Architecture: 3D Printing Providing A Tangible Solution - Leapfrog Case Study

3D Printing Expert

Posted on July 11 2017

3D CAD software has been a tool for designing in architecture for many years. Presenting these designs in a professional manner is important to communicate your ideas to the consumer. Involving the stakeholders in the process of the design as early as possible until the final design, will prevent unnecessary iterations and reduces risks. Understanding a 3D model on a computer screen isn’t an intuitive way to experience this model. 3D printing can provide a tangible solution in presenting a 3D model which can be understood by everybody.

The following cases will be about one of three different architects and how they experience and how they involve 3D printing in their daily work; Peterjan Corten from Interior - and architects bureau Fokkema & Partners, Vincent Hector from Architects bureau KCAP and John Heimensem, an entrepreneur in model building.


Fokkema & Partners

“Fokkema & Partners is an interior - and Architects bureau. This means that we design complete renovations and new real-estate projects, as well as objects which are meant to use inside of a building. Our Leapfrog 3D printers aids us in the design process of unique objects, by being able to easily print the current design to evaluate adjustments and changes.


Advantages for the client

What used to be done by hand, is now done by 3D CAD and simulations by many architects. The 3D printer is seeing a similar evolution. Cortan: “Back in the day, we used to do everything by hand, now we mainly work digitally and our Leapfrog 3D printer is a great tool in this process. Details can be produced like chairs, door knobs, parts of a counter, etc. We aren’t printing complete interiors; but we don’t think that will be unlikely in the near future!” Scale models are a great tool to convince the client of a certain unique design. “Our 3D printer creates a tangible object which helps the client understand the whole design.”


Advantages for the developer

“We used to share our renders and drawings only with the developer and contractor. We decided to take it one step further, to keep improving our service and business, with 3D printing.” Printing complex structures is possible with the Leapfrog Bolt because of its dual head system. One nozzle will print the material of the structure, while the other can print water soluble support. This opens up a big range of possibilities which aren’t available for single extruder 3D printers. “The developer receives a 3D printed model which will provide him with a better understanding of the impact and functions the object has. Remarks and changes can be easily changed afterwards which can create new insights and developments as well.” Projects schedules improve heavily and are positively influenced by the use of 3D printing.

 Advantages for the architect

3D printing can also be beneficial for costs. “The chance of getting the design approved by the customer increases when there is a possibility that a scale model can be made. This was usually done in the final stage but can now be done earlier in the designing process with the use of a 3D printer. Which in turn helps improvements and reduces iterations.

If you would like to read more about how Leapfrog’s printers has made a difference in architecture please click here for the full case study by Leapfrog.

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