3D Printing and Interior Design: communicating the project

This post is also available in: Italiano

When we think about the relationship between 3D Printing and Interior Design we normally think about the production of prototypes, the creation of custom furnishings and the scale models of projects.

Yet there is another often undervalued application in which 3D printers can be of great help to interior designers: Communications.

The possibility of sketching out the conceptual and distribution aspects of an architectural space has notable advantages both for designers and for customers and the decision makers involved throughout the process.

  • Designers can easily alter the distribution of the elements, literally touching the project with their hands, manipulating it, controlling it and making it theirs in every way.
  • The customer has spatial feedback on the proposed solution, with which they can interact much more easily compared with drawings or renderings, which are still useful for completing and rounding off the communication package.

A practical demonstration of the advantages that the correct use of 3D printing can have in communications has been provided in the Advanced Modelling course held by our very own Marco Cravero as part of the Master in Interior Design at IED Torino. During the application phase, modelling was used to help design a co-working space, the general theme of the second year of the Master’s coordinated by Massimo Camasso.


A moment from the workshop held by IED Torino at the new Reply Solar Social Lab.

During the Advanced Modelling module students acquired the basics of 3D modelling for fabrication using various technologies, from traditional ones like laser incision and cutting through to additive processes like 3D printing. Studying a wide range of production solutions and materials is a very important part of the learning process as it helps to develop the essential knowledge required in order to be able to plan and manage any project in a professional setting.

Every group subsequently developed and produced modular elements that could be used to configure the layout of the co-working space project.

Through a comprehensive experience ranging from 3D modelling and 3D printing through to post-production and the assembly of their works, the students were able to develop a sensibility that, far from an end unto itself, is focused on the main goals of their activities. And, as a result, to manage the criteria used to control every step of the project.

interior layout 3d printing 02

The students on the Master’s in Interior Design comprehensively covered many fabrication techniques, from 3D printing to laser incision and cutting.

The activities involved in the course included the workshop held at the Reply Solar Social Lab, in close contact with the Protocube labs, where the students were able to extract the results of their creations from our professional 3D printers. The buzz and excitement of seeing the results of a year’s work take shape was almost tangible.

solar reply IED interior design

From thoughts to action.

solar reply IED stampa 3D

Questions that need answering in order to imagine the future.


This post is also available in: Italiano

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Francesco La Trofa

Architect and journalist with 20 years’ experience in 3D technologies.
Consultant to public entities and 3D businesses for aspects relating to design and communications.
Head of editorial content at Treddi.com and co-founder of Digital Drawing Days, the only event of its kind in Italy.
Actively involved in research and teaching at Milan Polytechnic.
Edits 3D STORIES for Protocube Reply.