Category Archives: Types of Models

Cool Veterinary Model

This veterinary model of a blood separating device is a great example of going bigger in scale than the real thing. Not all scale models need to be small. In this instance the model is 6X bigger than the product it is replicating. By going bigger, the details of how the product works can be featured clearly.

This separating device takes blood and breaks it down into plasma and platelets in order to harvest white blood cells. The challenge of this veterinary model was to show the process in a clear and user friendly way.

Our model makers chose colors to represent the different processes. Yellow = plasma. Red = blood cells.

veterinary model parts

A clear acrylic tube was used to represent the flask. A silicone vinyl hose was placed inside, which gave the correct diameter and coil for the extracting piece. Colors were added using theater jells.

The resulting veterinary model looks cool and communicates the properties of the separator with accuracy.

veterinary model veterinary model veterinary model veterinary model

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Cutaway Models Give You a Peek Inside

 

Cutaway Models are a popular type of scale model, and for good reason. There are different types of cutaway designs, but each one seeks to reveal the inside workings of a particular product. Sometimes the technology inside an industrial product is its greatest asset and a cutaway model is designed to draw attention to this.

Most cutaway models replicate the overall look of the outside of a product. Then with the use of cutaways, offer a view at the design inside the product. Some cutaways are split in half, others have a small portion of the outside cut out, making  a peep-hole of sorts into the inside. Other cutaway models are modular – pieces are removable by way of magnets to reveal the inside components.

Most companies would prefer to bring a real product to a sales meeting or trade show if it is practical. Of course that’s not always the case, as real products may be too heavy or large to ship and display. Scale model replicas of a product are not only more efficient to use in these circumstances but can even be more attention grabbing and informative than the real thing. By incorporating cutaway features, a model can communicate the inner design which would ordinarily be hidden.

 

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Busy Summer at the Model Shop

This has been a very busy time at KiwiMill model shop. Many exciting projects have been quoted, awarded, drawn up, fabricated, finished and shipped these past few months. All of our model makers love being busy. It’s what they are trained for – going from one project to the next without a break, crafting pieces that go right out the door as soon as they are complete. It’s easy to take for granted the depth and breadth of models that leave the shop when you work at this level of  artistry, precision and speed.

Sometimes it’s nice to step back for a moment and reflect on the projects that come through the model shop during any given time period. The past few months alone have seen military vehicles, warehouses, satellites, solar arrays, nuclear reactors, rockets, tank skids, servers, radiators, bioreactors an airport hanger and a nose cone. The creative energy of our model makers thrives on this variety. No two custom model projects are the same. Every day something new is learned by our master craftspeople.

There is never enough time to revel in the accomplishments here at KiwiMill; always the next project is waiting for our attention. But I wanted to take a moment to share some casual model shop pictures of the models I have watched go out the door so far this summer.

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Warehouse Model Has Visual Impact

This warehouse model is an excellent example of the visual impact an architectural site model can have. Basic shapes, and a clean design create a very clear communication tool.

The purpose of this model was to show both the interior and exterior of a new warehouse our client is building. The interior features rows of racks where product is stored as well as the layout of the offices.

The exterior of the warehouse model includes simple landscaping, roads and trucks. The topography does an excellent job of framing the interior features of the warehouse building.

Most of this model was programmed and cut on our shop laser.  It was built using PDF’s supplied by the client. The finished warehouse model will be displayed under Plexiglas in the corporate lobby.

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These Models Make Great Sales Tools

sales tool model

Here at KiwiMill we strive to produce quality models that communicate, travel well and are easy to use, all within a reasonable budget and time frame. It’s a tall order. Sometimes we hit upon a model design that is so successful our client keeps coming back for more.

