May 29, 2014

The San Francisco skyline of 2017 is still a work in progress, but a large 3D-printed scale-model of San Francisco unveiled on Wednesday by Autodesk and Steelblue has already provided you a sneak-peek of a future San Francisco.

The model covers a 115+ block area encompassing the Financial and South of Market districts, including AT&T Park, the Ferry Building and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.

The model was produced for Tishman Speyer, a real-estate developer, as a marketing tool. But it also offers decision makers of urban planning a new insight into the numerous development projects underway in the area.

The model was printed at Autodesk's Pier 9 workshop on two Objet Connex 500 printers with print resolution of 16 microns. The digital model was created by the Steelblue team who had been building up from photogrammetry, city planning data and architectural drawings over the course of years. The actual printing took about two months to complete - two printers running day and night lay down layer after layer of resin.

"For developers, architects, urban planners, city officials and the public at large, there is nothing quite like a scale model of your city to gain new insights into your surrounds. With 3D printing, we add in a rapid-prototyping capability. We can swap in buildings or entire city blocks to explore design options and to keep the model up to date in rapidly evolving neighborhoods," said O'Brien Chalmers, president of Steelblue.

"Adding layers of data visualizations gives us even more power to understand and visualize the way new buildings and infrastructure will impact the urban landscape and the people who live and work there."

The 3D print has been such a success that Steelblue are now printing models of other cities.

The San Francisco model will remain with Tishman Speyer, and a second planned print of the model is expected to be displayed at the Autodesk Gallery, where it will be open to the public.

Posted in 3D Printing Applications


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Nave wrote at 6/2/2014 6:25:53 PM:

Why did you use Connex technology for this?

OB wrote at 5/30/2014 6:39:26 PM:

you got it TK: model lights up in many ways: godzilla and king kong:,fl_progressive,q_80,w_636/mtqbuohlp5jvjdr7grct.jpg blocks are swapable:

TK wrote at 5/29/2014 5:21:02 PM:

Feels like Monopoly meets Ground hog day for the scale of it... Boardwalk just got hit out of the park! I'd be cool if you could install tiny led lights in it to simulate aspects seen at night, plus maybe a planetarium like laser night sky effect.. Very cool model. One could see putting lights under it to show weather patterns (regions different colors), show lights say for police activity / demonstrations, kinda in a WWI war room like fashion. If blocks were removable (swap able), you could play risk by swapping in color version of each block for the owner. So where is the model of Godzilla to come stomp on the model?

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