Tradition + Technology

BYU Diorama lit with blue lights

Brigham Young University (BYU) is located in Provo, Utah, nestled below the Wasatch mountains. WhiteClouds was commissioned to build an architectural diorama (10'x12') showcasing the beauty and geography of the campus with a special emphasis on the huge variety of trees and their historical significance. The diorama includes 88 buildings. Each one is masterfully crafted with state-of-the art 3D design and printing technology.

BYU Diorama fully installed

From a technology perspective, multiple iPads have pre-programmed lighting controls for each of the 88 building’s LED's. Matching cabinetry and glass walls finish off the aesthetics of the architectural diorama. To enrich the effectiveness of the diorama, augmented reality is used on mobile devices to combine the digital and physical diorama features. Traditional model-making processes, along with various 3D printing technologies emphasize the realism of the stone-looking buildings. Roads, sidewalks, and parking lots have been 3D printed with a sandstone type finish. For statues needing extreme details, high-definition 3D printers printed details as small as 16 microns (about 1/6 the size of a human hair).

Closeup of the Abraham O. Smoot Administrative Building on the BYU diorama

To add to the ambiance, you can see the vehicles driving on the road or parked in the parking lots, trees and foliage in bright autumn colors, pansies in the flower beds, the hands on the clock on the Gordon B. Hinkley Alumni and Visitors Center, the flag flying in front of the N. Eldon Tanner Building and the “Y” on the mountain. And if you look closely, you’ll see a man and woman depicting the couple that funded the project and an Easter egg. Detailed coverage of the unveiling ceremony was published by the Deseret News and the Daily Herald.

The initial phase of the project was to build a small section of the campus (two images below), highlighting pathways and landscaping around the Karl G. Maeser building. This was used to successfully attract donors for the funding of the project.

BYU Diorama initial Maeser Building model BYU Diorama initial Maeser Building model

To get an idea of the size and scope of the project, more than 1,000 hours were spent in the design phase, 640 hours were spent printing all 88 of the buildings, and the fabrication process took nearly 750 hours. Approximately 367 acres are represented in the BYU project, 700 cars are included in the diorama and installation took about 240 hours, more than four weeks. Here’s a video of the installation process:


The price of a diorama model varies greatly because of size and complexity and can range from a few thousand dollars to a few hundred thousand dollars with some even in the millions. Each diorama model is bid individually and the best way to determine price is to contact us and let us bid your project.

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1 to 2 months
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Whiteclouds BYU Project creation workflow

Common Questions

BYU officials look at new BYU Diorama BYU officials point at new BYU Diorama

What file type is required to 3D print parts of the diorama?

We work with all architectural CAD programs including AutoCAD, Revit, Chief Architect, ArchiCAD and Sketchup, just to name a few. If you design in 3D, we will start with your 3D files. If you have 2D blueprints and elevations, or artist's sketches, we can build a diorama from these files as well.

Do the 3D printers print in color?

Yes. Most of our diorama models have some part of the diorama printed in full-color, sandstone-like material and the printers print in full color.  Anything printed in UV-cured resin materials are a single color but can be painted.

What is the material used?

Most of our diorama models are 3D printed in sandstone-like material; however, we also print in UV-cured resins. We also use traditional hand modeling techniques for large topographies and landscapes as well as for large architectural models.

What is the largest diorama you can 3D print?

The build envelope on our larger printers is 9" x 15" x 20". This is the largest diorama model we can print in a single piece. We can 3D print larger models in multiple pieces which is a normal part of the process.

What is the turnaround time for a diorama model?

Depending on size and complexity, this could be from 4-6 weeks for a small diorama to many months for larger dioramas. We understand that sometimes deadlines are tight and we can usually accommodate rush orders.

Can you 3D print the interior details of a building?

Yes. We can create a diorama model with a removable roof and floors so you can see the layout of the building.

Can you 3D print terrain, swimming pools, arbors, hardscaping features, etc.?

Yes. We 3D print many of the items in our diorama models.

If I want a second diorama is it cheaper?

Our pricing is based on the amount of material used, size of the project, and time it takes to build the diorama. A second duplicate is less money because the design portion is complete.

Do you have a question we didn‘t answer? Don't hesitate to contact us at 1-385-206-8700 or

Worldwide Delivery

WhiteClouds has delivered models around the world.

BYU Diorama Gallery