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Old Posted Nov 19, 2015, 7:16 AM
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Join Date: Nov 2015
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3d Printing Philadelphia at 1:3048 scale one block at a time

Hey everyone, new user here, just signed up to share my love of skyscrapers/architecture and thank the community for all the help they've been (whether they know it or not) during my process. Essentially, I'm planning to 3d print a bunch of models of blocks in Philadelphia and the information I found on this forum/site (primarily building heights and the image gallery for scale reference) was invaluable. Google Earth is also an amazing resource for this project, as I can fly around the buildings in 3d or jump down to street level for finer details. I'm trying to include as much as I can from signage to window frames but I'm building the details into the faces of the model rather than using texture mapping, so between that time consuming process and the small scale, I've omitted some details that may not show up anyway.

Here is the first block I've printed thus far - Liberty Place:




Sorry for image quality, I was experimenting with a telephoto lens for my iPhone. Here are some close detail shots with the macro lens I also got :-)




Some of you may wonder why 1:3048 scale and not something more regulated like 1:1000 - it seems so arbitrary, I know. Well since I'm designing the models to be 3d-printed and the full color sandstone material I'm printing them in lays down 100 micron thin layers at a time, .1mm is the smallest unit that will print from bottom to top (z axis), so I broke it down to 1foot = .1mm to make it easier while building to scale and to print best. This means that the tallest building in the model (the currently-being-built Comcast Innovation & Technology Center) is 11.21 centimeters (about 4 11/16 inches) high!

I've posted digital renders of all of the blocks I've finished thus far (15 full blocks in total, some are broken down into separate sections where smaller streets cut through) on the Facebook page I created for what I've dubbed "3D Printedelphia".

Each block sits on a 4mm thick base (originally, they were 2mm thick but that proved to be too thin, structurally) and in time, I plan to design/print a base for them as well, with the road details - I'll create that base once I know how much of the city I'm building, or when it gets to a size that warrants printing a section of what will be the full base in the case that it gets so big that the whole base can't be printed in a single print tray (larger than 250x380mm). I'm going for a more uniform structure for the roads, with 4mm wide 'main' roads between full blocks and 2mm wide side streets that cut between sections of full blocks broken up by those streets, but those roads will have all of the appropriate details on them, including cross walks, painted lines, etc. The base will have recesses just shy of 4mm deep so the sidewalks of each block will poke up every so slightly (roughly .5mm).

I'll leave you with a few renderings of other blocks.

Comcast Center & BNY Mellon:



One Penn Center & Love Park:



Two & Three Logan Square:

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  #2  
Old Posted Nov 20, 2015, 4:11 AM
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Neat!
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Old Posted Nov 23, 2015, 8:22 AM
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Thanks, vid!

I just finished Commerce Square, one of my favorite thus far!



I can't decide if I want to pop back up to the BFP and do One Logan Square and the Embassy Suites next or keep moving west and do the Murano...
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Old Posted Nov 24, 2015, 5:55 PM
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I decided to do the Embassy Suites - seemed like a nice break from the full sized blocks.

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Old Posted Nov 25, 2015, 8:22 PM
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These are very good especially given the small scale.
Perhaps you will be hired by an architecture firm for providing planning models.
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Old Posted Nov 25, 2015, 10:39 PM
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That's damn sharp! Nice job!
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Old Posted Nov 27, 2015, 2:35 PM
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Nice!

What type of 3D Printer are you using?
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Old Posted Nov 27, 2015, 2:40 PM
TempleGuy1000 TempleGuy1000 is online now
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Nice, these are awesome!
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  #9  
Old Posted Nov 27, 2015, 10:43 PM
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Love them man! Awesome job!
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Old Posted Nov 28, 2015, 1:54 AM
Labridniv Labridniv is offline
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You should buy a large hanger and then 3-D print the whole country, from Los Angeles to New York.
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  #11  
Old Posted Dec 2, 2015, 2:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Labridniv View Post
You should buy a large hanger and then 3-D print the whole country, from Los Angeles to New York.
Working on it. Hanger space is expensive...and so is 3d printing haha.

Also, another model done - One Logan Square!

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Old Posted Jun 25, 2016, 10:58 PM
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Are you still working on this project?
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  #13  
Old Posted Jun 26, 2016, 6:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spidey7312 View Post
Are you still working on this project?
It's kind of at a stand still at the moment. A lot of the models have features that are causing issues with the 3d prints so I may revisit the idea and offer monochrome models in the white plastic instead with more details modeled into them instead of textured full color. I haven't added any new models in a long time on account of that.
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Old Posted Jun 26, 2016, 6:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Doctor Octoroc View Post
A lot of the models have features that are causing issues with the 3d prints so I may revisit the idea and offer monochrome models in the white plastic instead with more details modeled into them instead of textured full color.
I personally think you shouldn't discontinue the full color.
I also think that something you should consider doing after completing the collection of existing buildings is making models of buildings that were never built, like the American Commerce Center.

Last edited by spidey7312; Jun 26, 2016 at 7:18 PM.
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  #15  
Old Posted Jun 28, 2016, 3:11 AM
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Join Date: Nov 2015
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spidey7312 View Post
I personally think you shouldn't discontinue the full color.
I also think that something you should consider doing after completing the collection of existing buildings is making models of buildings that were never built, like the American Commerce Center.
That would be a cool idea. The database has enough material to work with, but it wouldn't be a best seller by any means lol. It's just a lot of work to fix all the issues with the existing models and the unfortunate unpredictability of the full color material means adding extra material just to be safe which means the prints cost more and I'd prefer to keep the costs down.

The margin for error on their other plastic materials are far easier to work with than the sandstone but I agree, I do like the full color best.
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