These basic and affordable tools will serve themodelmaker time and time again although more speciﬁcmachinery and tools may be required to enable a widervariety for materials to be handled effectively. Indeed,the majority of professional architectural modelmakershave the same workshop tools as carpenters including:handsaws, ﬁles, planes, chisels and mallets which allextend the methods by which materials can be worked,especially wood. Most universities have extensiveworkshop facilities in which a range of useful processescan be conducted. Remember that it is very importantthat any necessary training and supervision is obtainedprior to working with such facilities. Whilst the range ofresources may vary between different workshops the mostcommonly found machines and their applications aredescribed below.
– this is used to precisely slicethrough thick polystyrene foam and leave a cleanedge. It works by electrically heating a ﬁne wire whichcan then have blocks of material pushed against it tocut it. The wire’s malleability facilitates complex shapesand curves to be drawn onto the foam and then cut.This machine is particularly useful for massing, urbanand city models as blocks can be cut quickly and easily.
– this is often used when a knife is nolonger practical due the thickness or density of amate-rial. A table saw is a type of saw that comes witha variety of blades which make it ideal for cuttingstraight components from plastics and wood and evenproﬁling the latter. The band saw is able to provide freeform and curved cuts of materials. Electric jigsawscan also be used to provide similar results but thereis greater reliance on the user’s ability as these areusually handheld.
– this is typically used to make holes for connectingcomponents such as dowelling rods. Care should be takento mark out holes properly prior to drilling and a drillshould preferably be used within a drill stand to ensureprecision of depth and angle of the apertures created.
– this is used to work on the surfaceof wood. It has a variety of different bits that enablesthe machine to score features into the surface of a reliefmodel. This machine augments the type of cuts that canbe achieved with the saws mentioned earlier.
– there are a number of ways in whichmodel components can be sanded but ma-chines makesuch work much more even and quicker than when it isdone by hand. Disc sanders facilitate large surfaces areas tobe ﬁnely sanded whilst other types of equipment such asbelt sanders are used to smooth curved forms.So once a concept and design has begun to be thoughtof it is time to consider how it can be visualized in threedimensions. Although only the completed building will fullycommunicate the spatial qualities the use of models is keyto investigating the characteristics of the design and enablesdecisions to be made about materials and aesthetics. This isparticularly true for students of architecture who are unlikelyto be able to build their designs at full scale. In this sense amodel has even greater signiﬁcance as it communicates thedesigner’s intentions and allows others to assess the ideasembodied within it. Therefore in the next section we will lookat various different media and with reference to stimulatingexamples illustrate how they can be used to best effect for the architectural model maker.