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How to make real estate models exhibited at the sales office?

Almost each sales office will display an exquisite and lively real estate model, and some of these models even have well designed house-type pattern and furniture. Flowers, trees and other green landscape as well as pavilions, small bridges, flowing water and other supporting articles outside the building are also extremely vivid. Thus, many people want to know how these complex real estate models are made. 


Real estate model


Sand-table model first appeared in military application. It is a tool for ancient generals to conduct the war. It is a model composed of sand and various materials by a certain scale and according to the topographical map or the field topography. In military, it is commonly used to research topography, enemy’s situation and combat scheme, organize and coordinate actions, and implement drills.


Mode design and making was at first just regarded as an ancillary industry of advertising companies. In 1990s, the earliest group of professional sand-table model design and making companies were established in Shenzhen, including Canyon Model Design Co., Ltd. Later on, sand-table model design and making gradually appeared in regions and cities such as Guangdong, Beijing and Shanghai as a specialized industry, and model design and making has been separated from advertising companies and become an independent industry ever since.  


In the 21st century, with the rapid development of real estate, sand-table model industry, as a supporting industry of real estate, has risen promptly, and real estate model has become an essential tool for the sales office. With the flourish of urban planning, real estate industry and architecture design industry, real estate model design and making has undergone an unprecedented development. As an emerging industry, it draws increasing attention.


Generally, real estate model making has the following steps:


Equipment needed include: computer, design software, AutoCAD, engraving machine, workbench, paint gun, etc.


Raw materials needed include: Perspex plates of various thickness, PVC plates of various thickness, common sponge, macroporous sponge, back gummed paper, various colors of knitting wool end, thick fishing thread, copper wire, 0.5mm enameled wire, coating, various colors of paints, suede-like wallpaper, trichloromethane, dried flower, hairspray, small colored lights, etc. Tools needed include: utility knife, saw knife, wood working tools, electric tools, etc.


1) Collect drawings and determine the scheme.

Make model-making scheme according to the plan, elevation, effect chart and model requirements provided by customers.


2) Make model base plate.

Make sand table according to the layout plan and the scale. The table is generally like a billiard table. For large sand table, we need to make several small tables and then put them together.


3) Paint spraying for plates

Modulate paints according to the color shown in the building drawings, then spray the paint on corresponding PVC plates and send them to the design department for engraving.


4) Treatment of building components

The design department produces the building structure according to the construction drawings and corresponding scale, and decomposes them into different parts on the computer, and designs the wall patterns, the roof tiles, windows, etc. according to the construction requirements, and then send them to the engraving machine, and use the engraving machine to engrave the building parts on the PVC plates, and then send them to the production department.


5) Connection of building parts

The production department uses trichloromethane to stick the PVC plates to constitute the general shape of the building according to the building parts sent from the design department and the explanations and sticking methods. Windows are directly engraved on the PVC plate, and stick thin and transparent Perspex plates inside as the window glass.


6) Landscape production

The landscape decoration department marks off the plane layout on the table made by the assembly department according to the layout plan. Use green suede-like wallpaper to make grasslands in the green area, dip macroporous sponge into green paint, and after it dries, cut it into long strips and stick them in the undershrub area as the greenbelts. If there is water and lakes, we can spray lake blue paint on the back of the Perspex plates with rippled finish, and cut them into river or lake shapes and make them in place. If there is highland, we can pile up the Perspex plates or PVC plates layer upon layer and trim them into corresponding shapes, and then smear paint and fill gaps, after it dries, cover it with grassland. Use grey back gummed paper to make roads, and use white back gummed paper marked with road signs on the roads. 


7) Production of small articles

The production department peels off the copper wire skin, and twists the copper wires into tree trunk shape, and spray it with paint. Dip the common sponge in paints, after it dries, smashed it, and then stick the branches with smashed sponge to make trees. Dip the sponge in green paint to make green trees and dip it in orange paint to make trees in autumn. For willows, twist 0.2mm enameled wires into tree trunk and branches, and stick the branches with green knitting wool ends. For pines, cut the thick fishing thread into thin segments, clamp them, and then clamp two 0.5mm enameled wires and twist them, loosen the clamp, and then a pine is shaped, trim it and stick it with green knitting wool ends. Other flowers and plants can be made by dyed dried flowers. Use medical cotton swabs or toothpicks to make street lamps. Foamed plastic can be carved into rockery stones by a blade, and then be sprayed with paint. 


8) Assembly and integration

The landscape decoration department sticks the flowers and plates as well as buildings sent from the production department in place. The assembly department punches holes and installs small colored lights according to each building’s location to make the building model inside shining, just like turning on the lights, and connects the circuit. The design department engraves markers and characters of the buildings and roads, and makes them into small signs, and sticks them in place.


These steps can be conducted separately or in reverse sequence or simultaneously. For production of real estate models, their production process will be correspondingly adjusted according to different projects and different sand table types required by Party A. Working process of each model making studio is not quite the same. Generally, the larger a company is, the finer its division will be, and the production of its real estate models will be more professional. 


With the development of science and technology, people’s pursuit of real estate models does not only lie in monotonous and static exhibition. Model companies with strength begin to add multimedia automatic programs based on traditional sand-table models, taking full advantage of high-tech to express real estate models’ location characteristics, changes of seasons and other rich dynamic visual effects. Customers can choose corresponding exhibition contents through the touch screen, which is a brand new experience for customers, simple and convenient, greatly increasing the interactive effects of the whole exhibition. Nowadays, digital sand-table models are gradually replacing traditional real estate models. As a pioneer in digital sand-table model making, Canyon Model makes bold innovations and keeps on challenging the technology summit of model making, and has successively launched the digital sand-table model of overall planning for the 30th anniversary of Shenzhen’s establishment, digital sand-table model for Harbin Wanda Cultural Tourism City and other industry benchmark model works. Please click the digital models of this website for more details.