3D-Printed Futuristic City. Source: WhiteClouds
3D-Printed Futuristic City. Source: WhiteClouds

Futurists, visionaries and architects have always imagined and sketched the buildings where we might live, work and play in the future. Even Walt Disney envisioned an Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow (EPCOT).

When describing his city in 1966, Disney said, “EPCOT will take its cue from the new ideas and new technologies that are emerging from the forefront of American industry. It will be a community of tomorrow that will never be completed. It will always be showcasing and testing and demonstrating new materials and new systems."

Designer Kelly Root designed his version of a city in the future. “The city is mostly mixed use,” said Root. “Heavy on industrial in the lower sections of the city, with office space taking up the majority of the rest of it with a few buildings spread around devoted more towards housing.”

Thanks to 3D printing technology, Root’s city took one step closer to reality. At WhiteClouds, we were able to 3D print the futuristic city using three different 3D printers. Some parts of the city were built using UV-cured resin—other parts of the city were printed in full-color, sandstone-like material. The city was then assembled to create the model of the cityscape.

Model Specs:

  • Designer: Kelly Root
  • Layer Resolution: 89 microns (slightly thinner than a human hair) for the sandstone-like portions of the city. 16 microns for the parts of the model printed using UV-cured resin.
  • Dimensions: 14.15 x 12.15 x 11.5”
  • Number of Pieces: 38 pieces total. (Two on the Connex 500, 31 on the Projet 660, and five on the Projet 3500.)
  • Printer: Projet 660, Connex 500 & ProJet 3500 HD Max
  • Design Time: 40 hours
  • Software Used: Maya and Photoshop

Designer Comments:

“The hardest part of designing the city was figuring out how to break it up into manageable pieces to print, said Root. “The original design is so detailed, with buildings and roads overlapping everywhere, I had to build in areas where I could break the model up, while also keeping all those pieces printable.”

“I found my inspiration in searching for a variety of images that were futuristic city concepts, said Root. “I found an image that I liked, and began to work on it using the original image as inspiration.”