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The beginning of the end of the blueprint?

By Berit Griffin March 14, 2014

Sometimes, it seems to require more time to explain the nuances of blueprints to clients than it does to actually build the house. Prospective homeowners see the blue lines, right angles, curves and small handwriting in all capital letters, but they lack the ability to visualize the flat sheet of paper as a finished house. It’s not their fault, of course, but rather a challenge faced quite often during the planning stages.

That’s why The Plan Collection, which hosts more 20,000 unique floor plans, is adding a third dimension to its plans to help clients better visualize finished projects. When a builder purchases a floor plan from The Plan Collection, they are provided a CAD file that includes a 3D depiction. From there, builders are free to create a 3D model of the project — that is, if they can find someone with a 3D printer.

Like personal computers in the 1980s, desktop 3D printers are exorbitantly expensive as the technology is still in its infancy. (Just think about how your first computer functioned compared to the one you own now!) But if 3D printing piques your interest, MakerBot, a pioneer brand in the field of 3D printing, offers its MakerBot Replicator (5th generation) for a cool $2,899.

It might seem steep, but it also just might mean less time hunched over blueprints with confused clients!