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Email: architecture@3ddmodels.co.uk

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The computer

On the subject of computer models replacing modelmakers, naturally 3dd remains positive. 'There are a variety of ways to present architecture,' notes Lee Atkins. 'Computer images are one method and can be very effective. But for a long time we've quite happily co-existed with perspectives, and now we co-exist comfortably with computer graphics. The clincher, however, is that if a picture tells a thousand words, one of our models tells a thousand pictures. In addition, it is possible to make a superb simplified model with a limited budget, whereas simplified perspectives and computer graphics can look crude by comparison.'

Nonetheless, 3dd continues to invest in computer technology, having just set up a fourth cadcam station. 'It's a matter of moving as the client world moves and responding to the globalisation of the profession,' says Atkins. He recalls a recent project: 'In one day, digital information was flowing between London and Hong Kong, and we had the task of building a presentation-quality model from continuously changing designs. Client confidence is such that they rely on our systems to collate and edit information from diverse sources.'

SOMETHING EXTRA

Modelmaking is all about presentation. A logical extension of this is 3dd's bespoke sample boards which many architects and designers use for full-size demonstrations of wall and floor surfaces, fittings and other uses

VIRTUAL GAZUMPING

Reality has its quirks: The photos of this facade of the model for Holford Associates' Deansgate building in Manchester convinced potential tenants that it was the real thing. A number of them telephoned to express interest in taking space - and demanding to know exactly where in central Manchester it had been built

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