About modeling and paper model

In this article, we will figure out what a model is for, what types there are, and why paper is the best material.
It seems to me that the most visual, understandable and bewitching image is created precisely by a three-dimensional model of a building or structure. At all times, the prototype of future buildings was their small models made of different materials. While still a student, I had the opportunity not only to improve my layout skills, but also to take the first orders, both from graduate students of the architectural institute and from construction companies.
The need for model continues today. Having a fairly large experience in this area, woven from trial and error, I can confidently say the following - it was prototyping that gave me inner confidence in my abilities at the training stage, and the first considerable money, as for a student. This article is devoted to understanding the process of making a model and its importance in the development of every creative person.
Let's take a broader look at the field of prototyping, understand the main trends and modeling methods, define goals and objectives, as well as the pros and cons of modern materials and techniques.

First you need to understand - what are the main goals and objectives pursued by the creators of the three-dimensional layout? In my opinion, there are four such goals:

1. Aesthetics. On the model, you can check the projected proportions, the play of light and shadow, the size and number of architectural elements.

2. Design. You can conduct preliminary engineering experiments. Previously, for example, the shape of an arched structure could be determined based on the bending of an ordinary thread attached to the ends of the simulated span. In modern realities, material layouts of future high-rise buildings are often tested in a wind tunnel to obtain a computer model of deformations of supporting structures under wind loads, as well as changes in wind flows that affect the surrounding buildings.

3. Commerce. Everyone has long been familiar with the slogan "advertising is the engine of progress." So, in the case when the model acts as such an engine, the impact on the perception of a person from the future object is maximum. This explains the presence of models of residential buildings and complexes in the sales departments of construction companies.

4. Education. The model is the most important element in the process of learning not only the future architect, but also the child as a person. Cubes, as a simplified prototype of more complex structural elements, should be in the hands of every child for the development of fine motor skills and the formation of neural connections in his brain for perception and construction of reality.

Modeling search is the most efficient way to create an architectural image.
The main materials for the model can be: paper, cardboard, plastics, foam materials (for example, foam), wood or plywood, metal. As you can see, the range of materials is quite wide, but each has its own scope. Let's start from the end.

Very often, bronze is used for metal models. In most cases, this is due to the operation of such a layout on the street, in the open air.

Wood and plywood are used to make models of buildings, largely because of the beautiful texture, as well as to create spectacular relief to fit the architecture into the environment.

Foam materials help to quickly and easily create the desired volume in the "masses", i.e. without much detail. Due to the ease of working with such material, it is easy for them to gain height, correct the shape and choose the right proportions.

After many years of using paper and cardboard in prototyping, the introduction of plastics into the market has revolutionized the industry. The sharp departure from paper was most reflected in the exhibition layouts. This is due to both higher wear resistance and visual appeal, the ability to embed backlighting, and the emergence of modern technologies in mass production in the form of 3D scanning and printing on a 3D printer. Modern plastic models have overshadowed the classic "manual labor". But, as time has shown, these machine technologies have their significant disadvantages compared to paper, namely:

- high cost of equipment and software;

- for a much longer period of training a specialist to complete the task;

- a much higher total cost of the product itself;

- the lack of a quick and inexpensive opportunity to make adjustments to the design form.

Despite the loss of leading positions in exhibition models by paper, there remains a large niche for working layouts, where this material is indispensable.

Since paper and cardboard are the most affordable and easy to use, it is the manual method of layout that plays the leading role in the learning process of future architects and designers.

Of course, paper is not an ideal material. It also has a number of shortcomings, but the number of advantages and opportunities that open up with skillful handling of it make this material an indispensable assistant in the creative process. You can get acquainted and master the technique of creating paper models on the Battle Forms course from our TVOYCREATIVE School of Architecture and Design.
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© "TVOYCREATIVE" Oleksandr Tokar, 2021 All right reserved.
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