Design Knowledge Intermediary
PU Based Modeeling Boards
PU Based Modeling Boards
PU Based Modeling Boards
Medium Density Modeling Board
Medium Density Modeling Board
Materials in Industrial Design Model Making
(By Ozcan Menekse )

In model making, selection of materials and application methods vary depending on design of product, scale, presentation style/place...

Generally it is possible to classify modelling materials as follows:
1-Block materials
3-Mold and Casting materials
5-Finishing materials
6-Various Hand Tools and Machines
In this article we will discuss block formed materials and sheets.

Blocks, that we shall mention are mainly polyurethane based materials that are produced in different sizes in order to make mock-up models. As ‘Plexiglas’, which is the trade name of a acrylic manufacturer company; these type, we will talk about, of are known as ‘Epowood’. These materials are being produced under vacuum in many different types with variable toughness and with no cavities, no cracks or fibers. And also, according to their densities, they can be processed easily, glued rigidly and are resistant to all kinds of paints and thinners. Epowoods are being produced by lots of companies such as Ciba, Sika, Axxon, and Ebalta, Obo etc.. Although dimensions and toughness levels may vary depending to the preferences of the producers, generally they are found in 50*150*5 sheets.

Furthermore, epowood can be found in a Mud-like state. This type consists of two components that should be mixed in one to one ratio. This mud-like epowood is quite handy if it is mixed well enough. The mixture is daubed on a rough model and after drying with air can be processed just like solid epowood. By this way material can be saved. Mud-like epowood can become fully dry and rigid after approximately 12 hours. Long process is a disadvantage of the material.

Polyurethane based block materials can be processed like wood works, by hand tools and with basic machines that are used in workshops. Losses can be reused by joining with cyanoacrylate (known as Japan glue in Turkey)
Ease of painting, processing and gluing, a perfect surface finish by sanding (as a result of being no cavities and fiber structure) and no need for filler usage are the advantages of this material. On the other hand, high cost is the disadvantage (50x50x150 cm middle toughness block is approximately 400-450 ml)

Today, these products are the basic materials of model making. This substance has no rivals considering the processing time and the quality of the final output in mock-up model of the design. Model can be multiplied by using silicone molding after processing by hand-machines or in and painting. Tough kinds( metal dust added) are used, in molding and manufacturing of trial products. After having satisfactory results, firms continue with real production molds, reducing mold costs and manufacturing risks.

Distributors or sellers of epowood kind materials in Istanbul,
Akson Müm.Elk.San.Tic.Ltd.Ūti. Telephone: +90 216 4281881
Distributor of the Axson France S.A
AXSON offers a full range of products for the use of industries that want to create models, prototypes and tooling for style and design studies, tests and pre-production studies.
Ciba products
Vantico LTD. +90 216 3647563
Sika products
Elpo LTD. +90 216 4437579
Obo products
Gozde Hirdavat LTD. +90 216 4417628


A. Chipboards
B. Plastic Sheets
C. Metal Sheets

A- Chipboards are the materials like LDF-MDF-Plywood. My advice is to use MDF in model making. It is a rigid material that can be processed easily. Big volumes can be obtained by cutting in circles and gluing them on top of each other. The filler varnish can be applied to cover the pores to obtain a good result in painting processes.

B. There are a lot of kinds of plastic sheets but the most used sheets in model making are:

b1. PVC based plastic sheets (trade name forex) They are plates that have variable thickness of 1-2-3-6-10-20 mm's and approximately 5 meter square big. Also they can be cut very easily by cutter blades and be glued by cyanoacrylate adhesives rigidly in a few seconds. Used in all architectural, and industrial design models and street signs this material is durable against all kinds of paints, thinners and external effects. By heating till it becomes oilcloth-like, any form can be molded by pressing. Today they are unchangeable materials of model making.

b2. Acrylic sheets are widely named as "plexiglass". They can be found easily in 1-2-3-4-5-6-8-10-15-20-40 mm thicknesses and 135x205 cm dimensions. Besides to these there are acrylics sticks and tubes in different radii. Color alternatives are wide in acrylic plates. Also they are produced opaque and transparent. They can be cut in workshop machines. By heating they can be softened to be shaped, the stains and matt regions on cut façades can be removed by using sand and automobile paste. Also acrylic can be painted with auto paint although it does not hold on the surface very strongly. The adhesive for joining plexiglas is chloroform. Two smooth surface are pressed tightly together and chloroform is dropped in between them by the help of a small brush. After a minute of waiting joining is done. Also cyanoacylate based adhesives can be used but they may form smoke like stains on the joining faces.

b3. ABS sheets are very durable, as they are the same material with the ones that are used in industry. They can be cut, joined and painted very easily.

c- Metal sheets made from are aluminum- sheet iron-copper and brass. After cutting process mat finish can be obtained by sanding. They can be painted with all kinds of paints.

There is no related article.