Quick New Materials Update

Hi All,

We’ve just taken delivery of a few new materials to try out. These will just be whilst this initial stock lasts but if they’re popular we’ll consider adding them to the regular stock afterwards. Please let us know what you think about this when you’re in.

Balsa wood sheets 3x500x300mm £5.50 each – These sheets can be hand cut or laser cut if required.

Anodised Aluminium Sheets 1x500x250mm – These metal sheets can be engraved using the laser cutter but not cut. Within reason we can cut these to size using the bandsaw. Please ask us about this for more information.

Available in Aluminium £24 – Black £17 – Red £24

Mirrored Acrylic 3x300x200mm – We have had mirrored acrylic for some time but gold and red options are new samples. Available in Gold, Silver, Red £8 each If popular we can order larger sheets.

New Reference Book:

Architectural Monographs No 23 Morphosis: Connected Isolation Academy Editions 1993

This great monologues book is full of beautifully intricate models from Morphosis Architects. What is worth reminding yourself when looking through this one is that this book is a culmination of works that was first published in 1993 – long before computers and CAD making were commonplace. This work is truly hand crafted and gives many modern day modelmaking projects a run for their money. Full of great inspiration. Find it with our other reference books for use in the workshop only please.

Happy New Year and Welcome Back Updates

Hi All,

Hope you have had a good break and time to recoup for the next few months.

Part of the UoM server went down over the break resulting in our blog going down but thankfully everything is intact and we are back online. Apologies for any inconvenience this caused anyone.

****Workshop Opening Times January/February****

This year we will be hosting one of the 5th year workshops between 25th January and Monday 8th February.

This will mean a shorter working day for these two weeks with the workshop only opening from 11.00 till the normal closing time of 16.30.

New Materials

We have a couple of new additions to our materials stock this term which as usual are subject to availability so be sure to check before beginning your project planning


Anyone who has been inducted this year or last will have been told about this product which 4D Stock. This pulp board has a great range of applications due to its ability to form shapes when wet which are maintained when the board dries. Recommended for sketch and development models but there’s no reason it couldn’t be used for more advanced models as well.


Metal Effect Silver Styrene Sheet

One of the most common questions asked of what can be cut on the laser cutters is metals. Whilst this isn’t possible we have bought in this substitute which is a metallic styrene plastic sheet. This can be laser cut and worked as with other styrene or acrylic sheeting and should serve as a suitable alternative for some cases.


Scale Trees

We have a small selection of high quality brass etched and flocked scale trees. These are available from 4D Modelshop in a much wider range of sizes and styles. Samples of those available from 4D Can be seen in the workshop. We have a small stock of the following:

Medium Green, Copper Beech, Cork, White and Bare Branch

Don’t forget to register for your 10% student discount if you buy anything from them quoting either myself or Jim as your tutor when asked.


New Reference Book

Advanced Mouldmaking and Casting, Nick Brooks, 2011


This book provides a thorough guide with case studies of mouldmaking and casting with a variety of materials. Whilst our facilities of this are limited we hope this book will guide you to approach this method with more confidence as well as see what is possible outside of a workshop environment. As with all our books you are welcome to use as reference within the workshop but please don’t take out.

See you all soon,

Scott and Jim


What’s New in B.15 for 2015/16?

Welcome all new starters and welcome back to returning students! 

Last year proved to be a great success for our workshop and we hope to deliver more of the same for you this time around. In response to our student feedback survey we have implemented, and are in the process of implementing, some great positive changes to the workshop set up. Here’s what we’ve been up to….

New Benches

New Work Benches

One of the main issues we come up against is a lack of working space which was clearly spoke about in our recent student feedback survey. To help improve on this we have consolidated some of the ‘Staff Use Only’ Machines together freeing up space for an additional two workbenches.

We have also replaced the big ‘cubby hole’ style box benches that were located at the back of the room. These provided very limited storage space and we feel by replacing these with more of our existing locking cupboard benches they will serve much better purpose.

Updated computer software

The workshop computers have all been replaced and updated with the following software:

  • AutoCAD Architecture 2016
  • Autodesk Maya 2016
  • Autodesk Mudbox 2016
  • Autodesk 3DS Max 2016
  • Advance Steel 2016
  • Revit 2016
  • Rhinoceros 5 with Grasshopper
  • Sketchup Pro 2016

New On-line Store for Materials and Services Payment

Payment for materials and services such as Laser cutting and 3D Printing can now be made using credit card transaction within the workshop. Students wishing to pay for materials will be required to list the materials and or services they have been quoted for and present a confirmation receipt that can be shown on screen within the workshop.

To read the full walk through guide to the new payment system click here.

Unfortunately we can no longer accept payment vouchers however you can still use these at the A4 & More Store and as print credit at MMU. Apologies for any inconvenience this might cause.

