubts that you'll be able to sell.
3D visualization is, in fact, an accurate and precise representation of how one design will look in real-time. Your clients can clearly see how their ideas will look like in reality, but more importantly, you're also giving them a chance to give their input.
Spotting issues at this pre-build stage will help you seal the deal, not to mention that it's also a great opportunity to show your expertise and knowledge in order to impress your clients. Remember, visual communication is everything in the architecture world.
Perhaps the best way to use visualization for marketing purposes is by offering multiple concepts to your clients. Offering just one concept may or may not pass but coming up with multiple concepts is a totally different thing. Both architects and clients have concepts of their own and each concept shows different options.
Doing this traditionally would take tremendous effort and time, which means that it wouldn't be cost-efficient. On the other hand, visualization allows you to develop multiple concepts with ease and in a timely manner. On top of all that, creating a range of concepts will show your clients how professional and serious you are when it comes to your work.
Clients usually expect one or two ideas, but going with three or four or even more will surely help you generate buy-ins. The power of modern technology allows you to use great 3D visualization software to apply any changes quickly and with ease. Your clients will appreciate these efforts.
When you're thinking about marketing, the first thing that comes to mind is the main goal you want to achieve. Since you're in the architecture business, you want to get the most exposure for your project to be able to sell.
So, visualization can help you get as many eyes as possible on your services. Clients who need architecture services will appreciate a 3D model portfolio where they can get a clear picture of what they can expect if they decide to hire you. Additionally, all social media networks support 3D models, renderings and visualization.
Showing off full 3D models on your website is one of the best ways to use visualization for marketing purposes. In fact, it's safe to say that visualization is what will make clients choose your services over your competition.
Visualization offers one of the greatest advantages that you can benefit from: thanks to cloud computing, you can easily distribute your 3D modeling anywhere in the world. You can share your visualization with clients all across the globe in mere seconds and allow them to experience your ideas with a few clicks of a mouse.
This is also a great way to significantly improve your project flow and bring dead time to a minimum. If there's one thing that clients hate the most, it's dead time and waiting. So, to keep everything running smoothly, you can easily distribute your 3D models when and where they're needed. This is a very important thing that clients take into consideration when they're thinking about hiring an architect or a company.
So, as you can see, visualization is a great marketing tool that allows you to take your marketing campaign one step forward and ensure successful buy-in generation. They are most excellent at impressing clients and helping you find your targeted audience with ease. Visualization allows you to impress your clients and it makes advertising your work much easier.
It can open a lot of doors to all sorts of great opportunities if it's used the right way. In most cases, visualization is what will help your clients decide on hiring you over your competition simply because it's much easier to get a project approval and start charging for your services when a client is convinced in your work.
As the world grows, engineers and architects are creating more sophisticated architectural solutions. Mind-blowing architecture is everywhere, and skyscrapers, complicated forms, and complex structures adorn the cities around the world.
However, it’s not all about aesthetics. Engineers and architects also have to consider safety and precautionary measures.
Luckily, today's tech solutions, combined with our skills and knowledge are here to save millions of people and improve all aspects of our lives – this is where architectural forensics kicks in!
Architectural forensics can be almost anything, starting from post-earthquake safety evaluation of buildings, visual screening of buildings for potential seismic hazards, liability allocations, destructive investigations, as well as historical and theoretical examinations.
Let's see how architectural visualization affects architectural forensics, or we can freely say, how visualization helps forensic practices.
Natural disasters, including earthquakes, are the biggest enemies of architecture. However, experts in architecture and engineering are here to prevent the collapse of buildings, even in the worst situations.
EDABS is software specially designed for earthquake damage analysis. After you enter structural dimensions of the building, structure type, and the peak earthquake acceleration, you can read and see the damage ratio.
This software is also helpful before the beginning of works on the construction site. Using EDABS, you can see the exact points where the vertical and horizontal structural elements, the reinforced frame or wall structures will collapse due to an earthquake of a certain strength.
This computer program will analyze the potential seismic vulnerability of your building and it will warn you about critical points.
Although each engineer bears responsibility for their own design, the situation isn't always clear when an accident happens. Using the latest software solutions in combination with modern tools and architectural visualization, investigators can determine who is liable for the failure.
By recreating the collapse using the architectural visualization, the court can determine if an architect, constructor, or something or someone else is to blame for such a failure. By determining the point of collapse, it's possible to realize whose mistake that was.
Using the photos taken at the place of an accident, 3D artists, together with investigators, can recreate the entire environment and, together with engineers, they can find where the problem began.