This computer product model is a great example of this kind of repeat business. Sales people took our model out into the field, enjoyed using it, and found it to be an excellent sales tool. More and more salespeople within the company want one, and the client keeps returning for additional orders.

sales tool model

While many scale models are one time only builds, we welcome this type of repeat business, building multiple copies of a particular model. It means the sales tools has been a great success.  These types of projects turn the model shop into a temporary production facility of sorts. Fabrication processes are streamlined in order to create a consistent product, over and over, in a reasonable time-frame.

sales tool modelsales tool model

The actual computer product being modeled in this instance is an extremely expensive piece of equipment weighing 70 pounds. It would be impossible for the entire sales force to carry these around to their clients.  Our model makers have designed a replica of this product that is smaller, lighter and much less delicate. It’s a convenient sales tool that can be carried in a briefcase.

sales tool model

 

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Making Interactive & Moving Models

Interactive features on models help to draw customers to your booth, add excitement to a museum display, and can transform a model from a boring static display to the main focus of your booth or gallery. Kids and adults alike love creating the action or turning on lights in a museum diorama, or causing water flow with the flick of a switch. A trade show display model can be brought to life by adding lights, water, moving parts, or even a miniature TV.

In this post, I’ll detail some of the interactive and moving features KiwiMill has added to the various models we have made recently.

TV in a ModelMiniature TV embedded into a Times Square Model
A trade show company came to us with ideas on how to add excitement to their trade show booth. The models were for CES, which is a consumer event, so first  people had to be attracted to the display and then were encouraged to pick up the cameras and take pictures using the zoom functions in order  to see the smallest details of the models. The TV in this model has a 1.8″ screen which was connected to a DVD player. This added movement and excitement to an otherwise static display model.

Computerized Asphalt Plant Model
This was a unique model for KiwiMill. Our client designed embedded controllers for asphalt plants and wanted to demonstrate the unique capabilities of their controllers on a working model. The client specified which parts of the model needed to function and KiwiMill created an interface to allow the model to animiate using their product. This model had numerous moving parts driven by motors and linear actuators. 

Road Construction Truck Model
This road construction truck model is used to demonstrate the numerous features our customer built into their truck. Take a look at the video below and you’ll see just how many of these we were able to build into this model including sounds, moving parts, lights, arrow flashers, etc.

Working Hydroelectric Dam
This model was built for the U.S. government to demonstrate how hydroelectric power was created. It included a valve that could be opened to allow water to flow through a working turbine. When flow and turbine were activated, the sign on top of the turbine would light, simulating electricity generation.

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Industrial Products Make Excellent Scale Models

A scale model of an industrial product allows a company to demonstrate its machinery or piece of large equipment using a hands on approach. Having a scale model sets your product apart from the competition that’s relying on a two-dimensional display. A color brochure of a product, or even a video demonstration will not deliver the impact a scale model does. A 3 dimensional model communicates effectively, answering specific questions about your product. It can also highlight the particular features or strengths that you want emphasized. Plus, it’s just plain cool to have a miniature model of your product on hand.

Often an industrial process or piece of machinery is too large, complex or cumbersome to travel between trade shows. A model, on the other hand, is portable while still being instantly recognizable and understood as a replica of your product.  No need to worry that the potential client cannot visualize your product accurately from a 2 dimensional drawing or photograph. While nothing can substitute for the real product, a quality replica can be a highly effective alternative. Its physical presence provides direct understanding about what you are offering and translates into a more positive sales experience.

At KiwiMill, our model makers can work with you to provide an accurate, visually pleasing, detailed-as-you-want scale model in a user-friendly scale. Specific features can be emphasized on the model, making it easier for your sales staff to illustrate your product’s uniqueness. Duplicate models can be constructed for multiple shows. Replicas are a cost-effective, engaging option when bringing along the real product is not feasible. No one should go into a presentation without this sales tool in hand!

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Litigation Model of a Truck

A litigation model is a scale model used in court to assist lawyers in presenting a case. The court room is an excellent place to use physical scale models to demonstrate facts. Most people are very visual by nature, and almost everyone can relate to a model, as opposed to other forms of information sharing. Written materials, diagrams, photographs – even videos – may not be interpreted accurately. A three-dimensional object, however, is universally recognized and readily understood.

