Feb 21, 2016 | By Tess

Arckit, the popular building block system created by architects for everyone, has recently announced the launch of Arckit Infiniti 3D, a series of bespoke 3D printed add-on components that will be available through 3D printing service Shapeways’ website later this month.

Arckit was conceived of by architect Damien Murtagh who, while embracing digital modeling in the field of architecture, wanted to return to physical modeling, to actually creating and building miniature design models. His building block system, which can be understood as a sort of LEGO set for architects, consists of multiple building parts which can be put together and taken apart with ease to create modular and changeable building models.

So far, Murtagh has released 4 versions of Arckit, which include different numbers of floor pieces, wall pieces, windows, and furniture pieces, all of which are made to a 1:48 scale. The kits also come with Architextures, which are building material stickers that can be applied to the models to better visualize a building’s look.

“Architects have always used models as a means to explore and communicate ideas," says Murtagh on Arckit's website. "Today however, cutting and gluing materials is no longer feasible due to time and cost constraints involved. Arckit is a groundbreaking freeform modelling system that opens up a whole new way for architects and everyone to physically visualise their designs.”

The architectural model system has done exceptionally well thus far, being used by architects to design and introduce ideas to clients, being toted on various news programs, and even being used to integrate and promote STEAM education in schools.

Now, to expand his product and to allow for more architectural imagination in model building, Murtagh is introducing a wide variety of 3D printed add-on components, such as church spires, archways, domes, roofs, furniture, columns, stairs, landscape elements, and figurines to name a few. What is especially appealing is that the 3D printed add-on components can be modified and customized and are made to order by Shapeways.

“Arckit Infiniti 3D provides a new outlet for everyone to further develop their architectural skills and creations, says Damien Murtagh. “And we want everyone to get involved by sending in their suggestions for new components. Architects will benefit from greater freedom to implement their own unique stamp on their designs. This together with Arckit’s speed of assembly and affordability could mark a genuine return to physical model making within architectural practices.”

Just as Arckit allows for its users to build creatively, the company is also growing and building itself to allow for more creative outcomes. As Murtagh adds, “We have big plans for Infiniti 3D and will continue to grow our component range…This is another first for the architectural model industry. We expect 3D printing to be huge in the future, and we want to be at the forefront of its development within architecture and model making.”

Not only is Arckit launching Infiniti 3D this month, but the company has also announced it will be introducing a whole new series of modeling kits in summer of 2016. The kits to be launched are the Mini Angle Kit, Mini Curve Kit, GO Colours, and Mini Dormer Kit, all of which will be compatible with previously released Arckit collections, as well as any 3D printed add-on component.

The GO Colours kits, which will be the company’s first multicolored building block collection is expected to be especially popular within schools, as it will make building and modeling that much more exciting for young students.

Currently, Arckit modeling kits are being sold at various retailers including Harrods, Barnes & Noble, RIBA Book Shop, and various museum, design, and toy stores. The Arckit Inifiniti 3D Shapeways store is not yet accessible, but is expected to be launched sometime this month.

As digital modeling technologies increasingly take over architectural practices it is somewhat refreshing and surprising to see one of the hottest new technologies, 3D printing, taking the practice back to its roots of physical modeling, of using hands and blocks to create the buildings of tomorrow.



Posted in 3D Design



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