The way that people are now designing and making is ever changing. From the way that concepts are created to the manufacturing process that turn the design into reality.
Zaha Hadid’s City of Towers exhibition which is a proposed new business district and urban environment in central Beijing, highlights how 3D printing has risen in popularity when creating concept models. Being able to create a tactile model for the client to be able to see whilst still containing complex mathematical formulas to create a precise concept that can give the client a senses of what the full size structure or product will be like. Theses models and 3D printed studies are a way of being able to convey the design process that is applied to lead to the final project, it also plays a role in the research of the design during its infant stage. By being able to print the model using a parametricism style it gives the models structural qualities and highlight what is now possible with modern day manufacturing.
The City of Towers exhibition showcases the way in which manufacturing is now moving forward. When we are currently working within industry 4.0 and seeing the new style of manufacturing that is available because of current technologies, 3D printing is becoming increasing chosen to create high quality concept models. Whilst 3D printing is still relent on human interaction during the manufacturing process it is a way of being able to create precise structure allowing architects to be able to understand if the mathematics behind the design will allow the structure to stand alone.
The ability of 3D printing means that now designers are able to design, specify materials and produce a product or concept model all within one software package. It allows for highly detailed products to be made with precise information as to the design and materials to be used. ‘City of Towers’ demonstrates the advances 3D printing has had within architectural and interior design, using Parametric design gave links between natural shapes and forms with architecture, and with the use of 3D printing softwares it gives designers the opportunity to check that the structures are engineeringly viable by being able to quickly produce accurate models scaled correctly.
Whist the exhibition of the 3D produced models clearly showed how the movement into industry 4.0 has lead to designers being able to quickly produce concept models of the structures within a building. It highlighted that whist Industry 4.0 is focusing on interoperability, information transparency, technical assurance and decentralised decisions, 3D printing still needs human interaction during the process of the manufacture meaning that there is still areas that have the the opportunity to be further designed and developed. To further develop the use of 3D printing within the architecture and interior design industry it would be ideal if the models could show and more clearly demonstrate the different materials that could be used within the space with colouring and textures to give more the client more of a feel of that the building or space will be like once constructed.