Welcome to the Revolution!

No, I’m not talking about Prince1. It’s about the 4th Industrial Revolution – Robotics, Internet Of Things, 3D Printing and much more…

Forgotten about the first 3 revolutions?

The 4 Industrial Revolutions (by Christoph Roser at AllAboutLean.com)

The 1st Industrial Revolution was driven by the water wheel and steam engine. The 2nd was driven by electricity, the telephone and the internal combustion engine. The 3rd which we are still in the midst of is driven by the personal computer, internet and information and communications technology (ICT).

The 4th Industrial Revolution was first introduced in 2015 by Klaus Schwab, the executive chairman of the World Economic Forum. It includes emerging technologies like artificial intelligence, robotics, the Internet of Things, autonomous vehicles, 3-D printing, nanotechnology, biotechnology, materials science, energy storage, and quantum computing2.

The full extent of this 4th industrial revolution is way beyond the scope of this post. We will focus on only the part most relevant to us as designers – 3D Printing. It’s not even new. BMW has been at it for more than a decade and has produced more than 1 million parts using 3D Printing3. The world’s top aerospace firms are increasing their use of 3D printers in order to speed up the manufacturing process, save money and make aircraft that burn less fuel4.

What about Architects, Engineers and the construction industry? In the West, small to global Architectural firms have been actively using 3D Printing for their designs. Here’s what they have to say:

However, thanks to 3D printing technology, architects can now not only view design geometry, but also analyse, test and modify in a fraction of the time.

…Mistakes and issues are easily identified and rectified, and multiple iterations can be created in a fraction of the usual time. The technology means the modelling process also wastes far less money and material – and it strengthens the communication between client and architect.

3D printing in global architectural design and engineering. HOK5

There are always multiple architects fighting for the same job. If there are multiple choices for the client to pick, you need to give them more reasons to pick you than the other guy. Having your 3D Printers separates you from the rest.

There is still very much a WOW factor when we come into a meeting with a model. Just 2 weeks ago we were asked to produce a completely redesigned plan because the program changed. We were able to be at the meeting 2 weeks later with not only drawings, calculations, renderings but a 1:400 model put on the table and saying this is the new design. We had that done within 2 weeks. They know that they can only get that from us and not from the other architects.

Piet Meijs, Senior Associate at Reitveld Architects 6

We find that when we make models it really engages the client. A lot of what we do is quite technical, like producing technical drawings. When you show someone a technical drawing, they don’t really engage with that. But when you show someone a model and suddenly, they can pick up and look around it. I think it’s a way we engage people with the ideas we’re trying to pursue. That’s what we are trying to do.

Daniel Lauand, Architect at MATT Architecture 7

Music to your ears?  Not as groundbreaking as Purple Rain8? Believe me, it’s a revolution you want to be part of. It has just started, you have time to hop on board and it’s going to be one heck of an exciting journey.

Don’t miss our upcoming tracks – the machine, how to get started and much more.