I am a firm believer in the utility of physical models in aiding the design process. However, due to the small size of our office, finding the time and resources to build study models has proven to be a challenge. Truth be told, in our 21 months of existence we've only built a few models (and one of them was edible).
Since we create virtual digital models of every project we do, it represents a natural extension of our workflow to use those files to create physical models as well. 3D printing technology has recently become affordable enough that this transfer is now practical for an office such as ours. It is thus only logical that HiWorks should invest in a 3D printer. Although we are still working out the bugs, the technique is already showing great promise and seems to be well worth the investment
Besides, we already have a drone so what else are we going to blow our profits on?