KiwiMill built this litigation model of a truck for a court case involving an accident. Built from photographs, this model conveyed the necessary information to support the lawyer’s case, accurately and without bias.

litigation model

litigation model litigation model litigation model litigation model litigation model litigation model litigation model

 

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Medical Product Models Have Multiple Uses

Health care is a very dynamic, ever-growing industry. An important part of its progress are the increasingly useful medical products that allow people to live fuller, more useful lives.

It’s important to be able to share the key features of new products in the field with both medical professionals and their patients. Often times, this can be done by creating a scale model of the actual device or medical equipment.

Scale models of medical products are useful when the device is unusually small, and needs to be magnified in order to fully appreciate its design and function. Medical product models are helpful when depicting delicate and expensive equipment, as well.

Medical product models can be found in health care trade show booths. They are used at sales presentations and meetings. Scale models are even found in doctor’s offices, and waiting rooms to both educate and reassure patients.

medical product model medical product model medical product model medical product model

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Building a Scale Model for Trade Show

Scale models for trade show have many different uses. They attract attention to a booth by providing a focal point that potential customers can gather around. Everyone loves scale models. Whether they are static or motorized, full-scale or miniature, cutaway or exact replicas. Trade show models are naturally interactive and informative.

In many situations, the model will replace the actual product at the show. It may be smaller than the actual product, thus easier and less expensive to transport. Or larger than the actual product so that details can be appreciated up close. Multiple versions of a product can be represented by scale models, as well.

In the case of this latest scale model built for a trade show, KiwiMill created 1:3 scale replicas of a  fuel monitoring cabinet that debuted at AHR Expo earlier this year.  The scale model versions are lighter, and a bit smaller and easier to transport than the real products. There is something fascinating about capturing the essence of an industrial product in model form.

The cabinets of the model were made of stainless steel sheet metal. The piping was constructed from real plumbing pieces. The gauges were 3D printed with vinyl label faces. The motors and valves were also 3D printed.

See for yourself:

trade show scale model

trade show scale model

trade show scale model

trade show scale model

trade show scale model

 

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Underground Storage Tank Cutaway Model

This underground storage tank cutaway model was commissioned for training purposes. It will help owners and operators understand the structure and parts of an underground fuel storage tank. It helps make sure they are staying in compliance with laws governing fuel storage.

Our model makers used client supplied diagrams and actual photographs of gas station pumps to create the cutaway model.

ABS, styrene, acrylic and 3D printed parts were combined to create this display. The resulting cutaway model conveys the information needed for training in an easily understandable way. It makes an effective visual aid.

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What’s Inside a Cutaway Model?

 

Cutaway models are more than just a replica of your product.

Cutaway models reveal the inner features that would otherwise remain concealed.

At the same time, a cutaway model still provides the viewer a sense of the overall design.

It’s no surprise that cutaway models are a very popular way to represent a product when the inner workings are an important aspect of the sales pitch.

Show your potential customers what your product has to offer on both the outside and within – have a cutaway model built.

 

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Scale Model Specialization – Is It a Good Thing?

scale model

Some scale model shops specialize in particular types of models. Architectural model making is a common type of specialization, as well ship building or airplanes, here in the United States. Model trains would be another example of builders focusing on one specific genre.

KiwiMill, like many of today’s scale model shops, has chosen to market to a variety of industries in need of custom model designs. Custom model requests may come from the military, land developers, manufacturers, advertising agencies, product developers, private collectors, the medical field, museum and exhibit companies. Really, the possible sources for clients are endless.

Along with the variety of industries that require scale models, there are various types of models which are commissioned. Trade show models, cut-aways, display models, working models, training models, product models, prototypes and sales models are a few examples of the types of models requested by clients. The purpose of the model – what it is being used for – drives the type of model required, which then informs the model maker as to how to go about the build.

