3D printing has changed the nature of model making. From the processes employed to the materials used, 3D printing and additive manufacturing enable the creation of complex, highly accurate scale models complete down to the finest details - and all from the click of a button.
Model makers that have traditionally required accurate scale and detail models we've all heard about:
- Design engineers (who require scale models to test fit, form and function for a part or product before it goes on the production line),
- Architects (who use a scale model to both evaluate and then market a particular architectural design concept),
- Filmmakers (who build scale models to help plan a set or series of complex scenes in a film),
- Marketing and sales teams (who use a scale prototype model to communicate, promote and sell products that haven't entered production yet - especially large heavy products such as defense and automotive systems).
3D printing has been a major part of these sectors' workflow process for some years now. But a more recent development, aided in part by falling prices and the greater availability of high-end 3D printing capabilities, is the rise of the amateur or hobbyist model maker.
Traditionally, this area has been dominated by the die cast process and injection molding. But 3D printers offering fine detail resolution and multiple materials are now enabling a third way – and in many cases, the process is faster, more cost-effective and the results can quite often be stunning. Like these two new examples that have just come my way.
The first is this very impressive ‘dictator’ model, created by Mark Mondragon for Khurasan Miniatures and available on the excellent Moddler website.