Re: 3D-City

From: Marshall Burns (
Date: Thu Mar 07 2002 - 19:04:40 EET

> I've been asked to inquire about building large-scale models. Does anyone
> have any suggestions on what type of rapid prototyping process could be
> to build an accurate 3-D City? The finished product will be 12' X 12' and
> the tallest building will be 18" tall.


    There has been some interesting work in this area, but no turnkey
additive system is currently available. Formus, Ennex, and some other have
tried to develop and bring systems to market that would work at this scale,
but no one has yet done it successfully. Some research is underway on new
concepts for large-scale fabrication, such as Contour Crafting by Berok
Koshnevis at USC.

    There are, however, still a number of ways to get your city model today:
        -- Use CNC milling to carve the buildings from foam and then hand
place them in position. Many special effects studios serving Hollywood have
this capability.
        -- Use a large-bed, CAD-driven plotter to cut out patterns in foam
sheets or another thin material and then manually lay those patterns up to
make your model. Two people who have this capability are Prof. Charles
Thomas at the U. of Utah and Alair Griffin at, both in the area
of Salt Lake City, Utah.
        -- Another person is Norm Kinzie in the Boston area. I haven't heard
from him in a while, but last I knew he had a system for carving
large-format 3-D topographic maps in foam from CAD data, that might do your

    Good luck with your project.

Best regards,
Marshall Burns
President, Ennex Corporation
Los Angeles, USA, (310) 397-1314

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