ARCHITECTURE and design firm _space group has splashed out on a state-of-the-art 3D printer as it continues its investment in technology.
The firm returned from the Las Vegas Autodesk University conference late last year to find the printer had arrived at its North East headquarters, and it’s already mulling over ways it might be able to use it in its working day.
James Austin of _space said: “It’s certainly unique in architectural practices in the North. We’ve got large format printers that print the drawings, but this is different in that the 3D printer will actually print the model.
“We’ve been aware of the technology for a little while, but this is the first model that’s come to the market that’s affordable enough for us to buy it. We’re intent on developing our technological capabilities.”
The company has already used the HP printer to produce 3D printouts of the 19 components making up the company’s Scandinavian-style timber house, Spacehus. The project is designed to encourage people to consider affordable, low-energy buildings.
It also has plans to use it to print out the component parts of a quadrocopter using open source instructions available on the internet.
Austin said: “The quadrocopter is an open source drone that runs off an Arduino circuit board.
“We thought about mounting a digital camera to it to take photos of sites or programme it however we want. You can plug it into Google Maps API and it does the route.”