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Largest ever Contour map of North West

Largest ever Contour map of North West

Arup are embarking one of their most ambitious projects to date. Their client, Alan Torevell, tasked them with illustrating his innovative North West Squared proposals to produce renewable energy through tidal gateways along the North West coast. The best services from across the Hobs Group portfolio were required to be combined in one project.

Arups had created a virtual computer model, but wanted a physical model to increase accessibility and engagement with the plans across a wide range of stakeholders. This 3D map was also required to be a key attraction of the International Festival of Business (IFB). The accuracy of the large digital printers and cutters were used to print map sections then laser cut individual contour layers out of the printed PVC foam sheets, in just 2 days. These layers represented 50m increments in the real world. Traditional model making techniques were then used to combine these layers to form the 3D map and add textures to forest areas.

At the same time, the power of Hobs' 3D printing made it possible to create 139 3D printed models of nuclear and coal power stations, wind farms, solar PV panels, waste incinerators, biomass processing plants and hydro turbines. To help with orientation around the map, 10 highly intricate models of famous North West landmarks were also 3D printed. These include the Blackpool Tower, the Beatham Tower in Manchester and the Three Graces buildings in Liverpool. Again, all the models were 3D printed in just two days. In contrast, it would have taken up to two weeks to do the same thing using traditional model making techniques, which has saved both time and money.

Simon Mabey, Senior Designer of Arup, said "We are delighted with the finished model and the reaction from our team and visitors has been tremendous. By working with Hobs Studio we’ve created a very special model that’s highly accurate, informative and visually stunning.”

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