Visualizing Earthquake Defense: Protolab’s Model for Arquata

In the Marche region of Italy, an exciting new project is underway to improve seismic safety, led and funded by the Marche Region. This initiative combines top-notch engineering with clear strategic planning.

The collaboration for this seismic safety project started because there was a need to improve earthquake safety in the Marche region. Understanding that solving these problems was complex and needed new ideas, different groups came together to work on a complete solution.

The Marche Region initiated and funded the project, driven by a commitment to enhance public safety and infrastructure resilience. Their leadership ensured that the project had the necessary resources and strategic direction to make a significant impact.

Studio Calvi  was brought into the collaboration due to its renowned expertise in seismic engineering. Calvi’s extensive experience in both international projects and specialized consultancy made Studio Calvi an ideal partner for developing cutting-edge seismic design solutions.

Eucentre co-founded by Professor Calvi, was included for its advanced resources and capabilities in seismic simulation and research. The center’s deep knowledge and technological support were crucial for evaluating and refining the seismic safety measures proposed in the project.

Protolab at the University of Pavia was engaged to provide its expertise in prototyping and model creation. By developing detailed scaled models, Protolab facilitated the visualization and testing of design concepts, which was essential for ensuring that the theoretical solutions could be effectively translated into practical applications..

regione marche
studio calvi
Sisma Arquata del Tronto

Aquata Earthquake

Following the tragic 2016 earthquake that claimed more than 40 lives and caused a significant landslide of Arquata del Tronto’s mountain into the valley, the urgent necessity for strong seismic reinforcements became undeniable.

This initiative focuses on stabilizing the entire hillside through the construction of two underground reinforced concrete wells.
From these wells, a network of 328 anchors will span a total of 12,970 linear meters, fortifying the hill and ensuring the safety of the village.


We created our model directly from the original engineering design files.

These files required adjustments to facilitate manufacturing and practical realization.
We meticulously added necessary elements such as thickness, fittings, and other details to ensure the design could be accurately translated into a physical representation.
This process ensured that our model not only met design specifications but also functioned effectively in reality, including features like a removable cover and a transparent section to showcase the internal anchors.

The large dimensions of the model allowed us to use a 3D printer with an exceptionally large print bed to produce the entire hillside with PLA.

For the central section, where the anchors and pillars will be placed, we used Stratasys technology, this method allowed us to create the terrain with a transparent resin, offering a clear view of the anchors and wells right up to the walls of the houses, providing a comprehensive visualization of the project.

arquata model
arquata model

Realistic Visualization

This innovative model will not only facilitate better coordination among designers and professionals but also serve as an essential tool for explaining the project to local residents and stakeholders.

Realistic visualizations of such large and significant projects enhance communication and understanding among all parties involved. By providing a tangible representation of the project, we aim to bridge the gap between complex engineering plans and community comprehension.
This model underscores the vital role of advanced technologies in improving project communication and execution. As we continue to leverage these tools, we can expect even more successful collaborations and outcomes in the field of civil engineering.

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