The Eiffel Tower is 3D Printing’s Go-To Model

Why are there so many 3D printed models of the iconic tower?

eiffel tower, formlabs, stratasys, blog, model, Standing tall for more than 120 years, it is hard to find anyone who doesn’t recognize the Eiffel Tower.

It’s a symbol of love, awe, and lately, 3D printing.

When Gustave Eiffel first set eyes on Mauric Koechlin and Emile Nouguier’s original design, he probably didn’t realize that this epoch of engineering would later be reproduced in a spectrum of bright colors and far-fetched materials –let alone that 3D printing would even exist one day.

From manufacturers to designers to casual enthusiasts, 3D printers seem to be a magnet for reproductions of the Eiffel Tower.

Want proof? Check Thingiverse right now and you’ll find upwards of 14 different Eiffel Tower models – including one abstract model that’s actually a vase. Or, you can head over to the Stratasys blog and you’ll find a humorous tidbit about a French colleague and their high-detail models. While if you look really closely, you may even be able to spot the sub-1 mm Eiffel Tower model printed by German-based Nanoscribe.

But perhaps the most prominent use of a 3D printed Eiffel Tower is the branding of Formlabs’ Form 1 printer – which regularly features an impressively detailed model either on its own or posed next to the printer.

So why is the Eiffel Tower so popular in the 3D printing industry?

It’s iconic engineering at its best.

The Eiffel Tower is an elegant representation of the possibilities of human engineering. From its scaffold structure to its symmetrical curves, all 324 meters of the Eiffel Tower were built to amaze.

What better way to demonstrate the strength of your filament, the resolution of your printer, or the capabilities of your CAD modelers, than with a beautiful replica of this iconic structure.

Gustave Eiffel put it so perfectly in his 1885 presentation to the Société des Ingénieurs Civils, the tower is meant to symbolize:

“not only the art of the modern engineer, but also the century of Industry and Science in which we are living.”

And so it still does.

Image courtesy of Formlabs