If you have ever seen a car, airplane, or even a toy before it was manufactured, then you have seen a concept model. Concept model makers are responsible for creating these models to help designers and engineers visualise how the final product will look and function. In this blog post, we will discuss what concept models are, what materials are used to make them and what machinery is utilised.
What is a Concept Model?
A concept model is a physical model that is made to represent an idea. It can also be used to represent a finished component or product. Concept models can help to communicate ideas and concepts to others. They can also help to improve clarity and understanding. Concept models can be made from a variety of materials, such as paper, clay, wood, or metal.
Concept models can take many different forms. They can be simple or complex. They can be two-dimensional (flat) or three-dimensional (solid). Concept models can also be physical or virtual. Physical concept models are often used in the early stages of design to help communicate ideas and concepts. Virtual concept models are often used in the later stages of design to help visualize the finished product.
There are many benefits to using concept models. They can help to improve communication and understanding. They can also help to save time and money by reducing the need for revisions and redesigns. Concept models can also help to create a shared understanding among team members.
There are some things to keep in mind when creating concept models. First, it is important to make sure that the model is clear and easy to understand. Second, it is important to make sure that the model is accurate. Third, it is important to make sure that the model is complete. Fourth, it is important to make sure that the model is realistic. Fifth, it is important to make sure that the model is achievable.
What Materials are Used by Model Makers?
There are a variety of materials that can be used in concept model making, depending on the type of model being made and the specific requirements of the project. Some common materials include cardstock, foam board, balsa wood, acrylics, plastics, metals and styrofoam. Each material has its own advantages and disadvantages, so it’s important to select the right one for the job.
Cardstock is a popular choice for concept models because it’s inexpensive and easy to work with. However, it isn’t very strong or durable, so it’s not suitable for models that will be handled frequently or need to support a lot of weight.
Foam board is another budget-friendly option that’s slightly more sturdy than cardstock. It can be cut easily with a razor blade or box cutter, making it a good choice for detailed models.
Balsa wood is a lightweight wood that’s often used in model airplanes and other delicate applications. It can be carved and sanded easily, but it isn’t very strong.
Styrofoam is another light-duty option that’s easy to work with but not very durable. It’s often used for prototypes and conceptual models.
Acrylic is a popular choice in the manufacture of concept models because it can be easily molded and shaped into just about any form. It’s also strong and durable, making it ideal for models that will be handled frequently.
Plastic is another versatile material that can be molded and shaped easily. However, it’s not as strong as acrylic and can become brittle over time.
Metals are often used for functional prototypes and models that need to support a lot of weight. They’re also very durable, but can be difficult to work with if you don’t have experience working with metal.
When selecting materials for your concept model, it’s important to consider the strength, weight, and durability requirements of the project. Choose the material that will best meet those needs while still being easy to work with. If you’re not sure which material is right for your project, consult with a professional model maker or prototyping company like JH May. We are able to advise you on the best materials to use based on your specific needs.
What Machinery and Tools are used in Model Making?
There are a variety of machines and tools that can be used in concept model making. Some common machines include: CNC routers, laser cutters, milling machines, and lathes. These machines can be used to create parts for models or to create the models themselves.
Some common tools that are used in concept model making include: saws, sanders, drills, and hand files. These tools can be used to create or modify parts for models. In some cases, they can also be used to create the models themselves.
Creating a concept model can be a very involved process. However, with the right machinery and tools, it can be a very rewarding experience.
- CNC machining involves computer-controlled cutting machines that can be used to create parts for models or to create the models themselves.
- Laser cutters are used a lot by model makers. They are machines that use a laser beam to cut materials. They can be used to create parts for models or to create the models themselves.
- Milling machines are machine tools that remove material from workpieces by rotating a cutting tool against the workpiece. They can be used to create parts for models or to create the models themselves.
- Lathes are machine tools that rotate a workpiece about an axis of rotation to perform various operations such as turning, facing, and drilling. They can be used to create parts for models or to create the models themselves.
- Saws are hand-held or power-operated tools that are used to cut materials.
- Sanders are hand-held or power-operated tools that are used to smooth surfaces.
- Drills are hand-held or power-operated tools that are used to make holes in materials.
- Hand files are hand-held tools that are used to smooth, shape, and remove material from surfaces.
This isn’t an exhaustive list, but gives you an idea of the range of machinery and tools that are used by model makers.
Why work with JH May Model Makers
Creating a concept model can be a very involved process. That’s why it’s best to talk to a professional model making company such as JH May, they have all the tools and technology required to produce the most amazing concept models.
It takes more than just having the right machinery and highest quality materials. You also need to work with a company that has:
- a highly skilled team
- traditional skills and modern techniques
- vast knowledge of a range of different models
- laser cutting experience
- full understanding of the design process
- experience with various materials
- access to the newest technologies
- product design experience
- experience in industry
How are Concept Models Used?
Model makers are engaged to produce concept models for a number of different scenarios but are most popular in architectural practices where architectural models can be used to get across an idea more easily. Architectural models may by used for display by housing developers for example. You may even have seen architectural models in your local council office where whole towns have been produced to scale.
Scale models are also produced by model makers for proof of concept, often to show to various stakeholders before budget is assigned for prototyping or manufacture. Prototypes are often the next stage, you can find out more about prototypes and rapid prototyping here.