3D Printed Massing Models

massing fdm 01
3D Printed Massing model for an architectural project

3D Printed Massing Models

Additive Architecture

Written By: Ian Nakamoto, Designer - September 12, 2017

3D printing has revolutionized the way massing models are created and visualized. Traditionally, constructing physical models was a time-consuming and often imprecise task. Now, 3D printing offers a quicker, more accurate method for turning digital designs into tangible models. This not only speeds up the iterative design process but also allows architects to easily experiment with complex forms and structures that would be difficult to craft by hand.


Additive manufacturing provides the flexibility to make last-minute changes, seamlessly integrating with digital design software to produce updated models on the fly. Furthermore, 3D printing can incorporate different materials and colors, enhancing the visual and tactile quality of the model, which can be invaluable for client presentations and internal reviews. In essence, 3D printing empowers architects with a more efficient, flexible, and expressive means of bringing their design concepts to life.

Massing Models in FDM 3D Printing

Forge Labs specializes in architectural printing and file conversions, and can produce accurate massing models from pre-existing Sketchup, AutoCAD, and Revit files. By adjusting thicknesses, cropping out extraneous buildings, and ensuring the files are water-tight, we can turn around durable, error-free prints without re-inventing the wheel.

Together with the rapid print speed of FDM , this makes it possible for us to provide massing models faster and more affordably than via traditional manufacturing methods. With the the largest FDM capacity in Western Canada, Forge Labs can offer turnaround times as fast as next day on most ready-to-print architectural models.

Colored Inserts

Looking to stand out? We can highlight key features with a wide range of colors in ABS and ASA.

Massing model with colored inserts

Add highlights to architectural displays with our large inventory of FDM colors 

Transparent Materials

For projects requiring backlighting or transparency, we recommend Accura Clearvue - like we used for this backlit display for Translink. The excellent clarity of Clearvue made it possible for complex animations to play underneath a model of the "city of the future".

Translink city of the future

Optically clear 3D printed materials can enable the integration of dynamic lighting systems 

Talk to the experts

Looking for more information? Shoot us an email at sales@forgelabs.com!