MiniWorld3D meets 3D Print Works! Recently, we had the privilege of talking to Dany Sanchez, who is the founder and lead designer of the MiniWorld3D project. This project catalogues world landmarks from all over the globe by 3D printing them, and has grown to incorporate a team of designers as well as an impressive 40k Instagram followers. We hope you enjoy this Q&A!
Q: Why did you set up MiniWorld3D? What was your thinking behind theaccount?
A: MiniWorld3D started when a friend of mine who is visually impaired suggested 3D printing miniature landmarks, so people like her could know what these famous buildings are like through touch, by holding them in their hands and getting a much better idea of their shape. As a designer, I wanted to practice 3D modelling and I loved traveling—so the project was obvious.
Q: Did the account take off immediately, or has it been more of a slow processgaining your almost 40k followers?
A - MiniWorld3D began in 2014 with less than 10 models, made only by me, and barely any activity on social media. Today, it is a collective of more than 35 designers and 3D artists who contribute with models as one-offs or regularly. It has taken daily interaction since 2017 on Instagram to build this follower base, which has been so rewarding because of the connections made with other designers, artists, and 3D printing enthusiasts.
Q: What's the best thing you've ever seen someone else print?
A - I am thinking of @theprintsregent and his extraordinary prints of our models, especially the Hassan II mosque from Casablanca, Morocco. He always surprises with the minute detail achieved by his printer and settings.
Q: And what’s your favourite thing you’ve ever printed?
A - It changes over time but the most recent mind-blowing print I made was the Vienna City Hall in full detail, a model in collaboration with ZODIAC. It stands about half a meter tall, and almost one meter wide! The level of detail you can achieve when printing at that scale is something I had never done before.
Q: What’s the best thing about the 3D printing community on social media?
A - Without a doubt, how we have each other’s backs. We bounce ideas, give each other advice, and look out for people that steal or sell our models. It’s a genuine exchange of knowledge across the world, all my close insta-friends are of different nationalities!
Q: Are there any world landmarks you haven’t printed yet but really want to in the future?
A - So many! A common anxiety of mine since the very beginning is this backlog of models to make, a never-ending list that grows faster than we can work on. I look forward to completing landmarks of Phnom Penh, where I live, and more skyscrapers from Asia.
A - The previous record was probably the Notre-Dame de Paris cathedral, modelled in 5 days by 2 people, but it was surpassed by the before mentioned Vienna City Hall. Just the print of some individual parts broke my personal records, going well beyond 24 hours each. The design took much longer, the amounts of detail made my computer very slow.
Q: Do you remember the first MiniWorld3D print? What was it and how did itgo?
A - It must have definitely been something from Mexico City or Querétaro, my hometown at the time. Maybe Torre Latino or the church of Santa Rosa de Viterbo. They printed very well considering it was 2014, ABS, and I only had weeks of experience in 3D printing.
Q: What’s the trickiest landmark to print that you’ve done so far?
A - The Sagrada Familia is tricky when doing all parts at once, because of the thin, tall towers with lots of detail. It is truly a retraction and stringing challenge!
Q: Who’s one other 3D printing account on Instagram that you really admire?
A - So difficult to pick only one! But ok, Flowalistik is my choice for his amazing work putting Latin America, Industrial Design and 3D printing in the world’s spotlight.
Q: What’s your top tip for people trying to start out in 3D printing?
A - To have someone more experienced who can help, ideally in person, when something frustrating happens. It will certainly happen, and it can make a lot of people quit.