Printing the city

By Adam Leedham

Amongst the iconic buses, trains and TFL artwork of The London Transport Museum sit a huge map of a tiny London at a scale of 55,000 1:3500. Although impressive, the issue with this map is it is constantly going out of date. With a new iconic building being finished every month the museum needed a solution that could keep up with this rapid growth.


Enter, the Connections Project. With a goal of bringing together a group of students who would be tasked with the project of updating the map with 15 new buildings as well as learning more about the TFL infrastructure and how the architecture of London has changed over the centuries.

Makerversity were chosen to run lessons in making because of our experience with 3D printing and rapid prototyping. So not to only rely on new technologies, two sections would take place. The first focussed on traditional model making techniques using blue foam and sheet material, cutting mats and hot glue. The second would be digital, utilising 3D CAD and 3D printing.


Makerversity member, Nick Paget – Instrument

The traditional session delivered by Nick Paget an Industrial designer from Instrument Product Development would give an introduction to model making by showing examples of the types of prototypes he had built when delivering projects in the past. Crucially with a focus on what type of model is appropriate at what time in the project and how an informed decision in material choice can really accelerate the time it takes to build and the quality level at the end.

Some of the newest additions to the London skyline.

Some of the newest additions to the London skyline.

Session 2 was delivered by Paul Sohi a 3D Designer from the Fusion Team in Autodesk. Paul took the group through the modelling process for 3D printing by modelling a full scale version of the iconic Shard.

The Shard taking shape

The Shard taking shape


Once the buildings are designed they are ready to be 3D printed and the students can finally install them on the map which is housed in the LTM.


Makerversity will continue to run these ‘master classes in making’ as part of the London Transport Museums project to update the connections map in partnership with SIDE projects London. Should you have any questions regarding our learning programs, feel free to get in touch.

Want more news from Makerversity?

sign up to our mailing list and receive inspiring updates, hot off the press
Posted By Adam Leedham