Nowadays, we can see the examples of the oldest architectural buildings thanks to advanced visualization techniques. After the team of archeologists investigates a specific area, architects can visualize the environment based on collected data and historical knowledge.
Utilizing the latest technology, we can understand how today's world developed, but also to walk through old cities and travel to the past using virtual reality equipment and artificial intelligence based software solutions.
When it comes to architectural forensics, there is an independent research agency, based at the University of London that helped the CIA and many other organizations solve various problems and mysteries related to architecture.
Since 2004, thousands of civilians have been killed in US drone strikes, including the four people killed in Miranshah in June 2012.
A 43 seconds long aftermath of a drone strike was the only evidence and the crime was solved thanks to architectural visualization skills of the Forensic Architecture agency. They analyzed this video frame by frame, creating a panoramic photo of the entire area in order to confirm the location of the drone strike.
Then, Forensic Architecture analyzed the area using satellite imagery, which helped them visualize the entire location, including the building that was hit.
Using architectural visualization, they managed to recreate the scenario and to describe what happened that day in Miranshah.
In order to support the investigation of the genocide committed by ISIL, Forensic Architecture created a cloud-based, 3D digital area with GPS coordinates from 2D images by placing the photos and pixels from the original photos in the 3D environment.
Using the method of photogrammetry, or structure from motion, they were able to extract the distance and movement measurements of still images taken by drones and satellites. That way, they reconstructed the entire case thanks to architectural visualization.
Architectural forensic is one of the most powerful branches when it comes to investigation, both of historical progress and crimes. By recreating the circumstances using the art of architectural visualization, investigators can solve homicides or detect the issues of building collapse, even if it's not the product of a natural disaster, and much more.
This method can save thousands of lives by pointing out any potential issues that can cause accidents, or it can bring justice if any kind of disaster happens!
What do you think, is there something else that can be resolved by utilizing architectural visualization? Let us know in the comments!
Bit by bit, each day brings some innovations. If we look back over a decade ago, we'll realize that various Sci-Fi movie predictions have become our reality. Numerous modern solutions have affected all industries across all verticals, and architecture has seen its fair share of advancements as well.
A world where robots and drones can construct a building, where holograms have become tangible and solid, a world which allows you to enter the realms of virtual reality and augmented reality in real-time – that's our environment.
However, sometimes it seems that such tech solutions are miles away, although they're readily available, affordable, and in front of our noses. This means that a lot of people are not aware of all the available possibilities.
With that in mind, here are some tech advancements which will allow you to raise architectural visualization to another level. Let's explore and find out how to utilize the cutting edge visualization tech solutions!
3D printers have been around for a while, but the way people use them continually changes. Although primarily designed to produce small objects – 3D architectural models – using weak plastic materials, the latest 3D printer solutions are cutting edge technology.
Instead of using only one type of plastic, you can create firm or flexible elements using materials such as ABS, PVA, ASA, PETG, HIPS, PLA, polycarbonate, polypropylene, nylon, and many more.
Tday, you can do lots of things using a 3D printer and you can print whatever comes to your mind, including jewelry, food, medical supplies, prosthetics and bones, braces, musical instruments, fabrics and footwear, spare parts, weapons, furniture, and most importantly, you can 3D print larger structures such as apartments and bridges.
Similar to 3D printing, rapid prototyping allows you to create basically anything. Already used for testing and even producing construction elements and equipment, rapid prototyping is changing the way we build objects.
Mass production of construction elements created using a 3D printer, as well as the production of the other components, will change the entire industry.
Unlike traditional materials and construction works, building 3D-printed houses by assembling small parts at the construction site will reduce the costs and the time necessary for the entire process – the total costs of these affordable houses are about $7,000, and the work at the construction site can be finished in only two weeks.
2018 will be remembered as the year when Dutch robotics company MX3D created the very first 3D-printed steel bridge, which will be placed across a canal in Amsterdam, Netherlands. This 12-meter-long bridge is created from layers of molten steel.
''The lightweight tree-like structure is built on four main bearers. The concern was that if one of these bearers gets hit by a boat, the structure could critically fail,'' explained the company, and they added that they changed the concept due to engineering concerns.
"Therefore a totally new concept was created that took into account everything we learned until then about the material, the local specifications and regulations," they revealed.
Twice longer 26.3-meter-long bridge created using a 3D printing concrete system is the world's largest 3D printed bridge. Professor Xu Weiguo designed this light and elegant piece of the art across the Shanghai Wisdom Bay pond.
