Why architects have moved to the third dimension

Most renowned architects got where they are today because they had a vision and were able to lay it out so that property developers and major corporations could envision what the building would look like when it was taken from the drawing board into reality. There was a time when architects sat at a large architect table, a drafting table, and drew out blueprints to pitch to potential customers.

While they still use-drafting boards and manually draw out blueprints, more and more are using AutoCAD software that enables them to literally bring everything to life, to the third dimension. It might seem logical that it is easier for that client to envision the building in 3D, there are more reasons why architects have moved to the third dimension. Here are just a few of them.

Why architects have moved to the third dimension

1. 2-D Prints Can’t Properly Show Distance and Elevation

So, you want that client to recognise just how ingenious your design is but on a flat two-dimensional printout they can’t really ‘see’ how far the butcher island is from the stove and how high those cathedral ceilings are in the entryway. Is the guest bathroom far enough from the dining area so odours don’t mingle and is that a step up into the kitchen from the great room or is that a design in the tile? These are all things that can be quickly visualised with a 3-D rendition and if a 3-D representation on your laptop screen isn’t enough, you can always show them an even more realistic ‘picture’ with your company’s 3-D printer!

2. A Virtual Walkthrough

Most architects are well aware of the fact that their designs go through many changes and evolutions before the client is well-satisfied with the design. Those who have been in the business for any length of time will tell you that as they are sitting in their conference room with clients and members of their creative team, questions will invariably be tossed out. In the process of answering them during the walkthrough, the design evolves and changes right there in 3-D before everyone’s eyes. This could be possible in 2-D blueprints, the changes to the design that is, but it would be rare that anyone would spot something that needed to be clarified without being able to visualise the design in that third dimension. Flat designs make for flat sales pitches, for sure.

3. Fewer Changes during Construction

Looking to make a name for yourself as an architect? The best way to do that is to finalise a design that will require few changes during the construction part of the project. Why? Because those on-the-job changes cost money – a lot of it! Entire crews are often held up whilst everyone goes back to the drawing board and that crew is still on the clock whether they have a hammer in their hands or a cup of Starbucks. Materials may need to be reordered, re-cut and then production can start again. It’s all about cost effectiveness and 3-D enables the client and the builder to see, in advance, whether any part of the design won’t work for their desires or needs.

So then, if you are studying to be an architect, focus on living life in the third dimension. As a talented designer you know what the finished building will look like but that’s because you have creative vision. Chances are the builder may have some idea but surely the client will be literally walking in the dark. Pitch your designs in 3-D and you can make a believer out of 9 out of 10 potential clients.

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