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Workshops, Panel Discussions, Product Demos

If there is a topic you'd like to see, or want to present, please contact us right away!

Learn and participate in Workshops, Panel Discussions, and Presentations

More sessions are being finalized! Watch for new additions! 

Technology/Craft investigate the latest in materials, equipment, and techniques along with the nuts-and-bolts of bringing concept to reality with leaders in the field.

  • Lights, Models, Action! Revisited!Chris Stanley, educator at Art Institute of Seattle, presents this informative and interactive workshop on advances in lighting techniques for realistic and enticing models. This is an update to lighting workshops that Chris has presented at previous conferences - come check out what's fresh and exciting.
  • Lights, Models, Action! The Sequel! - Join Chris Stanley, educator at Art Institute of Seattle, in this workshop (follow-up to the Lights! session) on incorporating low cost microprocessor controls into your bag of tricks. Chris will be playing with Arduino - an open source electronics prototyping platform.
  • From RP to Structural Parts - Does your shop have a Rapid Prototyping machine? ...Well, now so does your neighbor down the street. As RP transitions to Rapid Manufacturing and becomes more available to the general public, providing unique parts is essential to competing in the marketplace. As this technology settles into its place in the model makers tool box, what are some of the glamorous and maybe not-so-glamorous ways to use it to its fullest potential?  Join Craig Leese of the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Lab as he shares some of the ways that they use RP at their lab, reinforcing the parts and putting them in various functioning capacities. 
  • Instructables, Makerspace and other DIY - This roundtable discussion focuses on how professionals can utilize organizations that promote sharing technology and skills. How can APMMers tap into the local Maker community as well as enable others to utilize their own shops? Can APMMers become gurus of the DIY community? Come explore with moderator (and longtime APMM member) Bruce Willey of ADX Portland!
  • In Control: Lighting and Control Panels in Models – Bring your models to life in this session with Bob Schneider of Whirlpool Corporation through incorporating backlit displays and simulated LCD control panels. With simple wiring techniques, readily available components and how to integrate smart phones and tablets into displays. 
  • The Future of Model Making (Back to the Future?) - What started out as the theme of the first ever Model Makers Conference in 1993 is now a panel discussion, moderated by Chris Stanley, educator at Art Institute of Seattle, on our future paths as model makers in an age of low cost 3D printing. What lies in store for model makers of the future? What changes wait just around the corner? Come see what a panel of long-time model makers and general experts-in-their-field have to say, then give us your own two cents worth! 
  • What’s the Buzz? 3D Printing – Roundtable discussion of the multitude of 3D printer options currently available (and new ones arriving daily!) How does one cut through the 3D printing hype? What are the fabrication and business implications? Join moderator Mark Fortenbacher of HNI Technologies to explore the pros and cons of the various systems. 
  • Do U Arduino? - In this workshop, presented by Abhishek Narula of Noisebridge, you will learn the basics of Arduino (an open-source electronics prototyping platform based on flexible, easy-to-use hardware and software). What is Arduino? What can it do? How can you make it do that? And more! You'll also learn the fundamentals of digital and analog electronics.
  • Laser Cutting in Detail - Jennifer Shorb, along with Jason Briner, of Coleman & Associates will run through the finer points of file preparation, and laser expectations and limitations.  They will take a detailed look into laser cutting applications found in the Coleman & Associates portfolio of projects and discuss how laser cutting is still an indispensable tool despite the growing craft of 3D printing.  The workshop is interactive and hopes to be Q&A-intense. Troubleshoot your files and machine woes with Jennifer and Jason.  Come check out their assortment of laser cut widgets and see how laser cutting can be used in your next project!

Business Managementimprove the return on your investment with ideas on efficiency and profitability in internal processes and external opportunities.

  • The Model Maker & the Government Contract - Juliana Choy Sommer, President of Priority Architectural Graphics will help you navigate the bureaucracy of doing work for the government. You'll learn how to find work among the different levels of government contracts and subcontracts and about the various certifications available (bonus: information for women- and minority-owned businesses!).
  • Past Presidents’ Roundtable – Moderated by APMM Executive Director Samanthi Martinez, this panel discussion will focus on the reflections and revelations of several past presidents of the APMM. What were the major challenges of the time? How did they envision the future of the profession? What was/is the vision? What does it take to lead this organization? Hear from Kelly Hand of Satellite Models, Richard Coleman of Coleman & Assoc., Hal Chaffee of Model Builders, Inc., and Terry Wellman of St. Charles Model Works.  
  • The Good, Bad and Ugly of Running a Model Shop – in this panel discussion pioneered by Craig Martin of Archetype 3-D, you can witness a candid sounding board of horror stories, success stories and unique problem solving stories. This perennial favorite will feature true confessions of some of the best in the industry.
  • Management Interactive Presentation: People - Join Mike Elsholz of Steelcase in this discussion group focused on management of human resources. Explore various insights into people management including hiring challenges, usage of temporary/contract staffing, managing overtime and stress, employee development, gender issues and pay.
  • Management Interactive Presentation: Projects and Workflow - Mike Elsholz of Steelcase continues the conversation on management topics like knowing your shop business model and strategy, shop strategy layout, project tracking, databases/reports and shop procedures & safety.

Careerwhether you’re just getting started in model making, looking for a transition, or seeking talented new employees.

  • Student Portfolio Review – Bring your portfolio and resume for a practical review of your work and education/training background. This is an excellent opportunity for students and recent graduates to get their portfolios evaluated by professionals. Even if you’ve had your work critiqued by instructors, sharing your projects with model making professionals will help sharpen your presentation skills. [Individual sessions with senior model makers, shop owners, hiring managers on a first-come, first-served basis]
  • How to get the most out of the APMM - Learn, share, discover or contribute to the mix as Peter Mack of Steelcase, Inc., a longtime member of the APMM, discusses how to maximize your benefits of membership, from the perspective of the student and the professional. 
  • Tension Relief for Model Makers – Learn how the principles of yoga can help you with posture, balance and movement during those long hours hunched over a work bench or stressing before a big deadline. A certified yoga instructor from a local practice will tailor a session just for model makers.
  • Career Pathway: Next Steps? – Are your career advancements in line with your plans for the future? Senior model makers share their thoughts, personal experiences, and what they’ve learned from a career in model making. This roundtable discussion is great for students, recent graduates, and professionals considering change. Bring your questions and consider signing up for a Portfolio Review Session

Vendor Demonstrations– product demonstrations and hands-on reviews of vendors’ products and equipment.

  • Silpak, Inc. - Silputty
  • Formech, Inc. - Vacuum Thermoforming
  • Camera Graphics - Dry Transfers
  • Reynolds Advanced Materials - Smooth-On products
  • Avon Technology/Universal Laser Systems - Laser Material Processing
  • Formlabs - Design to Prototype with the Form 1 3D Printer


  • Contact us at if you have questions about our 21st Anniversary San Jose event!

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