MiniWorld3D is an online library of 3D printable models of landmarks and important buildings from around the world. With an impressive collection of over 250 models. The models are created from scratch by a collective of over 50 designers and digital artists from around the world. The MiniWorld3D team is committed to providing the highest quality models possible.
MiniWorld3D was founded and is led by Mexican designer Dany Sánchez, who has a passion for architecture and design. He has been creating 3D models since 2008, and he has a deep understanding of the 3D printing process.
Hi Dany, nice to talk to you. Can you please introduce yourself and tell us a bit about your background and experience in the field of creative 3D printing? How long have you been 3D printing?
Hello FormFutura! My name is Dany Sánchez, I am founder and lead 3D artist of MiniWorld3D, a collective project that aims to recreate world landmarks as miniatures for 3D printing, free for anyone to download and learn from.
I am from central Mexico, where I studied Industrial Design in university. There, I learned parametric 3D modelling in 2008 and had a first experience with industrial 3D printers in 2012.
I had my own 3D printer in 2014 and went through the headaches of learning everything about it. I started MiniWorld3D at this time as well. So overall, I’ve got about 15 years of experience modelling in SolidWorks and then Fusion360, and 10 in 3D printing.
How did you get to know FormFutura Filament, and what appealed to you?
I was aware of the brand, but had my real first contact thanks to the Delft Blue Houses project. We collaborated with FormFutura to use the ReForm rPLA White & Turkish Blue products in a model that would highlight them perfectly, and so, together with MiniWorld3D member Carlos Ramírez, we created our Dutchiest model ever!
Can you paint a picture of the “aha” moment when you realized 3D printing was more than just a technology but a gateway to endless creative possibilities?
Because of my Design background, I arrived to 3D printing from a creativity-first perspective as opposed to technology-first. I still am like that, not really a tech guy. There are many ways I could create, and 3D printing is currently the best fit. Since I was a child, I’ve enjoyed using tech tools in unusual and artistic ways.
Can you share some examples of the creative process you pursue and the role of 3D printing in this process?
I love miniatures, and famous buildings are a perfect fit for several reasons: they can be 3D modelled in parametric software, they can usually print easily and without supports, and I love to travel and have friends from around the world.
Other creators in the MIniWorld3D collective may have different processes, this is mine:
1) I always sketch on paper first, to familiarize myself with the building’s volumes and features.
2) I block out the shapes and proportions in the software.
3) I add details and check for printability.
4) Lastly, I test print the model to ensure the quality before publishing the STLs online.
Nowadays, I rarely have to make adjustments.
Share with us a project where FormFutura’s filament saved the day!
Once again, the Delft Blue Houses come to mind! It was such a great project. Not only did I learn about this piece of Dutch culture and history, it was also technically challenging; so the result is truly a perfect combination of material, technique, creativity and technology.
Benefits of 3D Printing
What unique advantages do you find in using 3D printing for your creative goals?
There are two clear reasons why we use 3D printing:
1) Global reach: our models can be downloaded and printed by anyone, anywhere in the world. We would be limited to our region and costs would be prohibitive if we focused on making copies through moulds or other technologies, or even by hand.
2) Replicate value: we put several man-hours in crafting a 3D model. Thanks to 3D printing, the beautiful result can be replicated infinitely and in an ever-growing amount of materials, colours, scales, etc. We work once and pays off forever. If we sculpted by hand, or did moulds, we would be putting a lot of effort on a single physical copy that would not go nearly as far.
How has 3D printing with FormFutura’s filaments waved its magic over your creative process?
In our experience, the quality of FormFutura’s materials has been 100% reliable, which means we can focus on the creative part and not be hindered by technical issues, which in 3D printing can be common. Also, the aesthetic finish of the prints made with FormFutura materials has quality in itself, making our work look great.
What were the challenges or limitations you encountered, and how did utilizing 3D printing help you overcome them?
One of the pillars on which I started MiniWorld3D is inclusivity. A visually-impaired friend asked me if 3D printing could be used to make miniatures of landmarks so that people like her could know what they are like by touching them. The 250+ free models that we have created for almost 10 years have been downloaded and 3D printed all around the world to benefit people with physical or learning impairments, as well as curious children and adults all the same!
Have you discovered any innovative techniques or approaches that have enhanced your 3D printing process with FormFutura’s filaments?
Thanks to the Delft Blue Houses project, we took a step further into multicolour printing. We got better at designing to make it as easy as possible for anyone to print in colours, even with regular setups and no MMU equipment.
Impact on Creativity
If FormFutura’s 3D printing materials were a secret ingredient in your creative recipe, how has it added that extra dash of magic to your projects?
For MiniWorld3D, it is important to have a realistic finish as possible in our miniatures with the least post-processing, replicating the look of typical construction materials like brick, slate, stone, and others. We have used FormFutura’s materials without any paint to highlight our designs, they have a great look that helps 3D printing fans choose our models.
Collaboration and Community
How do you engage with the broader 3D printing community to exchange ideas and explore new possibilities?
Our primary community tool is Instagram because it’s very visual. We focused on it many years ago, so now it has grown the most. It is popular in many countries and with many demographics, allowing people to discover us, not just tech enthusiasts. I have met almost all current MiniWorld3D participant artists, brands, fellow creators, and long-time fans on Instagram. You can follow and message us @miniworld3d.
Future of Creative 3D Printing
Where do you see the future of 3D printing in the creative industry, and how do you envision it shaping your future projects?
It’s very exciting to see creators, brands and “celebrities” of the medium pushing the boundaries every year! I love that 3D printing is getting more colourful and reliable. I dream of the day when anyone can print a design of ours in full colour and without headaches, and it’s becoming a reality!
Maybe not so much a new product or technological innovation, but a social one. The support and attention that FormFutura is giving to creators like ourselves is so encouraging! We grow by having more people discover our work, 3D printing enthusiasts or not. Brands and creators can help each other to reach new audiences, so maybe new programs or opportunities to let our work be seen.
What advice or encouragement would you offer to individuals who are interested in incorporating 3D printing into their creative endeavours?
3D printing is a stunning global community and ecosystem. Tapping into it may unlock new creative outlets, projects and collaborations for you. It’s never been this easy to get started with successful, great prints.
You have the potential to push the industry forward with your creative approach, introducing something never seen before. We look forward to seeing you!
MiniWorld3D on social media
Delve deeper into the world of MiniWorld3D and immerse yourself in the creativity and passion of Dany and his fellow artists. Follow them on Printables or MyMiniFactory to discover their latest models and embark on your own 3D printing journey. Stay connected with MiniWorld3D’s vibrant community on Instagram and YouTube for endless inspiration and support.