Architectural Model. Source: WhiteClouds
Architectural Model. Source: WhiteClouds

The Health Sciences Education Building at the University of Arizona has been spotlighted by a number of architectural publications for its unique design. The building is known for the way it incorporates the natural elements of the Phoenix area into the features of the building. states, “Akin to the natural forces that shape the Earth’s geology, the copper skin is fissured, formed, bent, pressed, and perforated, creating beauty from a functional building need.” The building was designed by CO Architects and constructed by DPR and Sundt in a joint venture.

Here at WhiteClouds, we decided this was a good building to demonstrate our 3D design and 3D printing expertise to create a 3D-printed architectural model of the Health Sciences Education Building. Kelly Root, WhiteClouds Designer, was the lead designer on the project.

“This was an interesting building with a lot of unique detail in the walls,” said Root. “Building the model was a compromise between making the model like the actual building, while exaggerating the detail to make sure it’s actually visible in the print.” Root used a basic plan and images to create the 3D digital file before sending it to a ProJet 660Pro 3D printer to be printed.

The commercial scale model was 3D printed using a technology called binder jetting. The printer lays down a thin layer powder. Then a print head binds the particles together precisely. Another layer of powder is deposited and the process repeats until the model is complete. While this architectural model is monochrome, the ProJet 660Pro is capable of printing full-color models as well.   

Learn more about 3D-printed home models.  

Model Specs:

  • Designer: Kelly Root
  • Number of Layers: 1243
  • Layer Resolution: 89 Microns (Slightly thinner than a human hair).
  • Build time: 12 hours, 40 minutes
  • Dimensions: 12.25 x 9.92 x 4.97”
  • Printer: ProJet 660Pro
  • Software Used: Maya

Learn more about 3D-printed home models.