Adam Savage builds a makerspace model out of foamcore

Originally published at: Adam Savage builds a makerspace model out of foamcore | Boing Boing

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From the sound the table saw makes cutting it, I think his foamcore is quite different from the sheets I get at the Dollarama.

While I like the “ghost” aesthetic of plain white outlines, it would give a better illustration of how things looked to print out images of the walls and floors and paste them onto the foam core. Might be quicker than actually cutting out the windows and doors as well. It would certainly be cheaper than Dwarven Forge stuff for gaming.

Probably too long to use in this case, but when adding measurements with a tape measure, I often just add them on the measure itself. eg. start the measure of the second wall where on the tape measure where the measurement for the second wall ended. Once you’re done, you have the total length. rather than remembering the numbers and adding them.

They MAKE architectural scales that have feet and inches on them for various scales.

In terms of architectural, or (closer to my background) a theatrical, scenic rendering, a “white model” is an important step. As Adam says … you have to build it. But in an early phase, you want to create a simple model that can be cut up, manipulated, torn apart, re-assembled, and basically edited. WITHOUT spending too much effort. If you start to detail every floor and wall, you become too tied to the small model, which is meant as an exploratory object, not a finished project.

In graduate school, I had a scenic design professor who would often break apart an re-arrange our models … to good effect, and an improvement on our initial student impulses - but with the added effect of reinforcing that the early stages are more about showing those impulses, and creating a medium for discussion, and not spending time and effort making a finished product that may actually need a lot of further work.

Later, as you and the director / client / architect start to narrow down on a finished project, you tend to put more effort into the model - making it a more detailed, specific representation. Similar to what you’ve implied, it’s not uncommon to print out the groundplan at 1/2" scale (1:24) and paste it to the foamcore/matteboard as a guide before making the model. I was a little dissapointed that Adam didn’t just spray-adhesive the plans to the foam core and go from there, which is a fairly common approach.

The next step up from a plain white model is often the same, but with printed textures glued to the surfaces (sometimes colored, sometimes black and white). Sometimes it’s simple representations of the the surfaces - construction paper, or a color printout of a texture. It’s only as you narrow in on a final product that you expend the time and effort - much more than in this video - to address the fine details, textures, and paint treatments. Using modeling materials to create dimensionality and detail… Think of the difference between a print out of flag stone, and scale representation of flagstone.

And, yes, you can find metric or imperial architectural scale rules. I’m a little sad that Savage doesn’t use one. Yet, at the same time, I’m impressed that he just translates very facily from a tape measure, since he’s building in an imperial scale. Math, ftw!

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