A model maker plays a key role in a variety of design and development processes at the early stages of various projects. Engineering and manufacturing companies may have a model maker employed to help create scale prototypes of commercial or consumer components and products. Architectural firms may either have a model maker on staff or subcontract model making, in order to have 3D, scale versions of their designs to use in client presentations. And although it is a much smaller industry and jobs can be very competitive, effects shops that perform work for television and film also use model makers to create detailed, filmable miniatures for production work.
One of the main things a model maker will do for a project is acquire a full understanding from developers or designers as to the function and form of the item to be modeled, whether that item will be a machine part, consumer good, or civil engineering project. The model maker will typically use design drawings and mock-up sketches while creating the model. A key aspect to the model creation process for the maker is utilizing measurements and successfully reducing or enlarging these along a consistent scale throughout the building process.
A model maker must possess outstanding artistic and creativity skills. He or she must also have a clear understanding of working within the required parameters of specifications for modeled items that are required in the process. Model makers must also have some computer fluency with drawing software. The necessary skills and training for this career are offered at some vocational schools and technical colleges. Model makers typically work in a studio environment during business hours of the week. That being said, projects facing near-term deadlines may also require irregular and long hours.
Model Maker Tasks
Assemble die and molds and verify dimensions.
Design and create templates consistent with blueprint specifications.
Prepare and operate machines used to drill, press and saw model materials.
Perform repairs to equipment and machinery.