Scale modelling for Stadtwerke Karlsruhe GmbH
This project is the perfect example of why we call ourselves "Agency for New Media". It combines many things that an average advertising agency would not offer. The starting signal for this project was given by the request of Karlsruhe's public utility company "Stadtwerke" for 3D modelling, not for a classic digital 3D model, but for use in a so-called HYPEBOX®. This is a kind of showcase that enables the display of information via a semi-transparent touch screen on the front side, like a hologram projection in front of the exhibited object. Since the exhibit was an electric scooter, which would have been way too big for a showcase in its original scale, a 3D print in miniature size was required. A critical factor here was the project duration of just one month, as the model was needed for the opening of a pop-up store.
Due to the reflective properties of the metal and varnish of the electric scooter, it was clear from the start that a 3D scan would only be useful as a starting point for 3D modelling and for estimating the costs of 3D printing. Such materials are very difficult to scan using photogrammetry, i.e. extracting three-dimensional information from photographs of different points of view, as this leads to artifacts in the 3D model. Therefore, the model had to be manually refined based on this data. The resulting digital 3D model was then uploaded to an on-demand 3D printing service for price estimation, which turned out to be extremely helpful and accurate.
The 3D printing was outsourced for this project because printing on our own 3D printer would not have been possible in the short project phase of just one month. This requires industrial scale 3D printers that can cost as much as a luxury limousine or even a freehold flat. Thanks to fine-tuned coordination with the on-demand 3D printing service provider, the costs could be reduced and the printing process accelerated. The quality of the 3D print with its many details is outstanding, thanks to the "Selective Laser Sintering" printing process (SLS for short) and the material used (polyamide/nylon).
To compensate for production-related irregularities, the model was first treated with a spray trowel. As the next layer, a primer was applied to the 3D model to ensure uniform varnishing and good adhesion of the paints. To apply the detailed logos, transfer foil optimized for laser printers was used.
Numerous photos and reference material provided made it possible to paint the prepared 3D print true to the original. The result is impressive. In a direct comparison with the real scooter, differences can only be detected on very close inspection. Since the model will later stand behind glass in a HYPEBOX®, this is absolutely no problem. After all, the recognition value is what matters here.
For 48DESIGN, this was an exciting excursion into the world of model building - not an everyday experience for us as an agency for new media with a strong digital tendency!
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