The Birth of new technology - the 3D realm
Our architectural 3D models were born from an inspiration in design.
Design had always been difficult when the client couldn't understand
the concept that you were trying to communicate. But drawing up
illustrations, artist impressions, perspective
elevation after elevation was becoming too tedious and still too
hard for clients to truly understand. We had faith in our design
ability, just not in the method of displaying it to our clients.
In the early 1990s CAD
(Computer Aided Design) was growing popularity
and as computers increased in speed we rapidly saw more and more
portions of architectural drawing being done electronically. The
process was more or less an electronic version of a drawing board.
But we also noticed a new field in CAD emerge - 3D modelling. To
this date many architects and designers still see 3D CAD and 3D
models as too hard, but this perception is borne from ignorance
and an ability to look beyond that day's work.
3D Models in Design
The head of Archiform 3D, Steve Bell, took what appeared to some
as a gimmick technology and started design in 3D. It was wire frame
to start with and then he developed in house software to create
true perspective views, automatic 3D element generation and general
production tools. 3D models were an instant hit with clients and
the design practice grew not just on design reputation but the
quality of service! Clients now had 3D models to view all aspects
of their design and Steve extended design meetings so they could
view their models and design changes in almost real time.
It became clear that the beginning phases of design took about
25% longer in 3D compared to working in 2D, but the resultant 3D
model increased the speed of all other subsequent tasks. The quality
of the 3D model is also critical to the end result. It is the architects
that could see the long term advantages or didn't have the patience
or knowledge to build a quality 3D model that have never embraced
The Refinement of 3D Models
Newer and better software became available and Steve became an
early user of ArchiCAD. 3D models were now being produced quicker,
to more detail and they could now be "rendered".
Rendering the 3D models added colour, texture and lighting to the
presentation, and photomontage techniques allowed incredibly lifelike
representations of the design. Remember, this is all still in the
early 1990s so the relative technology being used was considered
Steve soon saw the need to add more to 3D models – intelligence.
What if a wall was a wall, not a line. Or what if a window was
smart enough to understand the wall it is in and adjust it's own
construction technique time and time again as the design changed.
Steve's company harnessed it's computer programming skills to create
parametric construction elements, many of which are still used
today in architectural practices around the world.
The Birth of a new 3D model company - Archiform 3D
As the abilities and realism grew Steve extended the services,
and created the very first "virtual prize homes". These
3D models were used to create high quality lifelike renderings
that took the place of real homes in a grand lottery. This was
the ultimate in effective use of the technology and the launch
of a whole new concept - Archiform 3D. Steve's original company
soon wound down as he vowed never to design another building again.
Today Archiform 3D is represented in 2 countries: Archiform 3D
Pty Ltd in Australia and
Archiform 3D USA LLC in the USA.
You may also be interested in our links to scale architectural
model makers, the real ones made from plastic.