In Summary - Modelmaker
The Work - Modelmaker
Model makers make models for testing protypes of new products such as cars, or for testing planes in wind tunnels, incorporating engineering and electronics. Models can be used in television, films and advertising. Models are also used in museums and exhibitions such as artefacts or when reproducing historical events. Designers need to see or test their design before a decision is made to spend money and time on its production.
If a model shows it does not serve the purpose for which it is designed, this can save its producers a lot of money. Another reason to use models is that non-technical people understand them more easily than complicated technical diagrams. Model making is sometimes called design representation.
After talking to the designer, model makers work from design drawings, plans, photographs or computer graphics. They use materials like wood, plastic, metal, plaster, paper or card to produce models. Machine and hand tools are used to shape the materials. For models with moving parts, basic electronics or mechanical techniques may be used. Painting may also be necessary.
A model can be scaled up or down depending upon what it represents and its purpose. A planned motorway flyover system, for example, will be greatly scaled down, whereas a newly discovered molecular structure will be scaled up. Intricate models may take many months to complete.
Models are also used to create special effects in films, television, theatre and in certain types of exhibition.
Most commonly reported Work Tasks
- Study blueprints, drawings, and sketches to determine material dimensions, required equipment, and operations sequences.
- Set up and operate machines such as lathes, drill presses, punch presses, or bandsaws to fabricate prototypes or models.
- Inspect and test products to verify conformance to specifications, using precision measuring instruments or circuit testers.
- Cut, shape, and form metal parts, using lathes, power saws, snips, power brakes and shears, files, and mallets.
- Lay out and mark reference points and dimensions on materials, using measuring instruments and drawing or scribing tools.
- Drill, countersink, and ream holes in parts and assemblies for bolts, screws, and other fasteners, using power tools.
- Grind, file, and sand parts to finished dimensions.
- Record specifications, production operations, and final dimensions of models for use in establishing operating standards and procedures.
- Rework or alter component model or parts as required to ensure that products meet standards.
- Align, fit, and join parts, using bolts and screws or by welding or gluing.
Most commonly reported Work Activities
- Controlling Machines and Processes Using either control mechanisms or direct physical activity to operate machines or processes (not including computers or vehicles).
- Getting Information Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
- Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Material Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects.
- Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
- Thinking Creatively Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.
- Making Decisions and Solving Problems Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
- Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
- Handling and Moving Objects Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, and moving materials, and manipulating things.
- Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.
- Repairing and Maintaining Mechanical Equipment Servicing, repairing, adjusting, and testing machines, devices, moving parts, and equipment that operate primarily on the basis of mechanical (not electronic) principles.
Interests - Modelmaker
This occupation is typically suited for people with the following Career Interests:
Realists are usually interested in 'things' - such as buildings, mechanics, equipment, tools, electronics etc. Their primary focus is dealing with these - as in building, fixing, operating or designing them. Involvement in these areas leads to high manual skills, or a fine aptitude for practical design - as found in the various forms of engineering.
Realists like to find practical solutions to problems using tools, technology and skilled work. Realists usually prefer to be active in their work environment, often do most of their work alone, and enjoy taking decisive action with a minimum amount of discussion and paperwork.
Creative people are drawn to careers and activities that enable them to take responsibility for the design, layout or sensory impact of something (visual, auditory etc). They may be atrracted to the traditional artistic pursuits such as painting, sculpture, singing, or music. Or they may show more interest in design activities, such as architecture, animation, or craft areas, such as pottery and ceramics.
Creative people use their personal understanding of people and the world they live in to guide their work. Creative people like to work in unstructured workplaces, enjoy taking risks and prefer a minimum of routine.
The Investigative person will usually find a particular area of science to be of interest. They are inclined toward intellectual and analytical activities and enjoy observation and theory. They may prefer thought to action, and enjoy the challenge of solving problems with sophiscticated technology. These types prefer mentally stimulating environments and often pay close attention to developments in their chosen field.
As a model maker, you will require a combination of creative, technical and practical skills. You will need patience, accuracy, and an ability to pay attention to detail and meet project deadlines. Craft skills and intricate working are important, as is the ability to work well with a range of materials. Some professional model makers have learned model making skills through a hobby.
Entry Requirements - Modelmaker
Pay & Salary - Modelmaker
Salary Range (thousands per year)* 18k - 37k
Last Updated: March, 2017
* The lower figures typically reflect starting salaries. Higher salaries are awarded to those with greater experience and responsibility. Positions in Dublin sometimes command higher salaries.