Architects of African American Museum Save Time and Money Using Z Corporation 3D Printing Technology

Moody•Nolan Streamlines Design and Review by Printing Physical 3D Models with ZPrinter 650

BURLINGTON, Mass., USA, June 1, 2010 – An award-winning architectural firm designing the International African American Museum is using 3D printing technology from Z Corporation to accelerate the design cycle, save money on concept models, and help ensure the building properly expresses the story of Africans in America.

The Charleston, S.C., edifice will reflect the fact that more slaves entered North America through the city than any other. Now in the conceptual design stage, the $80 million museum will also chronicle African American progress in the ensuing centuries. It is slated to open in 2015.

“We’ve considered the entire African American narrative, the bad and the good, as we select materials, conceive the spaces and forms, and review our work with the project founders,” said Michael Woods, Moody•Nolan, Inc. associate and one of the project designers. “ZPrinting enables us to quickly create early massing models and produce presentation models with accurate detail we never could have obtained even after weeks of handcrafting. The steering committee, mayor and city planners were simply amazed by our most recent models.”

Moody•Nolan, Inc. uses the ZPrinter® 650, which delivers the industry’s biggest models, highest throughput, highest-quality color and finest resolution.

The museum is intended to be a “window” into the African American story, a concept embodied in the glassy façade overlooking Liberty Park. During gatherings in the park, guests will be able to see glimpses of the museum’s interior. The East-facing facade can also be viewed as a window looking back to Africa.

“This is a sophisticated building with a lot to say, and ZPrinting helps us convey concepts and details to numerous audiences, each in a way that makes the most impact,” said Woods. “We can ZPrint a new model from any of our four software packages – MicroStation, Revit, form•Z, and Google SketchUp – 10 times faster and at a fraction of the cost of handcrafting. The more complex the models, the greater the savings.”

ZPrinting helps audiences fully understand the building that is being proposed, unlike on-screen renderings. “You can touch a ZPrint, pick it up, turn it over and really see it,” said Woods. “ZPrinting allows us to move the design process forward more quickly, iterate more effectively and more deeply involve clients and other stakeholders. It’s a great tool and everyone benefits.”

Moody•Nolan is collaborating on the project with Antoine Predock. Architect PC, who also uses Z Corporation’s ZPrinting, and actually introduced Moody Nolan to the technology.

Moody Nolan relies on Z Corporation's authorized business partner 3DP Technology, Inc. of Ohio for sales, service and support. “It was exciting to see how quickly Moody Nolan people adopted the ZPrinter process and equally gratifying to see the positive impact the ZPrinter had on their business,” said Sam (Sandra) Phipps Lees, sales and certified Z Corp. tech at 3DP Technology. “From day one, that machine has been fully utilized.”

About Z Corporation

Z Corporation 3D technologies help product designers, engineers and architects create the right designs the first time. Professionals use ZPrinter® 3D printers, ZBuilder rapid prototyping machines and ZScanner® 3D laser scanners to compress the design cycle, generate new concepts, communicate clearly, foster collaboration, and reduce errors. These solutions span the entire 3D CAD/BIM design process from concept through design verification. For more information, visit

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