To match the structural performance of traditional materials, the bridge's construction was created of 44 hollowed-out concrete sections, made of polyethylene fiber concrete.
These examples are just the confirmation that 3D printing technology is at the beginning of its development. These cutting edge solutions will grow over time! Right now, it seems that in a few years, skyscrapers will be constructed like puzzles in just a couple of weeks.
When it comes to the latest tech solutions, we mustn't miss the chance to introduce one of the greatest inventions of the 21st century – virtual reality. Helpful in various processes of architectural visualization, VR will change architecture, as well as other industries, sooner than we can imagine.
Companies in numerous industries, including real estate, gaming, design, film industry, and many more, have already found a way to introduce such a solution. Lots of companies in the architecture industry are already using this futuristic equipment.
Moreover, people are even buying VR headsets for fun. The number of VR headsets sold in 2018 is above 4.6 million units, and the forecasted amount for 2019 is 6 million units.
Now that it’s clear that users are interested in using this technology, we can freely say that architectural visualization companies will start to focus heavily on VR visualization in the coming years. Let’s find out why that is so. Here are the two main benefits of VR.
Parallel with VR equipment, developers have designed a lot of 3D modeling and rendering software solutions that support virtual reality. Using the latest versions of popular programs such as Autodesk's 3ds Max, architects can enter the world of virtual reality and modify their scenes in real-time.
The process of modeling and adjusting the 3D model using VR goggles allows more precise work and provides architects with the opportunity to feel the entire space before the beginning of the construction works. Plus, creating a 3D model with a VR headset looks much more fun!
After the process of 3D modeling and rendering, it's time for presentation! You can decide on a more traditional way and create images, but, for the best experience, you can create VR animation.
When it comes to presenting your work to clients, you should do your best to amaze them – your colleagues will understand your idea through your technical drawings, but clients and investors will not. Moreover, we can freely say that architectural visualization is the project seller.
VR is the best tool when we're talking about visualization – investors and clients will be able to walk through your design using VR headsets, and you'll be able to fix the potential issues before the beginning of the works, and therefore, save lots of money.
Both you and your clients will be satisfied – it's a win-win solution!
Similar to virtual reality technology, but at the same time unique and superior, augmented reality is another pillar of modern architectural visualization. As the overlay of digital content, this sophisticated technology allows people to experience augmented reality using various devices and tools, including smartphones, tablets, and other portable devices, as well as smart AR glasses and headsets.
Although VR equipment is affordable, the situation with AR is even better – instead of buying headsets and glasses, clients can enter the world of augmented reality within a few seconds, as long as the process of app installation lasts.
Since there are numerous apps driven by AR technology, each app works differently. Here are five best AR apps for architectural visualization.
Available for Android and iOS, designed both for design and presentation purposes, ARki overlays 3D models onto existing 2D floor plans. With features such as real-time shadow analysis, material switching, and physics simulation, ARki is a great choice both for visualization and for construction projects. Besides, it’s completely free!
Designed both for VR and VR, Smart Reality is a smartphone app that uses a mobile phone's camera to overlay interactive BIM models, creating 3D visualization. This simple-to-use app allows users to expose structural layers, to zoom, record images or videos, and much more. Smart Reality is available both for Android and iOS devices.
Unlike most of the other AR apps, Pair is a consumer-focused app. Thanks to the extensive and constantly updated furniture catalog, users can add 3D models in a real-world environment and visualize their apartments alone. iOS users can create presentations, allowing users to walk through their brand new designs over and over again.
This free augmented reality app, available both for iOS and Android devices, was created especially for architects and designers, allowing them to draft floor plans using only a smartphone's camera. 2D floor plans can be saved as JPG, PDF, and most importantly, the DXF format. Helpful, right?
Available for iOS and Android devices, Augment is an augmented reality app designed for architectural visualization studios and students. Useful for interior and exterior design visualization, Augment, thanks to its large library, allows you to drop various 3D models, but also to edit, adjust, and share your projects with your collaborators. However, the price ranges from $300 to $1000 per month.
These highly available solutions are still growing, and we are sure that there will be more AR-based apps available. Until then, you should enjoy and explore the possibilities of these great apps!
What happens if you combine two advanced technologies such as virtual reality and augmented reality? The answer is simple – mixed reality. Merging the best aspects of VR and AR, mixed reality allows users to experience and see the real world, like augmented reality, while also seeing virtual objects from the world of virtual reality.
By “dropping” the virtual objects in the real world environment, mixed reality allows for an entirely new level of architectural visualization.
