Architectural model shop in China (StrangeParts video)

I thought this was really cool. Architectural model making on steriods.


I talked about this in several posts, but I worked at an architectural firm back in the early 2000’s that had a fully fledged model shop utilizing a (huge) laser cutter and eventually 3d printing. It was simply amazing what they created in that shop. In fact, the lobby of the firm was filled to the brim with models they’d created for various jobs.

One of the most advanced they ever made was a series of models for an airport in China. I don’t specifically remember the city, but we were in a competition with 5 other firms and one of the requirements were several models, one being the entire airport. They spent 4+ months building these models, employed temp workers from Hollywood who had worked on models for films and special effects, and we ended up spending the 1.5 mil budget for the entire competition on the models. They were incredible in the end.

We had to package them / ship them to China, then we sent a team of people over to fix the damage from the shipping. Amazing production!

Sad thing is they shut the model shop down a few years ago citing excessive costs with most clients not wanting a model anymore, so it’s a dying art. But those people who create and build these things were true craftsmen and capable of amazing things!


i work at an architecture firm now (in marketing). we still have a large model shop in our princeton office. two large universal lasers, a couple of industrial SLA printers, a CNC, and lots of other smaller, normal wood shop stuff. they’re constantly cranking out models (and fast, we normally get a few weeks at most to design and build from sketch to model for interviews). my office has a very mini-shop. 18x32 universal and a cheap 3D printer. hoping to expand soon and add a dirty room with more traditional woodworking tools.

funny you mentioned “fixing the damage from shipping.” we were working with Fosters in London on a project (they were doing the exteriors). they shipped models to Philly from London. and they were all foam (some kind of extrusion maybe? it was really odd). and a bunch of it was all broken in shipping. they were freaking out. i pulled out a roll of gaffers tape to tape them back together from the inside so they could be stable enough for them to reglue the broken pieces on the outside.


Thanks so much for sharing. Much more interesting than the pearl and silk factory (run by the government) tours that we were required to attend on our trips to China, which of course ended in gift shops.


i would prefer the gift shop at the end of this tour. :slight_smile:


Me too!

Trust me, pearls (despite my username) nor silk interest me.

Anyone ever work with Bryce?

It would accept 3D cad designs and had an awesome art and design package built in.
We could put the house design on a rolling landscape with road, driveway, streams, clouds, etc and make a moving cam video.

Was pretty kick butt for it’s time.


i remember it existing. it looked cool. but i’ve never been a 3D guy.

I think Bryce is still around. For awhile, they gave away the previous version when a new major release came out. I may still have a license for the penultimate version.

This is so amazing. In a different lifetime a much younger me would have done this.


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