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Architectural Models: Airflow Simulations Become Cheaper, Quicker and More Refined Using Raise3D Ecosystem

Jan 14, 2022

Airflow patterns around buildings in a city can be very complex, especially when the buildings are too close to each other. The airflow often splits as it flows over and around the building, disrupting the solidity of the building surface and threatening the health of the occupants.

JKWind, a company based in the North District of Gwangju, South Korea, is responsible for assessing and analyzing the surrounding environment during the construction of a building. Their work involves conducting airflow tests and submitting details to the project company to evaluate the stability and corrosion resistance of the building. JKWind needs to completely review the building’s complex structure and appearance of different shapes in strict accordance with the actual building. They also need to make a large number of architectural models to simulate the buildings in its surrounding urban area. JKWind purchased several Raise3D Pro2 Plus 3D printers to help produce end-use architectural models.

Airflow test carried out by JKWind

Airflow test carried out by JKWind


To obtain the most accurate experimental data, JKWind must accurately review the complex structure and appearance of the building, which is a challenge in terms of the model’s precision and the cost to make it to such a high standard. Before utilizing 3D printing, JKWind used laser cutting to make models of building structures. Various parts were cut from wood, cardboard, acrylic, or steel before being assembled. During this process, model details were sometimes lost during the laser cutting and assembly process.

The second large challenge that JKWind faces is the time spent to complete the project. Some buildings have complex curved surfaces and corners, which are difficult to process. In this situation, the work can only be outsourced to third-party companies. It takes a lot of time for a third-party company to design architectural models, and JKWind must repeatedly contact the third-party company to communicate design details.

The third-party company needs to model-proof-remodel-revalidate many times before it can provide a satisfactory model, greatly delaying the progress of the project and taking time. The designers at JKWind wanted a process to instantly turn a designed model into a final product. To ensure that the test results can be delivered to the project company smoothly, JKWind purchased several Raise3D Pro2 Plus 3D printers to realize the one-time molding of the model using 3D printing technology.


Unique printing accuracy

Pro2 Plus printers have a high print resolution and the required positioning accuracy to meet JKWind’s needs. The smallest nozzle diameter of the Pro2 Plus is 0.2mm, its smallest print layer height is 0.01mm, and its positioning accuracy of the X/Y axis is 0.78125 microns. All of this means that no matter how complex the internal structure of the building model is, the Pro2 Plus printer can produce a model as detailed as needed. After simple post-processing (such as polishing), the printed product can have a smooth and delicate surface finish. The internal structure of modern buildings is quite complex, including not only a large number of straight or curved columns, steel truss arches, beams, and other types of structural elements but also a variety of shapes or facades. Pro2 Series printers use FFF printing technology, which melts thermoplastic filaments and builds them up layer by layer. The nozzle can be programmed to extrude the filament in the smallest possible area. The Pro2 Plus printer can produce a complete architectural model in a matter of hours, that fits together perfectly every time without need for adhesive or glue.

Print complex architectural structures with the Pro2 Plus printer

Print complex architectural structures with the Pro2 Plus printer.


Hayoun, Chief of JKWind expressed his high appreciation for the Pro2 Plus printer’s precision: « Modern architects have quite complex designs. So, it is difficult to use the old model making process. But with 3D printing, it can give us more flexibility and potential ».


Significant savings in production costs and delivery time

JKWind uses PLA and PVA filaments to print models, and the material cost is significantly lower than the cost of using sheet metal. 3D printing technology only uses the amount of filament necessary to print the model. This is in stark contrast to the high rate of material waste generated by laser cutting.

3D printing helps to reduce labor and its associated costs. Engineers only need to load filament into the Pro2 Plus printer, and after importing the slice file of the model into the printer, the printer will automatically complete the printing without any need for manual supervision. Moreover, the printing time of a single model is shortened by 50% when compared to traditional production methods. JKWind purchased multiple 3D printers, enabling the company to print several models at once, which means that the model production time can be further shortened, thereby shortening the delivery cycle.

According to Chief Hayoun, « models can be made at least twice as fast, with 50% less labor cost, and only 20% of the financial cost of the previous method. » Pro2 Plus printers offer unprecedented flexibility. Time savings meet the growing need for shorter delivery times, but also allows JKWind’s designers more design freedom and shorter product iteration cycles to create more varieties of models.

JKWind used Pro2 Plus printer to print multiple buildings to form a building complex

JKWind used Pro2 Plus printer to print multiple buildings to form a building complex.


Bigger is better – Pro2 Plus printer enables bigger building

With a print volume of 12 x 12 x 23.8 inches (305 x 305 x 605 mm), the Pro2 Plus printer meets JKWind’s need for easy-to-use, affordable large-format printing. Engineers can print large architectural models with the Pro2 Plus printer. For oversized building models, it can be split into several parts for assembly afterwards, as the printed parts fit together perfectly.

Printing super large models with the Pro2 Plus printer

Printing super large models with the Pro2 Plus printer.


« The print size of the Pro2 Plus printer is perfect for us. If you have a bigger (printer), that will be perfect ». Chief Hayoun said.

Another advantage of using 3D printing is replication. JKWind has printed models in different materials and at different scales more than once. So, they can place different models on the Pro2 Plus 305 x 305mm build plate, enabling multiple models to be printed at once.


Raise3D Ecosystem makes production schedule more flexible

JKWind uses Raise3D’s ideaMaker slicing software and RaiseCloud 3D printing management platform. By combining these programs, JKWind achieved a closed loop of design-slicing-printing-supervision. ideaMaker is Raise3D’s supporting slicing software, with built-in slicing templates suitable for various filaments and models. JKWind engineers can select suitable filaments according to their needs. There are templates with a variety of precision settings, corresponding to the most suitable materials. By selecting advanced template slices, engineers can obtain more refined model effects. When the designer wants to set the mechanical properties of the printed part, the model result can be set directly in ideaMaker without having to redraw the model. JKWind can upload slice files of models directly to their Pro2 Plus printer in ideaMaker, which saves a lot of time and effort.

JKWind also treats RaiseCloud as another integral player in model production. RaiseCloud is a cloud-based 3D printing management platform where JKWind can distribute sliced files to multiple printers to print parts simultaneously. JKWind’s engineers use RaiseCloud to monitor printing progress or manage multiple printers remotely, even during COVID-19. RaiseCloud’s confidentiality also protects the security of JKWind by protecting model data from theft or destruction.


The Gospel of architectural model making

For JKWind’s goal is to balance a model’s detail with the cost of production. 3D printing can greatly improve the detailing of the model and reduce production costs. Whether it is model design, production, or management, Raise3D helps JKWind save more time and cost, enabling the company to focus more on its products and services.

The case is created and shared by BEYONDTECH in South Korea.

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