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.


Here are some of our past sessions:

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. 

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!
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.

Our June 23 Meet-up took a closer look at a few 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.

In our Meditation for Model Makers meet-up on May 19, 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.

Our Star Wars Day meet-up on May 4 was amazing! 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: 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.)