Monday, 29 February 2016

Digital Craft - why we published

Digital Craft - 3D Printing For Architectural Design
Examining techniques for a new mode of craftsmanship

In terms of the entire process of architectural design, modelmaking may appear to have a relatively small part to play. In terms of 3D printing, architectural models are hardly the main focus. So it could be considered that 3D printing of architectural models is a rather niche subject. But now, the intersection of the ancient profession of architecture and the upstart phenomenon that is 3D printing has a book researched, written and published. Lucky 3D printing for architectural design!

1:1000 massing studies

So why was this book published? From a practical point of view, one of the motivations here at Lee 3D was to help and encourage architects to make better and more effective 3D printed models. 

The term '3D printing' can be quite misleading. At one end of the spectrum it may seem just like printing to paper - it's a printer, isn't it? While at the other end, 3D printing or additive manufacturing, is deeply revolutionary and in many ways needs new ways of designing to exploit its capabilities.

The subject of this book though, lies elsewhere. Here is no polemic about revolutionary potential and still no exhortation to just press print. The focus here is not on the printers but rather on what is being printed. This is a realistic book about using a new tool within the conventions of modelmaking. It is a book about the new digital craft of making.

1:100 facade study model

Another good reason for publishing the book became apparent during the initial research phase. Intellectually, the starting point for the project had been the question - to what extent can a style be applied to a standalone 3D printed model? During early conversations with the author it became apparent that models made as part of the design stage are rarely seen outside the architects' studio. As a consequence, scope for sharing of ideas among professionals was limited and that this lack of cross fertilisation inhibited the evolution of 3D printing styles in architectural modelmaking.

Thus, it became an ambition in publishing Digital Craft that the book would spread ideas about 3D printing architectural design models across the profession. That by doing so it gives 3D printing for architectural design a nudge in the right direction.

Digital Craft published February 2016

About the book
Digital Craft can be purchased from Amazon stores in Europe. It should be possible for Amazon to ship to most countries from these stores. 

About the Author
Bryan Ratzlaff is a Canadian architectural designer working in London with five years’ experience in 3D printing for architects. Bryan has a Master of Architecture degree from University of Westminster (RIBA Part II).

About the Publisher
Published by Lee 3D Ltd, a specialist 3D print bureau focussed mainly on the AEC sector. 

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