3D Printed Architectural Model Part 3: Finished Assembly

Article by Dimos Siagoulis updated August 31, 2015


In Part 1 we showed you how to optimize the 3D CAD model for 3D printing, and in Part 2 we reviewed the 3D Printing Process. But the final part of our blog series is what you have all been waiting for…the finished assembly of the 3D Printed Architectural model:

3D Printed Architectural Model Finished Assembly

3D Printed Architectural Model Finished Assembly

Takeaway Lesson from the project

There were a few things that I learned while carrying out this project. But the main thing was to take the additional time with the CAD model to add in assembly tolerances. You want to ensure that your assembly parts do not have a nominal fit, as this will cause a lot of unnecessary sanding time in order to fit them together. The exception to this rule are the windows, as you will need to sand them down anyway to achieve a transparent appearance. My preferred tolerances are 0.02in, or twenty thousandths of an inch. This will leave you with parts that fit perfectly together without the hassle of sanding.

Assembling the Model

To begin I pieced together the first floor and attached it to the base. The black support columns were also added to support the second floor.

Ground Floor with walls and supporting columns

Ground Floor with walls and supporting columns

Next the second floor was assembled. The side windows slid in from the top as shown in the photo below. The top and front windows were also slotted into place

First Floor Assembly

First Floor Assembly

The first floor was then attached onto the ground floor supports. Here is a view of the model without the additional structural pieces:

3D Printed model without accessories added

Model without additional structural pieces added

The Fully Assembled Model

Here is a gallery of the fully assembled model with all of the parts slotted into place. Click to enlarge the photos below:

And that’s a wrap! This was a very fun project to be involved in. Being the first architectural model I have ever created I’m very pleased with the result. The entire process took roughly 4-5 business days including

  • 10 hours of CAD model optimization,
  • around 3 days for printing
  • and the last day for sanding lacquering and assembling.

The process duration can be easily reduced once you become familiar with the best practices like tolerances and manufacturing for assembly. Thank you for joining me along the course of this project!

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Dimos Siagoulis

Co-op student from McMaster University on my second work term at Javelin Technologies Inc.