3D Printing in Modeling with STUDIO 911 as an Example

Updated Jan 20, 2020 3013

Hi! We continue to talk about ways our clients can apply 3D-printed equipment, and today we’ll take a look at STUDIO 911 model store.


About the company

STUDIO 911 has been creating city models as well as conceptual, architectural, industrial and interior ones at scales from 1:10 to 1:2000 for more than 5 years. Its regular clientele includes architects, building and development companies, museums, and creative and advertising agencies.

What distinguishes STUDIO 911 from other modeling stores out there is its unique approach to production.

All necessary processes are performed within the company, with no side contractors involved. The process of project realization is organized in such a way so as to allow for multiple projects to be underway simultaneously, which doesn't interfere with the quality of the work. Such work organization results in good business scalability. This is exactly where 3D printing comes into play.


Printers used

Formlabs Form 2

  • Technology: SLA
  • Build chamber: 145 x 145 x 175 mm
  • Layer thickness: 25 µm
  • Dimensions, mm: 350 x 330 x 520
  • Weight, kg: 13
  • Specialization: Design; Architecture; Package; Advertising; Modeling; Medicine; Souvenirs production; Jewelry-making; Education; Dentistry; Production
  • Materials: Resin
  • Connectivity: Wifi, Ethernet, USB
  • Price: on request


PICASO 3D Designer X

  • Technology: FDM
  • Package weight: 18 kg
  • Package dimensions: 690х500х470 mm
  • Power supply: 220V±15% 50Hz (110V±15% 60Hz as an option)
  • Power consumption: 400 W
  • Dimensions, mm: 490х430х390
  • Weight, kg: 15
  • Frame material: Steel, aluminum
  • Software: Polygon X
  • File formats: .stl, .plgx
  • Number of extruders: 1
  • Build chamber: 200х200х210 mm
  • Print bed temperature: 140 С
  • Extruder temperature: 410 С
  • Layer thickness: 10 µm
  • Filament diameter: 1,75
  • Nozzle diameter, mm: 0.3 (0.2-0.8)
  • Connectivity: Ethernet, USB
  • Printing speed: up to 100 cm3/h
  • Price: $2,350.00


In total, the store has five FDM PICASO 3D printers and, as of now, another one working with resin, that is Formlabs Form 2.



At the model store, 3D printers are used to create model components, FDM printers to print large ones, and SLA to obtain miniature and highly detailed ones.



How the printers were picked

Form 2 was chosen because of its handy software, high assembly quality, and excellent design. At the time it was bought, it had no notable contenders in terms of the price/quality ratio.

The fact that printers by PICASO 3D are produced in Russia is exactly the reason why they were picked. With printers continuously in professional use, maintenance, guarantee and repair issues are much more pressing compared to private use, and to contact a company based in Zelenograd to address these issues is far more convenient than in the case of foreign manufacturers.


Older ways

Back in the day, model components were cut out of foam plastic, glued together from plastic sheets, ground and milled with machines using various materials, including stone.

The model on the left is cut out of stone, and the one on the right is a 3D print.

All these techniques are also applied today, but 3D printing has seriously expanded the possibilities model makers have.

The majority of the components that are printed with the use of Form 2 weren’t capable of being produced for a reasonable price — only a goldsmith would have handled such painstaking work, and indeed not everyone; they would have spared loads of time and requested a congruent fee. Today, these components are printed with the use of a photopolymer printer with consistently high performance.



The pros of FDM printers in the trade of modeling are obvious — in case of a large-object order, you can always task a few printers with making the components it includes and get the finished parts much faster compared to the work of human specialists, whichever machines the latter would have used. This also applies for producing a batch of the same components.

The main advantage of SLA is a notable expansion of scales available for production. Before stereolithography printers emerged, the minimum scale was 1:500, and it was very difficult to obtain a high degree of detail with — building models produced at such a scale could only have a general shape and volume, with no finer details. Today, models at scales of 1:1000 and 1:2000 are made effortlessly, with the possibility to show the exterior of facades, and other, previously unavailable details.

A model of the Moscow center at a scale of 1:6000, with the 17-meter-tall (55 feet) monument the size 3 mm and stars discernible on the towers of the Kremlin.





In creating large single components where the smoothness of the surface is of importance, traditional techniques are still more preferable to opt for — FDM gives a clear-cut layer texture, and removing it takes quite an amount of post-processing, which detrimentally affects the accuracy and increases the production time, and printing such components with the use SLA is too long and unprofitable, even part by part.

As an example, a model produced with traditional techniques can be considered. Large smooth linear components, such as panel houses facades and other simple architectural shapes, are easier to cut out manually.



3D-printing has brought many novelties into the trade of modeling и significantly expanded the range of its possibilities — both quantitative and qualitative: it has accelerated the production of models, increased their accuracy and the range of scales available.

As of now, you can’t yet substitute all processes with 3D printing at the model store: it is not cost-efficient in this day and age. But you can’t now imagine a decent model store without those either. It is well seen from the example of STUDIO 911, where efforts are made not only to produce high-quality models but also to reach the scale of mass-production in this.

3D printers take over the routine part of the work, leaving for specialists a more creative one and thus increasing the efficiency of their work, and the productivity of the whole store as a result.

A miniature depicting Moscow's points of interest, a disk the size of a saucer.

You can buy a 3D printer for your modeling store at Top 3D Shop — our specialists will gladly help you select equipment for addressing all kinds of industrial and creative tasks.


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