MICROSCAPE Accurate 3d printed scale city models

3D Printing Design Award Winner.
Awarded Golden for Good 3D Printed Forms and Products Design.

MICROSCAPE Accurate 3d printed scale city models
by William Ngo and Alan Silverman

  • Awarded April 15, 2017
  • CLIENT: MICROSCAPE
  • 1.841

Microscape is a new collection of architecturally-precise models of cities around the world. We’re starting with one of the greatest cities of all: New York. The first phase is a series of 200 “microscapes” (distinct tiles of different parts of the city), which can be assembled into a complete, highly accurate model of Manhattan. Start building New York City with a single microscape that includes your favorite landmark or choose a microscape with more personal significance

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MICROSCAPE Accurate 3d printed scale city models

Good Design

Great Design by William Ngo and Alan Silverman

MICROSCAPE Accurate 3d printed scale city models

Great Design by William Ngo and Alan Silverman

Inspirational Accurate 3d printed scale city models Design

MICROSCAPE Accurate 3d printed scale city models

Inspirational Accurate 3d printed scale city models Design

MICROSCAPE Accurate 3d printed scale city models Image

MICROSCAPE Accurate 3d printed scale city models

MICROSCAPE Accurate 3d printed scale city models Image

MICROSCAPE Accurate 3d printed scale city models

William Ngo and Alan Silverman

Designer of MICROSCAPE Accurate 3d printed scale city models


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Interview with William Ngo and Alan Silverman on MICROSCAPE Accurate 3d printed scale city models

What is the main principle, idea and inspiration behind your design?
Having studied, lived and practiced architecture in New York City for over a decade, New York City has become an important part of our identities. A primary goal for the project was to somehow commemorate how much the city has come to mean for us.
What has been your main focus in designing this work? Especially what did you want to achieve?
The same way New York has come to hold certain importance for us, the assumption was that it held a certain level of significance for many others that have either lived or visited what we believe is one of the greatest cities on the planet. Whether it be a single 6-inch by 6-inch Microscape panel or a collection of up to 250 of them, we wanted anyone to be able to own a piece of the city.
What are your future plans for this award winning design?
We've begun Microscape by capturing the island of Manhattan and offering them in highly-precise 1:5000 scale models, but have begun plans to expand to other cities as well. We've received dozens of suggestions to create Microscape models of cities around the world.
How long did it take you to design this particular concept?
The concept of the project came fairly quickly after a series of sketches and small-scale tests. We spent nearly two years refining the process to make sure that models were at the highest standard before introducing it to the public.
Why did you design this particular concept? Was this design commissioned or did you decide to pursuit an inspiration?
As designers and architects, the majority of our work is commissioned by a specific client. With Microscape, we developed the product without a client with the hope that others would be able to see the value of what we designed.
Is your design being produced or used by another company, or do you plan to sell or lease the production rights or do you intent to produce your work yourself?
Currently, Microscape is designed, produced, packaged and shipped from our studio in New York. We're working with partners and some of the museums in the city to make them available in their shops.
What made you design this particular type of work?
Although there's been a major shift in the majority of our design work from analog to digital production; we still hold a deep appreciation for real physical models that can be touched. Microscape ambitiously attempts to capture some of the beauty of the city and render it in precise 3d printed models.
Who is the target customer for his design?
Microscape is designed for any individuals where New York holds some special meaning, whether it's one panel or several. It's also designed for real estate offices, architects and developers that may find it to be a useful tool or presentation method.
Who did you collaborate with for this design? Did you work with people with technical / specialized skills?
Microscape is a collaboration between William Ngo, founding partner at TO+WN DESIGN and Alan Silverman, founder of AJSNY.
What is the role of technology in this particular design?
The project is made possible by two technologies that have been around for some time, but have more recently been gaining in popularity on a consumer level. We generate digital models using aerial photography as a basis and use 3d printing to produce the physical models.
What are some of the challenges you faced during the design/realization of your concept?
We spent over a year testing different printers and dozens of types of plastics to ensure that we achieved the highest quality and detail from the models.

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