3-D Printing Will Finally Bring Antoni Gaudí’s Sagrada Familia to Completion

The Sagrada Familia, the Modernist cathedral designed by Antoni Gaudí in the heart of Barcelona, has been under construction since 1882. Gaudi worked painstakingly on it until his death in 1926, but the project’s ambition and scope made for slow progress.

Now, thanks to the help of 3-D printing techniques, it might finally be near completion, BBC reports.

The complex shapes of the Sagrada Familia pushed Gaudi to use 3-D models rather than the traditional 2-D renderings to study the feasibility of the church’s most intricate parts.

The Church Technical Office, responsible for the project, has switched from handcrafted prototypes to 3D-printed plaster models, which facilitates the creation of models in 12 hours. Moreover, the models can be modified post-printing.

The transition from hand-made prototypes to 3-D modelling it’s not exactly new, it began in 2001. But the use of two on-site 3-D model printers has accelerated the project and reduced costs to the extent that Gaudí’s masterpiece is now slated to be finished by 2026.

“Due to the complexity of surfaces and forms, working with Gaudí’s designs in 2D does not make sense from an architectural point of view,” chief architect Jodi Coll told the company 3DSystems. “If Gaudí was alive today, he would have brought 3-D technology to its maximum exponent, since much of his work was already conceived tri-dimensionally,” he explained.

Check out the video below with an animated rendering of how the Sagrada Familia will be completed by 2026.

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