Leicestershire, UK – April 2008 – Using revolutionary 3D printing technology, Bluesky has created a large-scale model to assist with the planning of Sherford, a new market town on the outskirts of Plymouth.
The model combines the most up- to-date aerial photography of the development site and its surrounding area with highly detailed height measurements, to create a geographically accurate, physical model. In addition to the real world detail provided by the aerial photography, Bluesky worked closely with Red Tree, the developer promoting Sherford, to include development boundary and Main Street details for the proposed development.
Sherford will be located in the southwest corner of Devon, at the gateway to Cornwall, and will form an urban extension to the coastal city of Plymouth. Sherford, which will provide up to 5,500 new homes, up to 7,000 new jobs and a 207 hectare Community Park, is due to start on site with Phase 1 of the construction programme in spring 2008, subject to relevant planning consents.
“The model created for us by Bluesky 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,” said Rebecca Sturge, Project Manager for the Sherford development at Red Tree (2004) LLP. She continued, “The model drew the public into the consultation process as it was visually very impressive yet easy to interpret and understand.”
The 3D model was created by combining GeoPerspectives aerial photography and ground measurements to produce a 3D computer simulation of the site. Additional details, such as the development and Main Street boundaries, were mapped onto the digital representation. 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.