Architectural Model Making

Saptakee Sengupta Jan 1, 2019
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The process of model making in the field of architecture, is vital for making viewers understand the appearance of the original structure. Let's have an insight into the techniques and tools used for this process.
A scale model is the most eye-catching aspect of all sale suites. The framework of the actual building appeals the most to a viewer. Architectural model making is a vital portion of any architectural course, where students are taught to represent a replica of constructive structures.
Architectural designs chalk out the proportion of the elements with accuracy. The physical size of each layout is depicted in semblance with the original project. Such models explain us the actual appearance of the particular structure.


An architectural model is raised for some well-defined purposes. The specific ones help to study the interaction of volumes with ease. People get a good idea about the appearance of the building, from different angels.
It's a practical method utilized for exploring different architectural styles. Perfectly built models help in efficient selling of a design. The small scale models act as substitute, when huge 3D or 2D models cannot be viewed due to various problems. They are sometimes used as showpieces in exhibitions, sales, and fundraising activities.


They are classified as exterior, interior, landscape, urban, and engineering/construction models. Civic spaces around the buildings are included in the exterior category, while interior works like color, furniture, and decoration are presented in the interior category.
The landscape design is elaborated under landscape category, and the urban models use miniature scaling (min. 1:500) to demonstrate apartments, blocks, village, or towns. Engineering/construction models are quite complex, as each element of this style is explained in details.

Working on Virtual Modeling

Usage of Computer Aided Designs (CAD) have solved the problem of designing a virtual house or any other structure. Earlier, a fixed arbitrary scale having specific measurements for lines and points was used to build an architectural model. With development of technology, the process has become much simpler.
Selection of the scale is one of the key factors to make the model more appealing to viewers. The average scale used for residential model is 1:50. The standard measurement (for 1:50) is 1/4th inch for 1 foot. The scales are dropped to maintain the size of model bases.
Commercial models have smaller measurements than 1:800 of 1/8th inch for 1 foot. Other popular ones are 1:20, 1:100, 1:200, etc. Models for large structures utilize the millimeter scale; it very efficient as compared to a complex measurement.


The supplies include the construction materials for architectural drafting and design. The commonly employed modeling tools in earlier centuries were basswood, balsa wood, and card stock.
Present age architecture employs task boards, urethane compounds, composites, foams, plastics, and wooden plastics for creating different types of models. Nowadays, ready-made pieces and kits are produced by many companies.
They offer supplies like furniture, figure, structural components, vehicles, scenery elements (bushes, lights, trees, etc.), and other elements of the original location and structure. It helps the observer to get the exact feel of the real location. The accuracy of the final product is more important, irrespective of the basic material used for construction.
To enhance the visual appeal, automated software like solid free-form fabrication and rapid prototyping are employed to construct the CAD plans. CAD file formatting is challenging for taking out exact prints of 3D models, that primarily accept stereolithography.
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