After apps such as Pokémon Go attracted numerous users across the globe, clients in the architecture industry have become highly interested in this kind of presentation.
So, what will present your work better than “dropping” your building in the urban environment in real-time? As the most advanced solution, mixed reality can help you show your clients and investors exactly how your building will fit into the landscape without wasting a lot of time on post-production tasks.
Unlike still images that you can create using PhotoShop and similar vector software solutions, mixed reality apps allow you to produce animations.
BIM apps supported by mixed reality can help and improve various processes at the construction site, reducing the possibility of any mistakes.
Besides, such mixed reality apps can read various file formats, which means that architects can upload technical documentation (CAD files), as well as renders. Builders can use a mixed reality device to scan the processes at the site, and the app will show them what to do next based on the project details.
Since misunderstandings between the builders and architects often result in failure, mixed reality will improve the level of safety by improving communication.
As we mentioned, these tech solutions used to be unimaginable just a few decades ago. However, one of the biggest achievement of the new age thus far is doubtlessly the mind-blowing solution called “holographic architectural representation system”.
This easy to store and fast to produce device designed by Zebra Imaging offers full-color holographic visualization, and it can be integrated with commonly used Autodesk's software solutions. The device's thin surface becomes a detailed 3D model, allowing you to present your work to your clients, project investors or colleagues thanks to a halogen or LED light source.
"With our technology and 3D print services, 3D data can be brought out of the computer and into the consumer 3D display market at an affordable price. The partnership is about inspiring creativity and new approaches for visualizing in 3D," explained Brian Hill, GM Zebra Imaging Print Division.
He also said that the main component of their hologram is3D data, and he added ''The development of the Autodesk 123D family of apps provides the tools for mass user-generated 3D content and extends hologram creation capabilities across the globe."
Besides being highly useful and interesting, the best thing about Zebra Imaging 3D Hologram Display is that it's incredibly affordable. You can get your hologram display today for only $49.99!
This might seem unbelievable, but a group of Japanese scientists from the University of Tokyo, Department of Complexity Science and Engineering has provided us with the technology called “Touchable Holograms”. It's true that even regular holograms are a mind-blowing solution, but there is more.
Without wearing any equipment, you can experience the illusion of touching holographic, unreal items.
Haptoclone works thanks to a synchronized haptic-optical construction in combination with Airborne Ultrasound Tactile Display (AUTD) and Aerial Imaging Plate (AIP). When you touch the unreal object, Haptoclone will produce strong pressure, and you'll experience the illusion of touching a hologram in the most realistic way.
Using a “touchable” hologram, architects and designers will be able to present their visualizations in a much more realistic way than earlier.
When we consider all the technological achievements mentioned above, we have to admit that it's hard to say which of them is the most helpful in the architectural visualization industry. Each solution can raise the level of hyper-realism, but also to facilitate and improve various processes.
It would be too much to ask for another advanced technological solution, since all those that we have mentioned are incredible. However, we can hope that these tools will become even more affordable and readily available and that the use of these tools and apps will become routine.
Since we have seen that the combination of VR and AR has brought something entirely new and unique, we have to ask you the following thing: Which two of the above-mentioned technological solutions would you combine into one in order to improve the architectural visualization industry? Let us know in the comments!
The modern era has brought us lots of advancements.
Until recently, the technology utilized in architecture used to be only the upgraded version of the existing tools and software solutions, available since the '90s, and even earlier. However, the last decade has brought incredible new products and equipment.
At the same time, the 21st century has become a period of ecological awareness and consciousness, and we have accepted our responsibilities.
Since we're trying to protect our environment using natural and organic materials, and saving energy at the construction sites, you can say that we're trying to achieve sustainable architecture. There are lots of methods for reducing the negative impacts of architectural projects on the environment, but one of the latest tech-driven solutions is 3D printed architecture.
With that in mind, here are some steps of the evolution of this revolutionary machine, as well as a few good examples that will help us build a healthier future.
One of the primary purposes of 3D printers, although they're useful in all creative business fields, is architectural visualization. The process of 3D modeling and rendering remains one of the most widely used techniques for architectural visualization, but we can freely say that 3D printing is right behind.
Although computing visualization can be more than hyper-realistic thanks to virtual reality headsets, augmented reality apps, and mixed reality presentations, sometimes, a touchable maquette simply can't be outdone.
Instead of wasting lots of time creating the entire maquette manually, a 3D printer can finish the task within a few minutes or hours, depending on the level of precision and the size of the model. In the beginning, the only materials available for 3D printers were some types of plastics, but today, you can use almost anything, including food.
