EDG is a New York City architectural design studio that is using 3D laser scanning and 3D printing to conserve and restore the intricate details of historic building facades that cannot be duplicated in today’s construction environment.
It makes you stop and wonder how it was possible to justify the cost of all of this hand work a hundred years ago when today with all of the 3D technology it is not even close to being cost effective.
Speaking to Designboom, EDG said “Facade ornamentation in the classical style remains impossible to produce by current means. Architectural hand sculpting would be an exorbitant luxury if not also a lost art, laser cutting remains prohibitively expensive, and precast concrete is creatively limiting.”
Traditional 3D additive printing methods that create solids are also cost and time prohibitive, but by using 3D printed plastic molds EDG can produce the required pieces on-site, within a day. The molds are created from 3D laser scans of the as-found architectural detail.
It may not be as beautiful as the original up close, but from 20′ you probably cannot tell the difference.