WHAT ARE MICROSCAPE MODELS?
Microscape models are detailed, 1:5000 scale replicas of cities. They're 3D-printed from our own accurate, up-to-date aerial scan data, meaning that they can evolve along with the built environment. Because we manually process all of that data to make it printable, they can also include buildings still under construction or still in planning.
We intend to cover major cities across the US and around the world, but our initial proving ground has been the city of New York. (We figure if we can make models of here, we can make models of anywhere...)
OUR UNOFFICIAL MASCOT
YOU CAN OWN THIS TOWN
We're now ready to make the entire island of Manhattan available in the form of individual, 6" square tiles that can be collected and assembled any way you choose. You don't have to be Donald Trump to own a substantial chunk of New York City real estate -- the roughly 200 tiles that together make up the full city model can be special-ordered after the close of our Kickstarter campaign at an all-in cost of $25,000 USD.
For those with more modest ambitions, we're offering a series of limited edition, "Kickstarter Only" landmark tiles as rewards at special, "early bird" prices. Each of these tiles measures 6 inches by 6 inches (15.24 cm x 15.24 cm), and captures in intricate detail a roughly half mile (.8 km) square of New York city.
If we reach our funding goal, these landmark tiles will be produced with a special mark and serial number on the base indicating that they were part of the initial Kickstarter Microscape launch.
Alone or in groups on your desk, coffee table or wall, Microscape models are as beautiful as they are architecturally accurate.
SOME OF YOUR REWARD OPTIONS:
At the successful conclusion of this Kickstarter campaign, backers will be able to choose from among any of the limited edition "landmark" tiles shown below.
Landmark tiles measure 6 inches by 6 inches (15.24 cm x 15.24 cm) and will match up seamlessly with the rest of the tiles that make up the overall city model. They vary in height from 1 inch (2.54 cm) up to approximately 5.5 inches (13.97 cm) and weigh between 5 and 10 ounces (142 to 284 grams).
They're made out of a durable white thermoplastic derived from corn starch that's non-toxic, completely safe to handle* (the FDA says you can even eat off them, though we're not sure why you'd want to...) and biodegradable.
*Microscape models do have delicate details, sharp points and edges and may not be appropriate for young children
** 2016-02-17 -- Please note that we've just added three more Landmark tiles to the original collection of 24. All 27 will be available as options in the survey backers will receive at the end of our campaign. We're not allowed to change any of our Reward Level descriptions at this point, so each Reward Level description still mentions "24" tiles. Please disregard this -- the correct number is 27.
Risks and challenges
We've spent the last two years testing different 3D printers, materials and model geometry to perfect the process of printing detailed city models. By now we've burned through an awful lot of filament and made every imaginable mistake.
Printing every 6" x 6" tile still takes a long time (as much as a day of non-stop machine time), but when it comes to the landmark tiles we're offering as rewards, we've already done all the heavy lifting and know how to produce them consistently and reliably. We also have a good feel for how frequently the printers we've standardized on need repairs/replacement and so have built time for this sort of thing into our anticipated production schedule.
Assuming we meet our funding goal, we'll be able to add more printers to our farm and produce more tiles in parallel. If we exceed our funding goal, we'll add even more printers to keep up with demand and maintain an acceptable rate of production.
Our backers don't need to worry about unexpected delays: We already know exactly how to produce the tiles we're offering as rewards and have done so many times over. We'll also be stockpiling the filament we need as soon as we hit our funding goal, so material supply shortages shouldn't be an issue.
Barring massive disasters like terrorist attacks, tidal waves or tornadoes in midtown NYC, delivering rewards to backers will simply be a question of print time and shipping time.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)