Jul 12, 2011

Z Corporation 3D Printing Technology Helps The Beck Group Win, Refine and Sell Building Projects

The Beck Group, one of the top-rated design-build firms in the United States, has begun using Z Corporation technology to create physical architectural models that captivate viewers, promote projects, and dramatically communicate details of a design.

Beck is a national firm headquartered in Dallas. Its ZPrinted building models compound the value of the virtual building models that Beck architects create on a daily basis, usually in Autodesk Revit software. “When we’re modeling in virtual space we can simply hit print at any time and create precise 3D physical models for pursuing new projects, explaining designs to clients, or helping clients sell their projects to tenants,” said Rob Meyers, director of media services.

Beck’s ZPrinter® 350 3D printer produces physical models from computer-aided architectural designs much as document printers print business letters from word-processing files. Z Corporation’s 3D printers are the industry’s fastest and most affordable. Its 3D color printers are the only ones with multicolor printing capability.

Beck’s visualization group, Beck Blue Media, uses ZPrinting in a wide range of client projects, for example:

Detailing construction site challenges for Duke University, which helped Beck win the job to design and build Duke's new Multipurpose Field House. Besides using physical 3D models for design, Beck also used a model as part of the field mockup to describe the shape and color of the custom roof fin.
Helping pastors of religious groups compare and contrast worship center designs. Church leaders compare ZPrinted models of similar scale and explore the relationship between newly proposed designs and churches Beck has already designed and built.
Creating detailed 3D models (maquettes) to support the "Lily of Hope" Easter Seals program benefiting individuals and families living with disabilities. The process involved adapting the Easter Seals’ 2D lily logo into a 3D sculpture exhibit that will be on display throughout the Dallas - Fort Worth metro area. The program calls for having community members decorate the 4¼- by 6-foot fiberglass sculptures of Easter Seal's trademark lily.
Helping numerous stakeholders grasp the details of an exciting, soon-to-be-unveiled 100-acre multifamily retail and commercial development. A 30-square-foot ZPrint will be the centerpiece of a multimedia showroom for the project. As the design is refined and as participating merchants sign contracts, the modular model will be updated accordingly.

ZPrinted models often supplement the dazzling animations Beck Blue Media creates. “As beautiful and detailed as our animations are, there’s something about the sensory experience of touching and holding a model that captivates a client, engages them, and drives a deeper understanding,” Meyers explained.

“A physical model really opens communication channels with clients. They go on to make more relevant comments about things they comprehend more fully. Although it sounds abstract, the difference between something tangible and intangible is very concrete.”