Disney Treehouse Villas, Savoye and the Jungle Book are just some of the world’s most famous trees.
And all of them were designed by Walt Disney himself.
What if there was a way to design a Disney Treehouse that anyone could build?
And that’s exactly what designer Tom Raney of the London-based architecture firm LAND has been thinking about for years.
His solution is to use a 3D printer, a 3-D printer called the i3, and a 3d printer, called the Digitizer.
These are all part of the iDAR, or interactive design data architecture, software that Disney has released.
You can download it here, and you can also download the Digitized Architecture Toolkit.
The software lets you download a 3×3 grid of 3D models that are then uploaded to the DigiArt 3D 3D Printers and Sculptors (DART) network.
These 3D model files, which you can find at iDar.com, allow anyone to design, build and test the treehouses using a 3rd party 3D printing service.
The idea is that you can create 3D structures on the Internet for free.
“You can download the 3D modeling files and then build and submit them to the 3rd-party 3D printers,” says Raney.
“It’s an open 3D-printing ecosystem.”
If you want to be able to create treehouses from the ground up in real time, there are a number of options.
If you’re willing to fork out $2,500 or more, you can get a 3M wood-framed timber platform for $3,000.
The most expensive option is a 1.5m x 2m timber frame.
You’ll need to use the DART network to create a 3 dimensional model, and then upload it to the iM3D platform.
The platform will allow you to build, print, and upload your treehouse design, with a cost of $10 per object.
You won’t get access to the model files until you upload them to a 3DR printer.
“The model files will be on a public 3DR website and they’ll be available for free,” says Tom Rany of LAND.
You might also want to get an early version of the Digitize software, which allows you to print your treehouses in 3D.
This is a free 3D print-and-send tool for your 3DR printers, which will allow users to upload their 3D designs, and the platform will make it easy for you to upload and download them.
For the price of $100, you could build a treehouse using a 1m x 1m platform that would take about six months to complete, but with the Digiterate software you can complete it in a day.
“If you’re a designer and want to build something you can print and send to a home for free, this is the way to go,” says Rob MacLean, the CEO of LLAND.
The biggest drawback of the software is that it requires you to have an internet connection.
The i3 3D platform is designed to run in the cloud, but if you want access to 3D files you’ll have to connect your computer directly to the network.
“I was initially sceptical about the technology,” says MacLean.
“There’s a lot of hype around 3D printed houses and trees, but what’s the actual value in 3d printing?
It’s a good idea for the environment, but the 3DR model files are very expensive.”
So, will people build trees using the Digiface software?
“I think it’s an idea worth exploring,” says Steve Schmidhuber, a landscape architect at New York’s Museum of Modern Art.
“But the price is the big problem.”
“I’m a little skeptical about the software,” says Lisa O’Leary, who is an associate professor of urban design at Stanford University and co-director of the architecture program at The Art Institute of Chicago.
“What I’m more interested in is how do you integrate this technology into the architectural design process.”
It’s an interesting idea, but not something that would make it popular.
“That would be the wrong question to ask,” says O’Loughlin.
She says that her students have been interested in using 3D to create 3-dimensional structures, but they haven’t been able to do so in the timeframe required to build an entire treehouse.
She also thinks the 3DPrinting technology could be used for more than treehouses.
“3D printing for houses could be the way that we have a whole new class of architectural architects,” says Zoya A. Ahern, an architecture professor at the University of Texas at Austin.
“This is a great tool to have.
I think it would be great to see people start to use it for more kinds of buildings.”