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Basic tools used for modeling in Architecture

by Joshua Stinson

It is not enough to know how to make architectural models. Tools used in the process are very important as well. Therefore they should be carefully selected to promote efficiency

Basic Tools For Making a Model

Below are some of the most essential tools used by architects for model making.

Self-healing cutting board

A Self-healing cutting board is made up of several tiny pieces although it appears to have been made from only one solid surface. As you cut on the board, the blades fall between those lines and therefore prevents the board from damaging.

Cutting Knives

Different types of knives are available for architectural modeling. Finding a knife that will be best suited for you takes several trials and errors. The most common knife used is the Olfa 9mm and the X-ACTO knife.

The Olfa 9mm is used to perform all kinds of functions and it has an adjustable blade. The X-ACTO knife is used when Details are required. It has a variety of blades that are very sharp and should be handled carefully.


There are different types of glue. The Hot glue is used for joins that are not obvious because it is usually imprecise. The good thing about using this glue is that it is fast and easy.

For works that require a higher degree of precision, use white glue instead. White glues take longer time to set but it produces a neater result. Top glue brands include Sobo and Elmer’s.

To ensure that the application is precise and able to reach tricky corners of the model, you are advised to use a glue syringe. Wood glues are used for models made of wood. Remember that some types of wood require a particular type of glue.

You also need a glue remover to tidy up your work before the Presentation. Some products are specifically designed for this purpose but for an alternative, you can use nail polish. It is not only effective, but it is also very cheap as well.


It is known as an engineers’ square. It is shaped in a right-angled frame and allows you to construct right-angled corners. It also makes straight lines on the models.

However, the main disadvantage of using an L-square to make a straight line is that it is made of stainless steel and therefore can slide easily. Hence instead of using L-squares, some architects rather make use of masking tape on the underside.


Different types of rulers are required for this task as one ruler cannot suffice for all tasks. The most commonly used rulers are the six-inch metal rulers that are easy to manipulate and the eighteen-inch rulers used for working on a larger scale.


Some tasks can be very difficult to carry out when using a Knife, and this is where scissors come in. Just like with knives, scissors used should be kept sharp at all times to ensure that you get a neat cut each time.


Although tapes are not used in every kind of modeling because it makes the work untidy, it is still useful in some. The type of tape to be used greatly depends on the job specification.


Never forget that Architectural Models require a great level of precision. Therefore to get it all right, you must ensure that every tool used is both suitable and reliable.

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