Since 3D printing is based on pre-created 3D models, architects must visualize the building before the beginning of works at the site, and clients and investors can see and change some potential aesthetic issues if needed.
A few years ago, some leading firms in architecture realized that they should give it a shot and try to create some larger structures using this exciting and funny to use machine.
In the beginning, the very first 3D printed houses were made of previously 3D printed pieces and elements, combined with the traditional construction systems.
Today, you can find about 1,000 conventional houses completely made up of 3D printed sections, including constructive elements or entire construction systems. This method of building can reduce and partially solve the problem of social housing, as one 3D printed house costs about $7,000, and the entire process lasts up to two weeks.
After this trend evolved a little bit, 3D printers capable of printing larger structures arrived on the market, and things have become much simpler on the construction sites around the world.
Instead of performing time-consuming processes, architects can finally rely on 3D printers that, instead of synthetics and soft materials, can print layers of concrete, allowing the production of firm and solid structures.
As the world's largest 3D-printed concrete structure, 26.3 meters long with a width of 3.6 meters, the bridge in Shanghai is proof that we can 3D print literally anything. Besides, there are other impressive buildings and structures made of firm materials such as stainless steel.
Recently, the mentioned 3D printers capable of printing large structures have become mobile. Unlike the method of building prefabricated houses, mobile 3D printers can print all the layers of the building directly on the site, reducing both time and costs, and eliminating waste materials.
Firstly, one of the common and money-consuming problems remains the transport of prefabricated elements, even if they’re created using a 3D printer. Very often, some parts get damaged in transport, but besides that, the method of building prefabricated houses can't eliminate the waste of materials, because some things still must be prepared on the site.
Also, post-assembly works are another thing that architects can avoid using these mobile 3D printers, which differs from any other method of building.
At “Viaggio a Shamballa” and the “A call to save the world” conference, Italian 3D-printing company WASP (World's Advanced Saving Project), Big Delta WASP 12MT, and Crane WASP – a modular 3D -printer – presented their research on 3D printing architecture using free and natural materials.
"Gaia is the result of a limited and optimized use of agricultural resources, which through technology have been converted into a complex building with a minimal environmental footprint," WASP said in an interview. And they confirmed that the entire building is biodegradable: "If the building isn't maintained, it will turn back into the soil."
As first of this kind, a 3D printed house Gaia was made of raw soil in October 2018. This eco-sustainable architectural model, or should we say prototype, was entirely build of waste materials coming from rice production.
From a health and bioclimatic point of view, Gaia saves an incredible amount of energy and improves indoor health, it costs almost nothing, and all that with almost zero environmental impact. Without heating and air conditioning systems, Gaia maintains a comfortable temperature both in summer and in winter.
Rice House, the rice manufacturer, supplied the herb fibers – one of the chief materials. Let's see the final mixture of the used materials:
- 25% of soil taken from the construction site in Massa Lombardo, Italy: 40% silt, 30% clay, 30% sand.
- 40% of straw chopped rice for insulation.
- 25% of rice husk for insulation.
- 10% of hydraulic lime.
Utilizing agriculture resources of natural waste materials, 3D printed eco-friendly houses such as Gaia, with a minimal environmental impact, can change our approach to sustainable architecture in the future. This cheap and sustainable architectural masterpiece and the future of sustainable architecture took only ten days to complete.
Since people are now able to 3D print entire houses and buildings with several floors, it's only logical that architects can also use this technology to print various artistic elements, especially when it comes to the interior design.
Although most people don’t think that sustainable architecture created by 3D printers can be pretty, a Spanish designer Patricia Urquiola proved them wrong.
Patricia Urquiola has developed a new and innovative method, and she explained: "I used these filters in the metal mass [of the building] to incorporate a kind of movement. It was a totally new and exciting way of thinking about space for me."
The BMW Welt exhibition area got a 322 square-meter twisted green and blue terrazzo floor fit within a 3D printed white frame. As the leading company in the automotive industry, BMW said:
"Urquiola used her surface design to translate, extremely intuitively, the apparently fractured ice surface, green color – which appears to change in tone against different lights – and Northern Lights."
If set to create fine and precise structures, 3D printers can produce highly decorative and attractive architectural elements without any negative environmental impacts.
Each day there is another architectural miracle built by 3D printers. This robotic and futuristic machine can become part of both luxury and social housing.
