The days of balsa wood models in receptions of council offices get less as video and interactive models become so easy to do.
However the days of the print is coming back.
Led by the mechanical world with Digital Prototyping, 3D printers have become very popular to try out actual designs before committing to expense jigs and moulds to produce an actual prototype, saving more money than you would believe.
Nice for them, but what about in the world of Civil engineering?
Well it is more than possible, not directly from Civil objects, you can convert to 3d faces and create an AutoCAD surface from them and or using 3DS Max Design with the Civil Visualisation Extension you can export from there to a .STL file
One of the Civil consultants in Ireland called Arup have done just that.
The M20 Cork to Limerick road they have designed and wanted to try a 3D model print.
Autodesk has great partners around us and our friends at Stratasys, have the kit to test out the theory and the result is very good.
Last week while myself and Dave Simeone where in the Netherlands we were taken to a site in Rotterdam where they are increasing the port into the sea, by dredging sand and constructing the new harbour.
The site has been designed by Puma in Civil 3D and to calculate the volumes especially.
It was amazing to see this project.
Thanks to Jordy Brouwers (Geonius) to setting up the meeting with the guys from Puma and taking us around the project.