Despite the development of 3D rendering and computer assisted design softwares, traditional architectural model making continues to be a relevant and even a more preferred medium for appreciating various construction and aesthetic projects. Although both visual media, it appears that manual or traditional method of making architectural model replicas or scale models is still a more powerful form of presentation for diverse audiences. If at all, current 3d rendering technologies has not replaced the craft of manual model building but has only supplemented traditional methods and helped enhance results.
3D modeling has changed the presentation and speed of making architecture designs. It has allowed a fast and convenient reproduction of measurements and concepts into multi-dimensional images in paper or in multi-media screens or monitors.
Although 3D objects are far more superior to 2D blueprints and layout, even 3d rendering inferior to actual physical replicas that are more engaging to clients and the public in general. There something about the physicality of actual replicas that virtual and digital presentations cannot provide.
Combining the two of course, only makes architectural model building an even more exciting and powerful field. Physical scale models are more compelling since it satisfies the need of the senses for actual experience. It allows the complete simulated experience of a design which even computer-assisted 3D softwares cannot provide although there is no denying that these softwares have also helped in making rough physical replicas more realistic, precise, easier and faster to build. It has therefore made imagery more vivid by supplying finer details that were otherwise were difficult to imagine and build. This has made architectural projects all the more appealing. In fact, in the construction business, project approval rate is quicker when scale models are complemented by 3D assisted software and technologies.
Although many architectural model builders are becoming more and more comfortable and highly proficient in using 3d assisted softwares, many still feel that corrections and adjustments are still easy to make when working with physical scale models. This is of course more expensive due to cost of materials compared to computer rendering which almost cost nothing. However, many engineers still feel that physical models are more accurate and helps simulate project execution of construction projects. Again, when used complementarily, computer assisted designs and actual replicas construction helps in elimination of field interferences, less rework, increased productivity, fewer variables, less cost and significantly reduced designing time. 3D computer technology has also made measurements more accurate and easily adjustable since computers can automatically calculate physical dimensions of objects and its distance in from other objects in the total layout. And therefore allowed better planning of space, movement, sizes and visual aesthetics.
Aside from providing more accurate measurements, 3d rendering software coupled 3d printing technologies can also provide well-formed and finely details features including textures and realistic colors that is hard to achieve through manual modeling. This is best suited for hobbyists like those who work on vehicle, plane and ship models that aim to capture minute details of their favorite models and makes.