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Types of Architectural Design Models

Architectural models Architectural models show how a proposed construction or interior design project might look. These replicas were traditionally created and constructed by hand, but thanks to advances in computer technology, they can now be automated and even brought to life with 3D printers. 3D models are now widely used to represent construction concepts and are an excellent way for designers to get a physical feel for how a design project will develop. Along with 3D renderings, building models are another phase of architectural design that can inform how the architect proceeds during the creative and building process.

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Types of architectural design models There are ultimately three main forms of architectural design models each with its own purpose and identifying features. During the initial stage of the design, it can be helpful to see the initial concept’s form and shape. The Concept Design model builds on the preliminary 2D drawings and is where most designers start the first phase of design, offering a different perspective on the process. Conceptual models are often made from inexpensive materials like balsa wood or foam and quickly put together Once you develop a fuller idea of what you’re creating, you can turn it into a working design model. If you’ve encountered any flaws or issues with your initial design, building the design model can help you address them. It can also be a prompt in shedding light on new, innovative ideas which may be implemented in the following process. Working design models commonly use sturdier materials like wood, concrete and metal. A concept presentation model has a higher level of detail than the initial physical model that better reflects your finished product’s materials and scale. Concept presentation models are often the final stage in the design when it is ready to be assessed and explored by the client or the public. Model makers use high-quality materials like resin or even a 3D printer to create a presentation model.

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What Is the Purpose of Architectural Models? Architectural models serve many purposes, from conception to the finished product. Firstly, models can sell a project. Architects use models to visualize the project for the clients and/or the public, often this is done during the proposal stage and can make the difference in winning the bid for a project. Models can also save time and money; an architectural model can help contractors pinpoint any possible construction challenges before it happens during construction. The model gives inspectors thorough visualization of the project and allows experts to foresee many problems which may not have come to light in simple 2D drawings. Additionally, a well-built model can help you raise the money to finance the creation of your project. The model gives investors a visual representation of your idea, allowing them to see exactly where their money is going.

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What Materials Do You Need to Make an Architectural Model? Architectural models can be crafted from a variety of materials, depending on which stage of the process and therefore which type of model is required. Each material has its own pros depending on the purpose of the model. Cardboard comes in different colors and finishes and is easy to cut and shape. Paper mâché may also be a suitable material to work with and is easy to mold and cheap to produce. Balsa wood is a common material used for model construction. It is easy to cut, available in a variety of weights and relatively cheap to purchase. Basswood is another type of material used often in model making and is great for carving. Foam sheets are versatile and come in a variety of thicknesses, easy to cut and sturdy. Cork sheets are even more flexible and easier to handle than foam boards and can provide an element of texture to the model. Metal is great for building structures and demonstrating finishes on the model. Popular metals for architectural models include aluminum and copper.

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How to Make an Architectural Concept Model Here is a simple step by step guide for those wishing to create an architectural concept model. 1) Take measurements. Models are how you can represent a large scale construct on a smaller scale. Taking the proper measurements will ensure you get the right scale for your model. 2) The prototypes. Before building the model, make a few sample pieces to ensure the components fit together correctly and that all the measurements are accurate. Test out the materials to make sure they are fit for purpose. 3) The tools. Make sure all the correct tools are to hand and working, a sharp blade, scissors, utility knife, saw, sander, laser cutter. The proper tools for model builders all depend on the materials which will be utilized. You’ll need to research which tool works best for each material and what you can afford. Part of this is using the right glue; wood glue is used for wood but can stain if the excess is not wiped off properly. Glue sticks should only be used for paper construction though it doesn’t hold as securely as tacky glue, which is thicker and stronger than white glue, and dries faster. A hot glue gun will work the fastest and have the strongest hold, but glue guns can be dangerous to work with, and don’t offer a lot of forgiveness in the event of a mistake. 4) Add landscaping. Architectural model making isn’t just about the building itself and it’s helpful for a client to understand how the building will look in the space it’s being built. Adding trees, shrubbery, cars, lighting, and other street furniture can help give viewers a better idea of how your construction will fit in. It can reassure the client that the construction will enhance the existing space or even help the next stage of the design process if it appears incompatible with the surrounding areas.



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