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SandervG

White, white or white?

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Hi All, I recently had a discussion with a colleague about the colors and filament architects prefer to print with. I think we agreed pretty quickly that PLA was probably the material of choice but we weren't so quick to agree on the use of color and this made me think 🤔 I am/was pretty convinced it was white and 99% white but I I figured, why not ask our architects and double check?

 

The other station my train of thought took me to, was why this preference for white (if so.). Is there a universal preference for the clean and minimal appearance of the color white? Does the lack of color leave the stage open for structural design? I was thinking, it could also be that architects have always used white because that is what the material like foamboards often used for scale models was most available in. But perhaps.. when 3D printing is growing and becomes a more popular and widely used tool this could open up some inspirational doors and we may start seeing some more color to scale models. A dual or multi-colored model is easily made.  

What do you think? Do you see such a trend, or is it very unlikely to happen? Curious to hear your thoughts 🙂

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Hello Sander,

 

White, wood and carbon - those would be my top 3 choices, I had a thing for the natural PLA, which gives a small, too small, transparency. I chose to limit the color choice to white just so I can better control the quality output and limit the settings - it worked fine for the past year and there were no major issues with the UM printers in our office. However, in the future, we have agreed we like matte colors - including matte white, the shinny plastic can end up looking a little cheap and/or cartoonish and conversations about having custom made filament in our company colors have arisen. And if we have to pick a color - it would probably be Stockholm white. 

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My experience in working for Architects and Interior Designers, back when they used people like me, was they wanted white, ambient occlusion renders because it showed the shapes, forms and masses without worrying about details such as materials.

 

Clients would focus too much on things like, "I do not like that carpet." when all you wanted to do was show the space. And, the eye tends to find it easy to take in the space being shown.

 

It also allowed them to focus on the same things before they got mired in the details of colors, trims and matching furniture. And, yes, it was always a matte white. Even when the materials used on actual physical models were things like board or whatever, it was still painted white.

 

I am waiting on my order of 3 spools of white TPLA to test this with on a variety of things, mechanical structures (Clients prefer that if they cannot get a nice light grey). and some buildingesque type of designs.

Edited by kmanstudios
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All makes sense, thanks! I would also agree, everything looks better in matte 😉

@Stefania Dinea in the matte colors your office decided to like, did that include non-white too? What type of things would you print in color? Entourage like trees etc?

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@SandervG - structures, things you would like to highlight for sure. I wouldn’t bother with trees to be honest, one could though. Volumes are another thing, if you want to divide by function of building.Maybe I should have a colored example to see how far I can take it 🤔

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Totally agree that white is used due to the lack of commitment to colours it affords. This means you can present massing to clients, planners, the public etc without having to have more detailed ideas about materials. 

 

Also, if you cannot realistically represent the material in the chosen materials of your model it is best not to try as it will end up looking childish and cartoon-like. Colours are best used to define key buildings within a site or a key element of a model such as a new-build extension on an existing building, as Stefania said.

 

We are nearly though our first spool of white PLA so we will be looking to get more of the same but probably some matt finished filament too to give that a go. Our other office who got a printer a couple of years ago have said that the white PLA is by far the most trouble free for printing with - the silver metallic can be a bit prone to print problems like delamination and poor bed adhesion under default settings apparently.

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On 6/1/2018 at 5:34 PM, Alex L said:

Also, if you cannot realistically represent the material in the chosen materials of your model it is best not to try as it will end up looking childish and cartoon-like.

Totally understand, very valid point. 

 

On 6/1/2018 at 5:34 PM, Alex L said:

Our other office who got a printer a couple of years ago have said that the white PLA is by far the most trouble free for printing with - the silver metallic can be a bit prone to print problems like delamination and poor bed adhesion under default settings apparently.

That is an interesting find. Not sure if I would agree. Usually, silver is considered to hide unwanted print artifacts a little bit better. Have not heard often that it is more difficult to print with, unless maybe this is based on an experience from years back? Anyway, you should definitely give matte a try. Curious to see the results! 

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The greater majority of the prints I do are for Architecture students. Around 70% of the prints are in White PLA. In the Fall 2017 semester that was about 35kg of white filament. Spring 2018 semester was around 50kg of White PLA, which is still approx. 70% of all prints.

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Just out of curiosity, why bright white?

 

Why not broken white, cream, or warm lightgrey, or so? Those softer colors also show the surface details quite well, without distraction, and they have a more natural color, closer to reality. But they don't show dirty fingerprints so much.  :)

 

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These prints aren’t made to be “close to reality”. Full white is often chosen as a (culturally defined) way to communicate that the materilisation is not finalised yet (a sign so to say for the client to ignore the material for now and focus feedback on structure and form)

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On 6/15/2018 at 6:16 PM, geert_2 said:

Just out of curiosity, why bright white?

 

Why not broken white, cream, or warm lightgrey, or so? Those softer colors also show the surface details quite well, without distraction, and they have a more natural color, closer to reality. But they don't show dirty fingerprints so much.  🙂

 

 

@geert_2 we have to rely on manufacturers for colors, we get what they think we want - there won't be a supply before there is a demand - I guess this is the point of this post. 

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