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Rapid Prototyping systems popular with Architects

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ADVANCING architectural CAD software is allowing Architects to greater utilise Rapid Prototyping technologies to produce complex geometries and delicate features much faster than traditional model making techniques, says Arrk .

Whilst foam, wood and even on-screen 3D visualisations will never be replaced, these techniques are often suited to simple designs. The ability to create complex structures in a matter of hours instead of days, allows architects to validate CAD data, review design concepts and demonstrate design difficulties, both internally and for client presentations.

There are a number of competing Rapid Prototyping technologies available in Australia, the most common used by Architects are SLA (Stereolithography), Objet 3D Printing and Z-Corp.

SLA and Objet utilise epoxy or acrylic materials and are ideal for designs that contain thin walls and intricate detail, while Z-Corp's Rapid Prototyping process is fast and ideal for complex geometries. Z-Corp models also provide a textured finish reminiscent of stone or concrete, so the building models look and feel natural.

Utilising STL CAD format, the files are downloaded directly to the printer and built in a layer-by-layer technique to create the 3D scaled model. The process is quick, clean and quiet and offers many benefits, including the ability to build multiple outputs simultaneously.

Over the last 15 years, Arrk has been a leading service provider of prototype models, providing companies with high quality, accurate models utilising CNC and Rapid Prototyping technology. Today, Arrk is also a dedicated distributor of both Z-Corp and Objet Rapid Prototyping technology, allowing designers and manufacturers to affordably bring this technology in-house to enhance and improve communication during the design stages.

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