Please note - our dates and hotel location have changed!

If the APMM Conference was a sandwich, the workshops would be the protein! Comprising two full days of hands-on demos, roundtables, panel discussions or interactive sessions, we bring in industry experts - often from our own ranks - and present a smorgasbord of offerings.

The Midas Touch: Electroplating in the Model Shop - Would your models benefit from real metal finishes, applied in-house without the hassle and delay of outsourcing? APMM Board President Michael Scribner, of Garmin International, will show you how this process can be done easily, safely, and quickly, right in your own studio. From nickel, copper, gold and silver, to beautiful black oxide finishes and color coatings that resemble anodizing, electroplating can give your shop an edge and capability that few others possess. This workshop will cover all the steps and considerations, from safety and setup costs, equipment and process, resources and best practices. Come ready to learn, leave with a golden touch!


Fine Finishes in Scale - Join Amanda Kelly of Panda Miniatures in a hands-on session to learn texturing, weathering and distressing techniques for miniature brick, stone, and concrete using a variety of materials. As a miniaturist whose work primarily deals with gritty and realistic scenes, Amanda is experienced with how to make a miniature look “dirty”. Materials to “learn by doing” will be provided!

Soft Goods 101 What is Soft Goods Design?  How can it be utilized? Where do I start?  Join Daniel McKewen, Senior Soft Goods Designer at Priority Designs, for an introductory session that sheds light into the black box that is Soft Goods Design.  Learn about the basics from terminology to techniques and sourcing to equipment needs.


Custom Vacuum Forming - As a miniature artisan and toy inventor, Michael Yurkovic of Atomic Miniature has often found it necessary to create his own vacuum formed parts. In this workshop, Michael will share his custom vacuum-forming rig, optimized for small-scale parts. He’ll not only show off this bench-top vacuum former and how it was built, but he’ll put it to use creating parts with a live demonstration. He’ll show us patterns he’s used to create amazing fine-scale furniture components, and discuss best practices and materials for achieving great-looking, detailed parts with a vacuum former.

CAM Software Compare/Contrast - What’s the best CAM software for your model shop? This session will help you hone in on the right package for your specific needs. Mike Dicke, an educator from Apollo Career Center in Lima, OH will bring an extensive knowledge of CAM software, from Vectric V-Carve to the premium GibbsCAM, talking about pros and cons of CAM at various price-points and capabilities. Mike’s experience includes being a tool room machinist at Crown Equipment, working with both CNC machines and 3D printers. 


Running an Architectural Model/Fabrication Shop - Have you wondered what it’s like to run a model shop within an architectural firm? Are you thinking of starting a shop in your own firm? More and more architecture firms are going back to fabrication to communicate their designs. Come and chat with model makers Mario Mohan of Snøhetta and Aaron Williams of Perkins&Will as they talk about their experiences building out and running a shop. Find out their model philosophies, the challenges and triumphs, and day to day logistics.

Adding Electronics to Models - Open-source electronic prototyping platforms such as Arduino and Raspberry Pi can be powerful tools in the model maker’s arsenal. From motion control to lighting effects to sensors and much more, these platforms are limited only by your imagination and knowhow. This work session will provide you a general overview of the basics of the technology, illustrating the nuts-and-bolts of both the hardware and software aspects. Your presenter will demonstrate that even a newbie can achieve impressive results with just a few hours of practice. Once you realize the potential of microcontrollers, your models (and possibly your life) will never be the same!


3D Printed Mold Making - Model maker Patrick Hebauf of Crown Equipment Corp leads this session to explore the use of 3D printed mold making in short run production and quick-hit iterative model making. The Crown Equipment model shop has successfully leveraged SLA printing to develop multiple iterative molds for parts to be used in user testing, developmental field testing, and quick hit visualization prototypes. This is a great supplement to traditional methods of silicone molding, and is especially useful with complex, difficult to layup parts. Don’t miss this interactive discussion of 3D printed mold making!

Small Shops, Big Challenges - Jill Kenik, owner of Acropolis Studios Model Works reprises the topic of a well-attended Zoom meet-up last fall on the challenges and complexities of running a small business model shop. This interactive session discusses the intricacies of management, staffing, materials acquisition, and more. Bring your experiences, leave with rich insights! 

Wayne’s (Metal) World - Metal-bending wizard Wayne Forsythe of Steelcase is baaaack! He’s successfully led two virtual sessions on sheet metal bending and forming, with multi-ton machines as well as small benchtop presses. Now, he’s bringing a real-live demo to Dayton. Wayne plans to address tight bends using 30/60 dies and what a model maker might do if they didn’t have a brake, but had access to a laser cutter, for adding perforation to make bend lines. Don't miss this riveting session!

My Favorite Things - Veteran model maker and APMM Communications VP Bruce Willey will lead this perennial session on the tools, tips and tricks that get a model maker through the day. Have the perfect hack to share? Got a line on the most useful/adaptable/innovative method or material? Contact Bruce at [email protected] to include it in this interactive session.

Digital Marketing - APMM’s Nicole Dietz (B9 Creations) and Joshua Munchow (Zoetis Model Shop) lead this technical workshop on how to create professional-looking videos for your products and services. If a picture is a thousand words, a video is a thousand pictures! Pick up the tips/tricks and best practices that will help you improve the quality and engagement of videos for your website or social media channels. 

3D Scanning and Photogrammetry - Alika Brooks of Meadors leads this introduction to 3D scanning of objects and spaces using two technologies: LiDAR to generate a point cloud and photogrammetry to generate a surface mesh.  He’ll cover the strengths and weaknesses of each technology, how they each apply to model making, and a brief overview of the equipment, software, and workflows available for each process.  A live demonstration of each method will be provided with the opportunity for some hands on experience.

Leveraging the APMM for Your Success- Join Membership VP Aaron Williams, of Perkins&Will, on this exploration of how the APMM and our community can help companies and individuals. The roundtable discussion, to include President Michael Scribner and Vice President Jill Kenik, will focus on benefits like the Forum knowledge base, Meet-ups, connections to vendors and supplies, plus RFQs and employment listings. Share your challenges and gain contacts and inspiration from other members!

VENDOR: Pressure Chambers and Safety - Robert Young of R3 Manufacturing leads this session on the importance of fully understanding pressure chambers for processing molds, an important topic for shop owners and mold techs alike. He will also provide information on the importance of ASME Code pertaining to compliance with local government and overall shop safety, and company liability.

VENDOR: Proper Protection When Shipping - After careful sourcing of materials and many hours creating your model or prototype why allow expensive, high-risk packing and shipping lead to lost time and money? This workshop, presented by Annissa Bollin of, will provide solid information on how to remove "expensive" and "high-risk" from your shipping experiences. This workshop will cover topics such as: proper packing techniques to avoid damage during transit, insider knowledge of differences and expenses in transit options, insurance limits, restrictions and options that you may not realize exist. has been servicing model makers' and manufacturers' needs for many years and specializes in high value, full coverage for parcel and freight shipping as well as company vehicle transit.

VENDOR: Dry Transfers - John Zell of Camera Graphics in Portland will demonstrate the hows and whys of dry rub transfers that his company makes. Geared specifically for model makers in all their project-specific applications, dry transfers will make your projects come to life - learn how to properly apply and protect them.

VENDOR: 3D Printing Agnostic - Nicole Dietz of B9Creations leads this session on the use of 3D printers in a model shop. Though she represents her company’s trusted products, she’ll delve even further into the topic by discussing why you need to make room in your shop for this technology.

VENDOR:  Large Scale Molding - Join our friends from Reynolds Advanced Materials as they share material options for making large scale support shells for molds of different configurations including pre-planning mold design, material options (epoxies, urethanes, etc.), minimizing cost and best practices to avoid mistakes. The presentation will be a combination of hands-on demonstration with physical examples to review. Bring your questions and get ready to expand your mold-making skills.


Other confirmed workshop topics:
  • Avoiding and minimizing dust hazards
  • Hiring model makers, retaining talent
  • Ergonomics and posture in the shop


Here are a few of the topics that we are still working on:
  • Lighting applications from architectural models
  • Processes from model railroading for model makers
  • Museum restoration and preservation
  • Desktop waterjet cutters
  • State of model making education
  • Career beginnings and transitions

To find out more about our event and plan to attend: