Architectural model building can be a great tool to help you conceptualize an idea more effectively. Whether you use the models for your own in-house purposes, to share with clients and stakeholders, or to market to end-users, it is important to understand how they’re used and how you can improve upon them.
Uses of Architectural Models
Blueprints and drawings are ineffective ways for you to bring value to any architectural or construction project you are working on. By using a scaled model, it allows for a higher level of visualization. You can help people see the unique designs, plan how space will be used, and understand the overall layout in a 3D home environment.
Whether a project is completed or not, architectural models give people a way to “see” your vision. You can incorporate as many components as you wish – greenery, shopping malls, bridges, roads, and more.
What is included in your model will depend on the stage you are working with, who your audience is, and even what your budget is. You will want to consider such things as:
The more detail you put into an architectural model, the easier it is for people to understand how the project (a house, building, or even community) will be utilized. Give people the opportunity to visualize standing inside of the project so that they are more likely to get on board with your proposals.
Some of the most common reasons to have an architectural model are to communicate spatial interrelationships, use as a sales tool, demonstrate the workflow, and to get approval throughout the various stages of a project. Once you know why you are building the model, it will be easier to make the best possible model for the task at hand.
7 Tips for Making Architectural Models
Architectural models are a work of art. While virtual 3D modeling has been gaining popularity, there are still countless reasons to choose a physical, in-person model – especially when you want to “guide” people through the model or present it at an event.
To ensure that you have a great looking model, there are a few tips to consider.
1. Choose the Right Scale
The scale of your architectural model matters. Do not feel as though you must go too big. Especially if you want a portable model, you need to avoid something so oversized that it is impossible to move. 1:500 will allow you to have plenty of recognizable detail while 1:1000 will make it easy for you to move from location to location.
2. Use a Laser Cutter
As soon as you start to cut out various components for your model, you want it to look professional. If you do not have a sharp edge, it can leave the edges looking frayed. Additionally, it can be cumbersome to cut every single building out by hand. Particularly if you have a virtual model laid out in CAD, laser cutting can be the easiest solution. You get the professional cuts you want without having to be too tedious about what you do by hand.
3. Incorporate Different Materials
A wide array of materials will add contrast to your model. If you do everything with foam or cardboard, it can lead people to be uninterested. If you plan on showing your model as a sales tool, the choice of materials should be deliberate. Some of the most common materials you may want to incorporate include:
- Colored paper
- Balsa strips
- Cork sheets
Additionally, as you use various materials, be sure that you have adhesives that will work with each material. Otherwise, some items may not stay in place as well as you would like.
4. Leave Out Some Details
You may have the desire to include each item as you would in a real home or community. Often, less is more. You will want to add a few items for scale, like people and cars. However, think of it like staging a home. You want to let people use their imagination to see the architectural design in a way that they would use it. If you add too many details, it may take away from the design you are trying to show off.
5. Use Templates
Architectural models can be very time-consuming. It is a good idea to create templates for buildings and other items you plan on using several times throughout your model. This way, you are not starting from scratch each time.
6. Consider the Lighting
There is nothing worse than building a beautiful model only for harsh shadows to make it difficult to see everything. You can incorporate lighting on the floor of the model or use light from within the room that the model will be viewed in. If you plan on adding light directly to the model, consider tiny glow sticks or micro LEDs.
7. Allow Enough Time
Working models are going to take some time. The more detail you want, the more time you need to a lot. If you are still in the planning phase, it is important to remember that your model may change a dozen times before you are unhappy with it.
Of course, you can always look at other architectural models that are out there and get ideas. Be creative and choose a home design that helps you to connect with your target audience.
Help with Architectural Models
Consider what it is that you want an architectural model of. You can be as vague or as detailed in your design as you wish. Further, you can choose the scale that will work best based on how you are going to utilize the model. Even as you practice, you might not get the details that you want, which is when it can be beneficial to ask for professional help.
At Southern Model, we offer a full-service building of 3D printed architectural models. Additionally, we use cutting-edge 3D printing and CNC milling to offer a dynamic edge to every model that you present.
Contact us today to learn how you can get comprehensive help with your architectural models. We offer superior services and products – and our portfolio speaks for itself. Check Techdee for more!