· 3D printing takes you to future London

The first interactive model of London was shown for the first time in the London Architecture Center on May 9. The grey area in the 3D model indicates the restricted areas, where new construction is forbidden, so that famous landmark buildings such as St. Paul’s Cathedral can be protected.

The design company Piper made this 12.5 meter-long architecture model with   more than 5 months. It presents over 85 square kilometers of area of the city. One of tenth of the 170000 buildings in the model was finished recently, and all the buildings are proportionally reduced copies made with a 3D printer. However some ancient building models have to be made with laser cutting or manual shape making with cost expectation over 250,000 pounds. The modules will be combined by the Land Measuring Department of British Map Making Organization. Most elements of the final model will be of precision by millimeter. 
All the buildings in the model are not all existing, or some of the buildings are not there now at least. Some high buildings with architecture permit are marked in white, so that they can be differentiated from the current high buildings in grey. There are 263 high buildings for the future. 
The design purpose of this interactive model is to let the visitors to understand how London will adapt to the environment. A touch-screen projector and lighting system can be used to focus on some specific characteristics, such as places of historic interest, and historical events can be displayed with digital animation. The fire of London in 1666 is displayed vividly, where the finance street in the city center is in flame. 
In the virtual world, public are shown related videos (internet photos created by film cameras) as time goes by. The designers also make detailed digital 3D landscape models with remotely controlled planes.