Now anyone can hold New York City in the palm of their hand. NoneCG.com, a repository for computer generated models, has recently released its latest collection of New York city buildings.
These miniature replicas of New York are part of a series. Each set of models can be purchased as a city block and include prominent New York landmarks, such as Times Square, the Equitable Center, the Crowne Plaza Hotel and the former Lehman Brothers Building. Each CG model is wonderfully detailed and can have great potential as a 3D printable model.
The NoneCG models are available in a variety of file formats but will have to be converted to STL for 3D printing. This can easily be done using many freely available software tools such as Autodesk's meshmixer or Blender.
The meticulous detail of each building was derived from reference data using Google Earth and Google Earth's Street View. The buildings range in size from 35,000 to 700,000 polygons, making them easily accessible for import. While each is building is not a 100% replica of the original, NoneCG has come very close to ensuring that they are as accurate as possible.
Note that these models aren't exactly 3D print ready, but with a bit of work they can be optimized as a single mesh. In order to create single meshes for printing, designers can use a variety of tools, such as ZBrush's Dynamesh tool, or the boolean operations that are found in just about every CG modeling software available. Mesh mixer can be used as well, although it may be a bit challenging to align the separate meshes back into their original positions. For final output it would be recommended to test the models in Netfabb. While converting these models into single meshes is added work, the time taken will be considerably less than modeling from scratch.
NoneCG NYC meshes can be a great tool for NYC architects and city planners who want to explore and propose new construction ideas. The models are great for kit-bashing as well, allowing artists and designers to construct new buildings and invent new architectural forms.