New Materials in Stock

This year we are now stocking styrene strip material to aid your modelmaking. Rather than spending time to cut and create small components such as ‘I’ Beams and Roof Trusses these extruded strips are pre-shaped and easily cut to any desired size. This is much like you would buy ‘stock’ items when building at scale and should save a lot of time particularly when constructing section and detail models. The full up to date list of our materials and our initial stock for styrene strip can be found on the materials list here.

Styrene StripNew 3D printers

Providing an increased service capacity we have invested in two new 3D Printers to help produce components to complement your models.

Projet 360ProJet360 Powder Printer – This printer (shown above) provides a closed build and cleaning station and produces fine quality monochrome powder prints.

SLA Resin Printing (5)Pegasus Touch SLA Resin Printer - This printer uses UV curing resin to create models in a variety of coloured resins. This printer will temporarily be located in our office to keep it maintained in a clean environment.

A more in depth description of these process can be found on the link detailed below.

Updated guides to 3D printing, Laser cutting and CNC machining

In an effort to make it easier for you all to get set up and understand how we use different machines for modelmaking we have written updated outlines on file formatting and considerations when preparing your files. In addition to this we have written descriptions of the different processes and pro’s and con’s to be aware of.

These will be uploaded soon on the Machine Booking and File Prep Page here.

Main Tool Cupboard

As a result of our new ProJet 360 Powder Printer we have relocated our main tool cupboard. Hand and power tools can now be found in the far corner of the room by the wood turning lathe in a much bigger tool cupboard.

New Books

We have added some new books to our modelmaking making library. Please feel free to look at these for reference in the workshop.

  • The Model and Its Architecture, Partick Healy, 2008

An in-depth theoretical study of models as a response to problems in design and their multifaceted applications.

  • My 36 Years of Model Making in Hong Kong, King Y.Chung, 2012

Veteran Hong Kong Modelmaker King Chung charts his modelmaking career working on some of Honk Kongs most famous building projects giving insights into problem solving and application of models in practice.

  • Folding Techniques for Designers: From Sheet to Form, Paul Jackson, 2011

‘How to’ style handbook for creating forms from folding paper. This could be particularly useful for initial idea sketch modelling and could also be used as a basis for more refined model construction.

  • Modeling Messages: The Architect and the Model, Karen Moon, 2005

A detailed theoretical history with examples and quotes from some of architectures more famous figures. A wide range of model styles, their context and application are covered in a well balanced written and visual history of the field.

New Books

Symposium Videos

Over the summer we have been releasing the video presentations from our Symposium, ‘Modelmaking in the Digital Age’ which took place back in March. The presentations provide an insight into how modelmaking has evolved and is used throughout architecture. For those who missed the event we recommend having a watch as the day was extremely insightful to anyone wanting to know more about using models in their work.

Links to all of the video presentations can be found by clicking here.

B.15:45 Exhibition

Following several discussions we are pleased to say that the B.15:45 Architectural Modelmaking Exhibition will continue and be updated periodically due to its success as a learning resource and general popularity within our school. The exhibition will remain largely untouched for the start of the 2015/16 academic year but updates will be made and additional more recent examples will be in 2016.

Future Plans

We will be negotiating a way to gain additional storage space that will then allow the installation of spraying and spray extraction equipment to complement our facility. This will take some time but be assured we are working on it!

Following the success and popularity of our student awards for modelmaking last year we intend to run the same scheme again with a longer lead time to get the most out of every projects. We will provide more information when plans for this are finalised so stay tuned!

Mecanoo Office and Workshop (36)

As always we will be keeping an eye on other institutions and practice to give as many insights into modelmaking in architecture as we can. A summary of our recent trip to Delft Technical University and the Mecanoo architecture practice will be uploaded soon.

Once again, Welcome back and we hope to make this year even better than the last for all involved. See you soon!

Jim and Scott

New Modelmaking Reference Books in B.15

We have just received some new reference books on Architectural modelmaking for use in the B.15 workshop.

DSC03507You will find these books a great source of inspiration for your models as well as providing you with theoretical insight into model building.

An Architectural Model, Will Strange, 2013.

This book provides a graphic breakdown of materials, tools and basic theory about the making of an architectural model. A good insight for any student wanting to improve their modelmaking skills or understanding of the subject.

The following books provide a mix of theory and technical advice along with image examples to see.

Modelmaking: Conceive, Create and Convince, Arjan Karssen & Bernard Otte, 2013

Architectural Models: Construction Techniques, Second Edition, Wolfgang Knoll & Martin Hechinger, 2006

Packaged as part of a two book set, these books provide a wide selection of Architectural Model case studies and insights to their use from a range of practices.

Construction and Design Manual, Architectural Models books 1 & 2, Pyo Mi-young, 2010

We encourage you all to come a have a look through these books for some new project ideas!

Scott & Jim