From TOI-Pedia


The 3D printer creates gypsum plaster models directly from digital data. The faculty of Architecture has two 3D printers. One 3D printer can add color to the model. The 3D printer builds the model layer by layer like multiple cross sections. Fixed parts of the model are treated with binding agent and the rest is loose plaster. After 3D printing the model is dug out and cleaned with archeological carefulness.

In this short manual we will explain how to create your model for the 3D printer.


Models for the 3D printer can be created with Maya. The model has to be build with polygon geometries. Software of the 3D printer does not 'understand' other type of geometry like NURBS. Any other program which can export STL (stereolithography), VRML, 3DS (3D Studio Max) can be used to create the model for the 3D model

Sizes and Units

The maximum sizes for the models are:

  • 25,4 x 35,6 x 20,3 cm (10 x 14 x 8 inch) (also in colour)
  • 20,3 x 25,4 x 20,3 cm (8 x 10 x 8 inch)

The 3D printers use centimetres or inches as units, but it is always possible to scale the model to the desired scale.


In general the gypsum plaster models obey the laws of physics. Designs with spans defying the force of gravity may need extra support in the model to prevent a collapse of the model. The same is valid for columns. Very long and thin columns can break just like real-life columns which can also break or bend.

We have some rules of thumb:

  • Minimum thickness of 3 mm for walls and floors;
  • Minimum thickness of 1 mm for columns (thicker when higher);
  • Minimum thickness of 3 mm for free-standing columns;
  • Embossments are already visible with only 0.1 mm difference.
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