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3D Printer Specifically for Architects

Arch Daily reports on a 3D printer developed specifically with architects in mind.  The Platonics Ark, which was developed in Helsinki, Finland, “has one simple goal: to remove all unnecessary set-up and technical processes by means of intelligent automation and, as a result, almost entirely eliminate the wasted time architects and designers spend calibrating printers, or working up print-ready files.”

The Platonics team claims their Platonics Ark reduces “pre-processing time from hours to minutes.”  Additionally, the printer self-cleans and self-calibrates while utilizing a modular design.  “According to the company, moving from CAD file to 3D printable STL files takes no more than four steps with their software, which plugs directly into Archicad, Revit, Rhino, Vectorworks, and Sketchup…the printer works with wood, terracotta, clay, granite, concrete, copper, and bronze.”  The system also makes use of an easy-to-use web application.

During the production time it took to develop the Platonics Ark, the team at Platonics “claim to have had 1,027 conversations with architects” while creating the printer’s prototypes.  Also, they “conducted an intensive piloting period with the likes of JKMM Architects, Lunden, Serum Architects, Verstas Architects, and Studio Puisto.”

ALA Architects’ Samuli Woolston concludes: “there’s nothing like a physical model to explain a form.  The challenge for us is in the amount of hours our staff spends on maintenance and pre-processing files.”  The Platonics Ark hurdles over that challenge.

The Platonics Ark begins full production in May of 2018.

Image, Quotes, and Video Courtesy of Arch Daily

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