69 hours in the making: Miami Metro Mover, 1:500 model

Size isn’t everything with models. Although the station roof in the model measures only six inches, it was the most important part for architects, Weston Williamson to communicate a key feature of the design for this competition entry. It looks deceptively simple but to get the look and feel of an ETFE roof Amalgam Modelmaking had to produce a vacuum-form master. Using the data supplied by the client they then produced a tooling path so that they could CNC route the organic shape from chemical wood. This was then polished to get the best possible finish on the final vacuum-formed shape. The surface was made by first engraving the grid lines onto a thin piece of acrylic. The laser was unfocused to soften the edges of the grid and allow polishing further by hand to achieve the “pillow” texture. The modelmakers then put the acrylic back in the laser to add the finer, structural lines which were filled in with paint and again polished to a high gloss. The material was then ready to form over the master, trim out and paint with a translucent lacquer.