Architectural model making is an important part of the design process. It allows designers to create a physical representation of their ideas and concepts, providing a better understanding of the spatial relationships and proportions of the design. In this technical guide to architectural model making, we will cover some of the key technical aspects of the process.

Materials and Tools

The choice of materials and tools used in architectural model making can vary depending on the level of detail required, the scale of the model, and the budget. Some of the most commonly used materials include:

  • Foam board: lightweight and easy to cut and shape, foam board is a popular choice for architectural models.
  • Chipboard: a thicker and more durable material than foam board, chipboard is often used for larger models.
  • Styrene sheets: a plastic material that can be easily cut and shaped using a knife or laser cutter.
  • 3D printing: a relatively new technology that allows for the creation of highly detailed, accurate models.

In terms of tools, some of the key ones include:

  • Cutting tools: such as a hobby knife, scissors, or a laser cutter for precise cuts.
  • Measuring tools: such as a ruler, calipers, or a protractor for accurate measurements.
  • Adhesives: such as glue or tape for assembling the model.
  • Paint and finishing materials: for adding detail and texture to the model.


One of the most important aspects of architectural model making is scaling. The scale of the model refers to the relationship between the size of the model and the size of the actual building or structure. Common scales used in architectural model making include 1:50, 1:100, and 1:200.

When choosing a scale, it is important to consider the level of detail required and the purpose of the model. For example, a smaller scale may be more appropriate for a general representation of the building, while a larger scale may be necessary for showcasing intricate details.


The assembly of an architectural model can be a complex process, requiring careful planning and attention to detail. Some of the key steps in the assembly process include:

  • Cutting and shaping the materials to the required size and shape.
  • Using adhesives to join the various pieces together.
  • Adding detail and texture using paint or other finishing materials.
  • Mounting the finished model on a base or display stand.

It is important to work slowly and carefully during the assembly process to avoid mistakes and ensure the final model is accurate and well-crafted.


Architectural model making is an important part of the design process and requires a high level of technical skill and attention to detail. By following the tips and guidelines outlined in this technical guide, beginners can get started with architectural model making and create accurate, detailed models that bring their designs to life.