While specialization in a particular type of scale model building has its advantages – stocking materials, investment in fabrication methods, model maker training – at KiwiMill we believe a broad approach is more advantageous. Part of the allure of model making is its custom nature. Master model makers often thrive on the variety and challenge of each new job. Sameness is the antithesis of what many custom model makers are looking for in their work environment. Our model makers work best when presented with something new to build each project.

Providing the variety of custom model work that our team thrives on can be a challenge. Marketing to such a wide range of potential customers is daunting. Supplying the machines, tools, software and technology to build all types of custom scale models is an investment. Finding and stocking materials for each new job is an ongoing process. One job may require tooling board and brass piping, while the next project requires a source for fabric or tiny plastic footballs. A little bit of waste in regards to material left overs from previous jobs is to be expected.

Assembling a team of model makers who have the talent, training and abilities to make all kinds of models is important. It hasn’t been difficult for our scale model shop to find the combination of attributes that allow for creations of great depth and breadth. Some of our model makers have over 20 years experience with architectural models. Others have experience with prototypes and product development. Still others are engineers by nature and provide the CAD knowledge and mechanical expertise to draw up model parts and add movement, sound or lights.

The toughest part about deciding to build all types of custom models and not specialize in a particular type, is convincing the general public that we know what we’re doing. Our business is fortunate to have a large portfolio of varied work going back decades that we can share with potential clients. Yet, often we are asked to build a model of something that we haven’t done before. That’s the nature of the business – just about any object known to society can be replicated. It’s impossible to have examples to show for every request made. Reassuring customers that we can build a model of a product that we have never encountered before is part of our job.

What that means is that our satellite models are every bit as sophisticated as our museum dioramas. Our model makers can replicate a military all terrain vehicle as readily as they can recreate a piece of industrial equipment in the form of a cutaway. Not only are our model makers capable of making all types of models, representing all types of industry; they thrive on it.

 

 

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Oil Industry Scale Models

Oilfield sites contain a vast supply of equipment to safely and effectively extract, contain and transport this raw material. Consider having a scale model made of your oil industry product to help sell its abilities and features.
KiwiMill can build a scale model of any piece of  oil industry equipment, including:
  • pipe racks
  • drill pipes
  • traveling blocks
  • Oil Industry Modelsfuel and water tanks
  • mud pits
  • stand pipes
  • draw works
  • conductor pipes
  • bore holes
  • bits
  • swivels
  • rotary hoses
  • turntables
  • crowns
  • crown blocks
  • cranes
  • degassers
  • blowers
  • auxiliary rig machinery
  • elevators
  • offshore rigs
  • shale shakers
  • mud tanks
  • mud agitators
  • mud pumps
  • safety valves
  • gate valves
  • coring equipment
  • cooling equipment
  • derricks
  • bucking units
  • compressors
  • drill collars
  • blowout preventers
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Industrial Models

Industrial Model

Industrial models allow a company to demonstrate its machinery, piece of large equipment or industrial process using a hands on approach. Having an industrial model sets your product apart from the competition that’s still relying on a two-dimensional display. A color brochure of a product, or even a video demonstration will not deliver the impact an industrial model in hand does. A 3 dimensional model communicates effectively, answering specific questions about your product. It can also highlight the particular features or strengths that you want emphasized.

Often an industrial process or piece of machinery is too large, complex or cumbersome to travel between trade shows. A model, on the other hand, is portable while still being instantly recognizable and understood as a replica of your product.  No need to worry that the potential client cannot visualize your product accurately from a 2 dimensional drawing or photograph. While nothing can substitute for the real product, a quality replica can be a highly effective alternative. Its physical presence provides direct understanding about what you are offering and translates into a more positive sales experience.

A skilled model maker can work with you to provide an accurate, visually pleasing, detailed-as-you-want industrial model in a user-friendly scale. Specific features can be emphasized on the model, making it easier for your sales staff to illustrate your product’s uniqueness. Duplicate models can be constructed for multiple shows. Replicas are a cost-effective, engaging option when bringing along the real product is not feasible. No one should go into a presentation without this sales tool in hand!

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