If you loved playing with Legos when you were a kid, we’ve got a feeling Arckit will be right up your alley.
The free-form modeling system is designed to help architects present their visions to clients as scale 3-D models, but there’s nothing to say you can’t use them as grown-up toys, is there? (We won’t tell.)
Irish architect Damien Murtagh developed Arckit to replace the models he’d cut from cardboard and glue together to show clients. The result is a professional architectural rendering that brings his creations to life.
Arckit launched in 2014, and the Dublin, Ireland-based company has caught–and kept–the attention of creative young people and adults in the Maker Movement, as well as playing a role in STEAM education (science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics).
And of course, architects are thrilled that the kits are now enhanced by connections to their professional software. Indeed, the model building system is fully integrated within SketchUp 3D and Autodesk Revit.
The software lets architects explore and modify their designs before they construct them with Arckit. Don’t like the door next to those stairs? No problem. Move it on screen before you work on your model kit. Most of the kits come with preprinted surfaces, but if you want to add different surfaces or materials, you’re in luck: Arckit also offers realistic, detailed finishes in its Arckitexture digital library. You can choose terra-cotta tiles, brick, wood flooring or shingles, among many other options.
Now Murtagh has embraced the world of 3-D printing by introducing the new Arckit Infiniti 3D, which allows model-makers to personalize their Arckits with custom-designed parts.
He says unique archways, roofs, columns, stairs, dormers, figurines, furniture, vehicles, domes, church spires, landscape elements and much more can be made to order. Just think, you could put Grandma on a park bench, or immortalize Buddy the bulldog guarding your freshly minted building.
“Arckit Infiniti 3D provides a new outlet for everyone to further develop their architectural skills and creations. Architects will benefit from greater freedom to implement their own unique stamp on their designs,” said Murtagh.
Other new options this year include Arckit’s Mini Curve, Mini Dormer and Mini Angle kits, which you can use as add-ons to current kits or are stand-alone models. The new kits will be available in September 2016.
And Arckit’s encouraging architects of the future by getting them hooked on GO Colours. The kit has 170-plus pieces and is geared towards children 10 years old and up. It includes online access to Arckit Digital components within SketchUp 3D Warehouse, Arckit interactive digital builds and Arckit Arckitexture.
Murtagh explains the company’s foray into youth kits: “Since winning the Parents’ Choice Gold Award, there’s been massive demand for using Arckit to inspire the next generation of budding young architects.”
Perhaps it’s time to parlay your Lego prowess into building high-tech models of the future. New career as an architect, anyone?