Architectural fine scale model of a futuristic city. Source: WhiteClouds
Architectural fine scale model of a futuristic city. Source: WhiteClouds

For architects and developers that are beginning plans for a city, community, or rural area, here are some basic ideas to keep in mind during the architectural planning and development phase.

Get the Community Involved

Before you begin planning, do some research and find out what the community needs. What do people think about the plan being proposed? Is there excitement, trepidation, curiosity? Plan for a community meeting where people can get their voices heard. When people feel that they have a say about what goes on in their community, they are far more likely to accept change and be excited about the new development. This will also give developers a chance to ease any fears or clear up any misconceptions or rumors about the plans.

Research the Community and City Goals

Does the development project have certain requirements that need to be filled? What are the city’s goals in terms of this project? Will they provide housing, entertainment, or shopping districts? Is the goal to provide affordable, safe housing or to increase income through a series of shopping malls or boutiques? Ask plenty of direct questions to community members and city planners. Be sure that you understand the answers to these questions and present possible solutions as you go.

Think about the Bigger Picture

How will your plans fit into the larger scheme of the city or township? What about environmental and safety regulations, landscaping, traffic patterns, and other factors that may be affected by the plans? Sometimes there may be unforeseen effects, such as unexpected traffic jams, limited parking, or social disruption. For example, would it be a good idea to build a movie theater right next to a junior high or high school?  The students may be thrilled, but teachers and parents may have another view. However, something such as building a recycling center next to a park may make sense as it would encourage community involvement.

Consider the Location

Developers may or may not have a choice on where the development actually takes place. Thinking about the ideas mentioned above, how can the plans best utilize the space? This includes things such as the directions that the main entrances will face, how much parking and landscaping is needed, whether the buildings will be close together, far apart, connected by a bridge or tunnel etc.

Presenting Your Plans with Scale Architectural Models

After you have developed your plans and are satisfied with the result, it is time to present them for approval. Scale architectural models are typically used so that your vision is clearly presented. It makes much more of an impact to have a physical representation instead of just 2D files or 3D renderings. You can use 3D printed fine scale models to save time and costs, while still having the detail that you need.

WhiteClouds is proud to provide these services for you, using your floor plans to create 3D printed architectural scale models. 3D printing is a technology that deposits materials layer by layer, using a CAD or other 3D file to create the model. We have options to fit your style and budget. Some of our options include a removable roof, removable second story, interior walls, or a custom base with text. The base features green grass, black letters, and a white background behind the letters.

We have professional 3D modelers that are fully trained to take your plans to create a physical model, whether those plans are 3D files, PDF files, or even traditional paper blue prints. If you have 3D model files, such as an STL file, this will save even more time and costs on 3D modeling. If you have further questions regarding the models that we offer, please give us a call at 1-385-206-8700 or email our customer support team at

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