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13 Mar 2017

LEGO Architecture meets BIM – Part 22: 3D Printing


Over the past couple of years 3D printing has very much been in the main stream media. So the concept of 3D printing is largely understood by even those not involved the construction industry. 3D printing can produce some incredible outputs however this relies of course upon on high quality inputs! Our LEGO Architecture meets BIM project has of course a robust 3D model at the heart of it so producing a 3D printed version is relatively straightforward.

So for this post I enlisted the help of Hobs Studio who amongst other services provide a 3D Printing service. They kindly printed our LEGO model for me which now takes pride of place in our Sheffield studio. Thanks particularly to Michelle Greeff (Managing Director), Lee Basil (Business Manager) and Robbie Jenkins (3D Print Technician) for their help with this! As with all contributions to the blog its very much appreciated.

The types of outputs and materials used vary depending on what you need so I won’t go into detail on this. More about Hobs Studio’s 3D Printing service and loads of useful information on 3D printing can be found here including more information on the different types of 3D Printing.

Also a thank you to my Bond Bryan colleague Phil Grayston for the photography of the 3D printed model.

The LEGO model itself is actually 100 times larger than the real thing for various technical reasons. So in order to send the file to Hobs Studio I simply had to save as a .STL file at a scale of 1:100. I provided this file to them and what I got back is seen below:

The 3D Printed Model

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I particularly like this final image as it shows the detail of the LEGO model but also how Hobs Studio have removed some of the detail in the centre of the model to reduce the amount of material needed. This reduces the weight although as its largely printed solid it weighs significantly more than the real thing!

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3D Printing in itself could be done with simply a 3D model (i.e. no data). The data is not driving the output, however the appropriate Level of Detail (which we have discussed before) and an accurate 3D model is important. The output is another way of communicating ideas to clients and other stakeholders. It can be used to convey design ideas during the early phases of a project or to communicate the finished design (as in this case). It simply provides yet another BIM use (or byproduct) for our overall approach to BIM with our LEGO Architecture meets BIM project.

The coolest thing for me though about the 3D Print though is the fact that real LEGO blocks can fit perfectly into it!

So if you’re in our Sheffield studio and want to take a look just give me a shout.

Rob Jackson, Associate Director, Bond Bryan Architects


About Hobs Studio

More about Hobs Studio can be found here.

Hobs Studio is part of the Hobs Group. More services can be found here.

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