The planning and consultation processes for the development of Sherford, a new market town of 5500 new houses on the outskirts of Plymouth, has been helped by a new three-dimensional printing process from Bluesky.
The three-dimensional model of Sherford was created by combining GeoPerspectives aerial photography and ground measurements to produce a 3D simulation of the site. Then, just as a standard desktop printer produces a hard-copy replication of a document, Bluesky’s Contex 3D printer produced a physical model of the computer-generated design. Proprietary software ‘sliced’ the computer design into thousands of ultra-fine layers that were then individually ‘printed’ by spreading a sub-millimetre thin layer of composite powder onto a base. The model was then built up with subsequent layers of powder that were fixed together using a liquid binder.
Rebecca Sturge, project manager at Red Tree, the developers promoting Sherford, said “Bluesky’s model was used to communicate the outline shape and form of the development against the topographical backdrop at a series of public consultation meetings and drop-in sessions held by South Hams District Council and Plymouth City Council. The model drew the public into the consultation process as it was visually very impressive, yet easy to interpret and understand.”