As one of my experiments in making glass blocks, I was looking for prototype buildings to print, and I ran across this picture of a building in Memphis. This was taken by Katherine of Chicago, and I found the picture on her flickr account. I thought this looked like a challenge in many respects.
The first order of business was to draw up a reasonable representation. In this case, just for fun, I colored in the drawing.
Then I exploded the drawing in to printable pieces. In this case, I will use clear plastic for the glass block, and the natural ABS I generally use on the rest of the building front. I printed the top concrete section as a separate piece to make it easier to install the marble overlay, and easier to paint.
I was also concerned about which orientation would yield the best print quality. This is a screen shot of the printer software, and you can see that I oriented the top section upside down on the right, and laying on its back on the left. Since it was a short print time, so I just printed it both ways, and then used the one that looked the best. FWIW, the one on its back had the better detail.
For the marble I downloaded a picture for marble from one of the many images on the Internet, and sized it to a scale that I felt looked reasonable. I did this in PowerPoint, and printed it out on photo paper. I used the line function in PowerPoint to make the lines to denote the different marble panels, although most are actually different individual images, adjusted to fit, one pixel at a time. I did many test prints and adjustments to get it to fit the space available.
I sealed the paper, front and back, with a clear gloss, then glued it in place using Aleene's Tacky Glue. I use it for an amazing array of projects. I should have taken some progress pictures, but I forgot. The clear plastic is ABS, as it the natural used on the rest of the structure, so the 3d printed parts are solvent welded together with Methylene Chloride.
This is HO scale, so only about 3" wide.
Other prototype structures that I have 3d printed can be seen at these links: