Model Maker Meet-Ups began in 2020, when APMMers felt even more isolated. Talk about making lemonade! Our pandemic response turned into the Best Thing Ever.

More Model Maker Meet-ups (+ links to recordings!):

 

September 14 Meet-up - Small shops: making models and (much) more

Being a small model making shop isn’t just about making models. Nearly every week brings a new business problem to solve that has nothing to do with model making and everything to do with running a business. We had an interactive discussion with a panel of APMM members from varied backgrounds including: Matt Neidhardt, Prototype Specialist at Fresco Design, who has been designing and setting up a new model shop at the Marlborough, MA product design consultancy. Diane Edinger, Workflow Consulting/Training/Solutions, at Mind2Matter Design & Technologies, LLC, was a small business owner early in her career (Edinger Orthodontic Laboratory, and Artistic Synergy Modelmaking Studio). With an array of subsequent industry experience from consumer goods to software, Diane now leverages those experiences to assist businesses as they undertake challenging design-to-manufacturing workflows. David Laverick, Owner of Real Small Lumber, ran his own model making business prior to managing the model shop at Garmin.  And our Host: Jill Kenik, Owner of Acropolis Studios Model Works, Inc. Early in her design and model making career Jill realized that a keen understanding of business management was required to be effective in the field of product development. 

Even if you didn't join the discussion, you can see the recording here:(coming soon!)


August 25 Meet-up - Corporate Model Shops

A panel of corporate model shop managers joined us for a meet-up on the challenges of acquiring new equipment and dealing with scheduling conflicts. Our panel members were Peter Mack of Steelcase, Stacey Abel of Target, Sharon Moore (ret) of Honda, Lanson Emerson of Garmin Int'l, and Chris Lewis of Techtronics Industries. Bruce Willey, formerly of Ziba Design, was the moderator.

How do these large model shops justify purchasing new equipment? Tactics ranged from "convince your designers and engineers to beg for it on your behalf" to using software to track the required time and/or material resources. Justification also included explaining how many person-hours can be saved, or how reliance on outside vendors/contractors can be reduced to save money and protect confidential information.
Discussing scheduling, the group recognized the difficulty of serving multiple departments or locations with different priorities and levels of influence. Some of the panel members have become masters of negotiation and others just make the conflicting parties appeal to a higher authority. Nacho Mendez at Google said that they treat the other departments there like outside clients and let them "sponsor" equipment, on which they get preferential time. 

To see more of what was discussed, click here to see the recording of this session.


August 10 Meet-up - Glasgow Museum's Ship Model Collection

We went to Scotland (virtually!) to visit curator, historian and author Emily Malcolm - of the Glasgow Riverside Museum, and to see many of their stunning maritime models. Housed in a building designed by architect Zaha Hadid, the museum has an amazing collection, ranging from simple shaped designs to display models of astonishing complexity, and almost every type of vessel, from elegant liners to un-adorned dredgers, is represented.  

This meet-up not only featured the beautifully-crafted and intricate models, but celebrated the model makers who did the work. Emily developed a special interest in the city's superb ship model collection and lead the production and publication of the full history and catalogue of the collection Glasgow Museums - The Ship Models in 2019. View the recording of this session here.

July 28 Meet-up -  Achieving Goals with Social Media

Alternately seen as boon or bane, this meet-up focused on how Social Media can help you or your business. Led by Joshua Munchow, model maker at Zoetis in Chapel Hill, NC (and the APMM's VP of Technology) this session delved into taking control of your social media with a five-step approach that includes: setting goals, choosing your platform(s), creating content, engaging your audience, and repeating your successes. Check out the Social Media recording here.

June 23 & July 14 Meet-ups - Student Model Making Competition 2022

Unable to travel to the 2020 Conference, we began taking our biennial student competition virtual and shifted to an annual schedule! Now, our SMMC is held online via Instagram where each year the entries get more and more fabulous. This year's competition was the perfect stage for the almost 70 entries. 

For the first meet-up, we reviewed last year's winners and took a look at this year's entries. Judges then met to do the hard work of choosing our prize winners. The first place, second place and third place winners were chosen, as well as 7 "highly commended" entries.

Winning the first prize was Issy Gilding with her intricately detailed Stanley Halls Project, a model made using a combination of MDF, Styrene and Acrylic, but also with small details of brass. Second prize went to... also Issy Gilding (this almost never happens!) for her Stop Motion Ice Cream Van. Straight out of the neighborhood, or so it appears, is this 1:12 stop motion model, comes complete with all the minute details that make for a super-realistic model. It is no surprise that Issy took home two prizes as she also did very well at London's New Blades exhibition. Third place was awarded to Gemma Sutcliff for her model of a Fender Stratocaster, and complementary Marshall Amp and Speaker. Beautifully crafted, this set impressed the judges with the great quality of finish, accuracy and clear descriptions of many details.

You can see the winners and highly commended by going to the Instagram app with the hashtag #apmmawards.

June 8 Meet-up - Tool Talk with Model Makers

We all love tools. We all use tools. This week's meet-up was a lively and wide-ranging conversation with our fellow model makers about which tools (with links!!) we recommend for various purposes. Our moderator, APMM's Education VP for North America, Patrick Hebauf of Crown Equipment Corp, started the discussion by sharing his favorite Wera multi-tools for everyday carry and/or use.

Wera Tools led to tool sharpeners from Tormek, we then transitioned to 3D scanners from Trimble Geospatial, dust collectors from Festool USA, hand clamps from Bessey Tools and Irwin Tools and – the big show stealer – tape! SpecTape, Remo Two from Duraco and Nichiban tape from Misumi are all go-tos. To get all that tape off, we heard about D-Limonene citrus solvent from Florida Laboratories. Finally, we talked about the portable HVLP painting system (as seen on our virtual tour of Extensive Metal Works) from Apollo Sprayers. Here's a link to the recording of the session.


May 26 Meet-up - How to Get Great 3D Printing Results

A great group of model makers (of all levels of experience with the technology) joined us for a discussion on 3D printing. We started by reviewing a video from MAKE on How to Speed Up 3D printing (thanks, Bruce Willey!) then the group discussed individual issues for some direct problem solving. On hand were Paul Chabala of Crown Equipment, whose main job is managing additive manufacturing, and Sharon Moore, recently retired from Honda R&D who learned how to 3D print when the technology first appeared.

Some tips and tricks on 3D printing were offered and participants shared their individual experiences. See the video and enjoy the conversation in this recording of the 3D printing session.

 

May 11 Meet-up - Where will we be in 2023??

 

We took a little break after our virtual conference but were eager to get back to our regular meet-ups. We shared details about our first in-person gathering since 2018 (yeah, it feels like a long, long time for us, too...). Have you heard where we'll be??  Dayton, Ohio! We hope you'll join us there March 10-13, 2023! 

 

We also introduced our 2022-2024 Board of Directors and welcomed members who are new to the APMM.

February 16 Meet-up - Tour the Hagley Museum's Rothschild Patent Model Collection

Model Making Nineteenth Century Style - Curious to know what model making was like in the nineteenth century?  Find out about a unique collection of models from this era with Hagley Museum and Library’s Curator of Collections Caroline Western, as she shares a behind-the-scenes glimpse into their collection of more than 5,000 patent models before they open to the public as part of the Nation of Inventors exhibition.

Learn about the origins of the U.S. Patent Office and the requirement of submitting a small-scale model when applying for a patent to demonstrate uniqueness and utility. Then, discover how three of Hagley’s patent models inspired Steampunk re-imagineer, Bruce Rosenbaum, to create his Velocipede Time Machine sculpture that will be featured prominently in the exhibition. We hope you get inspired to see Nation of Inventors at Hagley Museum and Library in Wilmington, Delaware! Visit www.hagley.org for more details. 
  

February 2 Meet-up - Book Talk: The Architectural Models of Theodore Conrad

Theodore Conrad is probably the first and so far only model maker to whom the New York Times has dedicated an obituary. Teresa Fankhänel was able to open the cabinet of curiosities in his workshop in New Jersey in its original state. Louis Checkman's photo studio was in the immediate vicinity. A cross-media partnership emerged from the interaction and is presented for the first time in the book The Architectural Models of Theodore Conrad: The "miniature boom" of mid-century modernism. APMM Member Aaron Williams, architectural model maker, spoke with Teresa to learn more about this enigmatic figure in model making. Here's a link to our recording of the session.

Based on the recent discovery of his fully-preserved private archive - models, photos, letters, business files, and drawings - this book tells the story of Theodore Conrad (1910-1994), the most prominent and prolific architectural model maker of the 20th century.

Conrad's innovative models were instrumental in the design and realization of many icons of American Modernism - from the Rockefeller Center to Lever House and the Seagram Building. He revolutionized the production of architectural models and became a model-making entrepreneur in his own right. Yet, despite his success and the well-known buildings he helped to create, until now little has been known about Conrad's work and his impact on 20th century architectural history.

January 19 Meet-up - Tour of the National Museum of Toys and Miniatures

The National Museum of Toys and Miniatures holds the world’s largest collection of fine-scale miniatures deriving from the Fine-scale Miniature Art Movement that began in the 1970s. Assembled by collector and museum co-founder Barbara Marshall, the collection includes architectural works, room settings, and intricately made individual pieces.

Join Laura Taylor, curator of interpretation, in a presentation recorded for our Virtual Conference in 2021, as we explore some of the museum’s most celebrated works made by artists from around the world. Following the recorded tour presentation, we met up in Zoom for a discussion. Amy McKune, curator of collections at the Museum joined our Q&A. Here's a link to our recording of this session.

December 15 Meet-up - What's it like to be a Master Builder at Legoland? 

Model makers cut their teeth on building toys: Erector sets, Lincoln Logs, Tinkertoys, and Legos. We chatted with Joe Nunnink, a former master builder at Legoland Discovery Center Kansas City, who "won" the job that the rest of us only dream of at the 2015 Brick Factor Contest in Crown Center. Before Joe left Legoland in 2020, he built thousands of models over the course of his five years there. Some hallmarks include a remote controlled fully robotic life-size LEGO R2-D2 model, made collaboratively with his assistant, Marcel Karczewski, and a massive expansion of Legoland's "miniland" including models of the Roasterie, Joe's KC BBQ, and the West Bottoms and Boulevard Brewery. Joe currently resides in New York City, focusing on illustration and comedy. Here's a link to our recording of this session.

December 1 Meet-up - What's on your Workbench?

When it comes to custom, handcrafted gift ideas, model makers are uniquely skilled to make whatever their hearts and minds can dream up! This meet-up had our members sharing projects they've made, either with a specific gift in mind, or just playing around with making things to share with others. 

From beautifully crafted boxes and one-of-a-kind bottle openers to 3D printed gadgets and inventive props and ornaments, a wide array of techniques and methods were discussed. We even had our new friends from the International Guild of Miniature Artisans visit! 

November 17 Meet-up - Book Talk: The Architectural Model by Matthew Mindrup

Architectural model maker, and APMM Member, Aaron Williams talked with Sydney-based architect and architectural historian Matthew Mindrup about a newly published book on the origins and implications of architectural models.

For more than five hundred years, architects have employed three-dimensional models as tools to test, refine, and illustrate their ideas. But, as Matthew Mindrup shows, an architectural model can also simulate, instruct, inspire, and generate architectural designs. In his book, The Architectural Model: Histories of the Miniature and the Prototype, the Exemplar and the Muse, Mindrup surveys the history of architectural models by investigating their uses, both theoretical and practical. Here's a link to the recording.

November 3 Meet-up - Project Moon Hut 

This visionary and intriguing topic drew a great audience and many people instantly wanted to be involved. The team at the Project Moon Hut Foundation has been working since 2014 to empower people and organizations to achieve just that through a pragmatic project whose directive is as follows: Establishing a "box with a roof and a door on the Moon" through the accelerated development of an Earth- and space-based ecosystem, which necessitates  innovations and paradigm-shifting thinking that will later be returned back to Earth to improve life on Earth for all species.

Presenter, and key visionary, David Goldsmith says, "We reached out to the APMM because we believe that you have the potential to participate in a key sub-project of Project Moon Hut, specifically to work with us on building the models that would enable us to share our vision and messaging.... Our hope is that you'll learn something, be excited, and potentially lend your skills and strengths through your special talents related to model making."
To contact David, message us at [email protected] and we'll put you in touch.


Watch two videos to learn more about this fascinating project:
https://youtu.be/-4tmg5PbBeI 
Space Tech Convention Macedonia 18 October 2019
https://youtu.be/V3SGmIOxqDY  PMH Overview - Moon Hut Mission Lever, and Purpose

October 20 Meet-up - Ghosts of Catalogs... Past and Present
Craig Leese, host of such popular workshops as "20 Benchtop Tips in 30 Minutes", "My Favorite Things", and the emcee of many conference awards ceremonies, guided us through the Science and Art of finding things you wanted and things you didn't know you needed in good ol' paper catalogs. Craig introduced no less than 48 print catalogs for finding anything from sculpting supplies to fake foods.
Check out the Forum for a list of the catalogs Craig reviewed. 


October 6 Meet-up - Metal 3D Printing with MasterGraphics (Fitchburg, WI)

Metal 3D printing has existed for a long time but has mostly been limited to highly specialized applications due to the high part cost, slow processing times, and difficult to use systems. (Think: aerospace or medical implants with low volume and high cost, which made sense for powder bed fusion machines.) New generations of metal 3D printers are beginning to emerge ushering in the era of Additive 2.0, drastically lowering the barrier of entry to get up and running with metal 3D printing while simultaneously allowing for far higher volumes of parts to be produced to actually go to mass production with metal 3D printing. We learned how new generations of equipment allow for these unprecedented levels of accessibility, allowing for everyone to get their hands on metal 3D printing.
Here's a link to the recording.


September 15 Meet-up - The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly: Your Best/Worst Model Making Challenges
Jill Kenik, owner and principal model maker at Acropolis Studios Model Works, Inc., and the President of the APMM's Board of Directors hosted this interactive discussion featuring Your Stories! Perhaps you've participated in a GB&U workshop at a past conference? Maybe the theme song from the 1966 Sergio Leone film is running through your head right now... you know which one: listen here. We're glad you joined us to share your awful anecdotes, triumphant tales and perplexing predicaments! 

 
September 1 Meet-up Steampunk with Bruce Rosenbaum
Renowned Steam Punk artist/sculptor and professional maker Bruce Rosenbaum talked with us about what inspired him to pursue this unique art and how he has used the "invention" process to conceptualize and create a daring kinetic sculpture featured at the Hagley Museum in Wilmington, DE. Steampunk, Bruce believes, is at the intersection of History + Art + Technology and he used the very-steampunk notion of time travel to create the Velocipede Time Machine using the velocipede cycle idea, governor balls, an electric dynamo, and a dental chair plus numerous salvaged parts and pieces. Bruce talked about Janusian Thinking (his example: a hammer - used to both drive in and extract nails!) and his use of creative problem solving - what a great discussion!
Here's a link to the recording. Use passcode: 6%?6=6me

 
August 18 Meet-up - Weirdest Things
Show-and-tell the strangest, most curious thing in our shops and work spaces was the theme of this session, but sharing what makes model makers unique was the moral of this story. No two model makers are alike, but it seems that a quirky sense of humor, a desire to innovate, and a willingness to share are definitely common traits. We talked about casts of hands (and other body parts), giant toilets, old-school solutions to today's projects, 3D printed parts that might be straight outta Roswell, and glow-in-the-dark Yodas. The hour flew by with many strange objects and many laughs. Can we really describe what took place at this session?? In a word: NO. Join us next time!


August 4 Meet-up - Social Media
The APMM's Social Media Evangelist (and Technology VP) Joshua Munchow of Formation Design Group (Atlanta, GA) led an in-depth discussion on ways that the APMM can use social media (Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, etc.). The group decided to go to the next level by creating a "Social Media Manifesto" for the APMM which defines why we want to do this, and to come up with a strategy roadmap for how to use social media to expand the APMM's visibility, attract new members, share knowledge and encourage future model makers. If you are interested in joining this conversation, please contact us at [email protected].


July 21 Meet-up - Building a Better Workplace through EDI
Aaron Williams from CBT Architects (Boston, MA) led an informative and interactive session on achieving Equity, Diversity and Inclusion within model shops. The APMM hosted this session to begin taking a serious look at what these terms mean and how we can create environments that foster and encourage diversity and inclusion. Joining Aaron were Bruce Williams and Polly Sackett from Accurate Pattern (Butler, WI), and Jennifer Shorb from Monarch-3D (Spring, TX). They discussed how they have been working with their companies to create a better workplace, while sharing their personal journey and how it guides their EDI goals today.


June 23 Meet-up - A review of some of our Student Model Making Competition entries. 
Last year's entries blew us away with their professional-quality finishes, creative use of materials, and astounding project ideas. This year is no different - just more of the same and better. We also discussed what makes an emerging model maker stand apart from the crowd.

June 2 Meet-up - Winners of the 2020 Virtual Model Making Competition
Will Strange, lecturer at the Arts University Bournemouth in UK, led an exploration of the work of last year's recognized students. He discussed what we learned about running the competition online for the first time and how students are learning their craft in schools today.


May 19 Meet-up - Meditation for Model Makers
Members Peter Mack and Terry Wellman shared their experiences with meditative practice and how they have found it useful in finding ways to alleviate tension and allowing space for creative thought. They shared apps that are available for guiding meditation.

Many of the members in attendance also contributed their experiences and practices. A recording of the session is available for anyone interested. Please contact [email protected] for a link.


May 4 Star Wars Day Meet-up
Model maker extraordinaire Fon Davis and model maker/APMM co-founder Jeff Hoefer shared anecdotes of their involvement in making moving magic with both the first Star Wars trilogy and the second, as well as juicy behind-the-scenes glimpses of how model makers bring to life the imagineered miniatures (and 'bigatures'!) and fantastical props.

They shared how even in the age of digital effects, miniatures are often relied upon to create settings that are true-to-life. Both Jeff and Fon talked about 'kit-bashing' and using common objects to create unbelievable film moments. Jeff reflected, "Only a model makers brain is wired to envision how to get the best result by using what you have."

With many blockbuster movies to his credit, Fon gave advice about a career in model making for film. "You will have fun," he said with a smile, "but be prepared to work hard!"
 
Want to make your own Star Wars themed project? Check out this link: https://www.instructables.com/Star-Wars-Projects/?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email Send us pictures of your project - completed or in-progress and we'll feature it here!

  

We're hosting informal and interactive Zoom Meet-Ups for our members to get together in virtual space - make sure your membership is current and active, then join us! (Members in good standing will receive an email message inviting them to the session, including Zoom meeting details and links. We'll even send you a reminder before the session starts! Some sessions are open to all.)