These models can be called a variety of names – from 3D land form models, raised relief models, or just a topographic map. Whichever name you use, architects and engineers use topographic maps for many purposes. For over half a century our highly skilled model makers at Rauda Scale Models Inc have been fabricating land form models ranging from landslide raised relief models, to a proposed terraced site for new buildings. As you can see in this category, the models generally have various features painted. When we supply a landform map painted, this typically consists of a ground color and a road color. In addition to those features, sidewalks are sometimes added as well as any water feature. Parking lots are usually the same color as roads, but depending on the model scale parking lines can be added. An option to consider for these raised relief models is fomica sides instead of painted sides. Black formica is the color we stock, and it gives a more finished look to the raised relief models, plus it helps protect the model's edge from damage. For these types of 3D land form models, the architect or engineer will often build the structures in house that will go on the model. There always is the option that Rauda Scale Models INC. fabricates some or all of the structures on your project. Typically, these land forms are used as nice study models, where the architect can use them in-house to mock up various designs of the specific project, as well as a presentation tool to present to the projects stake holders.
These types of land form models can be fabricated in a couple of days once we have the contour information. The information that we need from you is a CAD dwg or CAD dxf file showing the landform's contours. A pdf file will work, but requires a few more steps to set up the information for milling.
We will need the following pieces of information on the provided CAD file:
1. Contours which are numerically labeled so we know where the high point and low point is located.
2. An outline on the map showing us exactly the area covered by the 3d terrain model.
3. Model scale with a scale bar. The scale bar is so we can double check the scale of the provided CAD file, and to be able to convert the drawing to the correct model scale. A scale bar is not necessary if there is a dimensioned feature that we can measure such as a property line.
4. A land form model designating which features will be painted what color on the landform. This can be done by highlighting a hard-copy with colored markers, and emailing us a scan or photo of this marked-up hard-copy.
For us to complete a painted landform model, we will need the color number from a supplier such as Parker Paints, Sherwin Williams or Benjamin Moore. Since we have been doing this for over half a century, in most cases we can give you a price range over the phone without even seeing any drawings. We just need to know approximate size of the land form model, model scale, and approximate elevation change.
Even though these are small projects, we as model makers very much enjoy them because it is nice to work on a model that goes from start to finish in possibly as little as 48 hours. In addition, there is just something magical about taking blocks of polyurethane foam and transforming them into interesting land forms.
The material these 3D land form models are machined from is very user friendly to cut away to fit your architectural features. A #11 x-acto will cut this material with ease. If you need to cut in buildings into the landform map, a #16 x-acto blade is very much liked by model makers because it is 2.5x longer than a #11 – the real work horse.
Call or email us any questions you have about the process to get started on your landform map. If you already have a CAD file ready, email it to us and we can let you know if we need any additional information to get started. As a family-owned business now in the second generation, we have been making 3D land form models since 1960, and at this stage it is in our blood.
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