Firstly, 3D printers are capable of creating stunning and complex designs using various materials such as steel, concrete, or waste. This is why 3D printers can start the social housing revolution, allowing people to buy their homes for a minimal price, and to get their homes in about ten days.
We hope that this revolution will never stop and that 3D printers will become our favorite and commonly used tool for creating everything beyond the industry of architecture.
Helpful and futuristic, 3D printers have already changed our approach to architectural visualization. However, the next step is utilizing this wonderful piece of technology to create something more significant – sustainable and biodegradable houses, buildings, and even cities.
Join the community and go green!
What do you think, what's the next step in the evolution of 3D printing? Let us know in the comments!
Architect John Ian Lee Fulga, who studied at the University of the Philippines, College of Architecture, and gained additional knowledge working with LEED and Greenmark, has his own architectural firm, focusing on designing and planning masterpieces for property owners, business enterprises, and entrepreneurs.
His company, Fulgar Architects is located in Manila, Philippines, where he shares his passion for architecture with 18 people – programmers, designers, architects, structural engineers, UI/UX designers and developers, and even architecture students.
“Our studio is kind of unique in a way that you have the IT component, the technological component, the designers and engineers working together… We enjoy more of collaborative work.”
Using his vast knowledge in software technology developing both server-side and front-end UI systems, he easily learned about programming and Building Information Modeling Technologies. On the other hand, Fulgar's enthusiasm for architecture and the arts led him to the graduate studies in the College of Fine Arts, The University of the Philippines.
Simultaneously interested in various scientific fields and art, Fulgar Architects mixes architecture and information technologies with meta-modern elements.
In an interview in Makati City, John Ian Lee Fulga said:
“What we have now is assembly architecture which means you buy components and put them together. That is what is happening. That is why you could see most box types as in assembly line,” and he added, “We are borrowing too much from the western ideas, where they mass produce and practice assembly architecture. While we are adopting these concepts, further studies on how it will impact our way of living as Filipinos must also be considered.”
“Our studio is kind of unique in a way that you have the IT component, the technological component, the designers and engineers working together… We enjoy more of collaborative work,” Fulga said to the media, and then he explained that the metamodern philosophy is a question of what comes after postmodernism.
Then he added, ‘’We are more facilitated now with things that are digitalized… It has a global age message where everyone is more connected and we have more perspective on what is happening across the globe…. What metamodern now is to help us be more subjective to try to think of a common ground where we can entertain polarities and come up with something new, something creative as a challenge now.”
The latest technological trends, among many other industries, can improve the architecture, too. Fulga explained the application of the cutting edge tech in architecture, as the ecologically efficient solution that can cut lots of costs and increase the performance of smart buildings.
“You can simulate a lot to include fluid dynamics and circulation and how solar patterns affect the performance of the building, how you can manage energy load.”
As the primary goal to promote the Philippines, the local arts and culture through comic enthusiasm, one of the first Mars Ravelo comic museum complexes will adorn Southeast Asia's Tagaytay City.
Inspired by the origami and the versatility of paper, Fulgar Architects managed to design several buildings, each characterized by unique flipping sheets and folded planes of structural panels.
''What we build affects all of us. What metamodern’s role here is to look at all these aspects—from sustainability, liveability, buildability, all of that—and try to come up with new forms with more technological innovations, to come up with better building designs that we haven’t tried before that could probably change how we live, how we interact with each other.''
It's obvious that such shapes and forms are hard to visualize. However, the best experts from Fulgar Architects always highlight and display even the most complex models.
“When you work with technology, you are able to visualize the project better because it can be, instead of looking at 2D plans you can actually look at 3D plans and you can section it, you can dissect it, you can walk through it – you could visualize the project better,” Fulga explained the importance of 3D visualization.
In spite of the Western influence in architecture, arts, and other art-related disciplines, Fulgar Architects managed to keep their traditional style, but they also introduced lots of new, modern elements.
Using the state of the art technological solutions and construction systems, they are creating stunning pieces of art. Each building designed by Fulgar Architects represents paper-like masterpieces made of the best solid materials.
From one angle, their architecture seems like origami, but on the other hand, you can see substantial art.
As creators of the period that arrived after post-modernism, we hope that their idea will spread around the world and help designers, architects, and engineers learn how to stick to their tradition, concurrently adding unique innovations.
So, that leads us to the following conclusion: if you manage to mix architecture, engineering, information technologies, and art – the results will change architecture as we know it.
The entire idea of metamodernism sounds ideal, just like the Utopia of the 21st century.
What do you think about Fulga's metamodern elements? Let us know in the comments.