Tips and Tricks

This page provides tips and tricks for model making.

10 Tips for Marvellous Models

1. Start with a clean workspace

Starting out with a clean workspace will make the making process quicker and easier.

2. Get lit

Work with adequate lighting to the task. In general, smaller tasks usually require more light.

3. Keep it close

Keep tools for a particular task next to your workspace.

4. Know your material

Take care selecting your materials and understanding its properties, including how to cut, which glue to use, and how it will respond to paint and other processes.

5. Measure twice, cut once

Double-check your measurements and alignment prior to cutting.

6. Stay sharp

Cut patiently, using several lighter cuts to penetrate thicker materials. Replace cutting blades often for neater cuts and to save time.

7. Know your glue

Using the appropriate glue for the materials and application and applying it with care will make a big difference to the quality of your model.

8. Line it up

Take care when attaching components together. Lining things up neatly will make a big difference to the overall quality of your model.

9. Don't rush

Time management is key to effective model making, and can be the difference between an enjoyable or harrowing process. Rushing can also lead to silly mistakes and injuries where adequate care is not taken.

10. Finish with a clean workspace

Tidying up properly and cleaning your tools when you're done ends up saving a lot of time.

Guru Desk

The Guru Desk is located within the FabLab model making space and can provide advice and assistance with particular model making issues.


Archicle is a student-led initiative operating through the UMSU. One of Archicle's key initiatives is to reduce the cost of model making by recycling common materials. You can get in touch with Archicle on Facebook or by email on

Peer-to-Peer Advice

Sharing advice with fellow students is a great way to increase the knowledge of the entire MSD community. A key part of this is fostering safe and responsible work practices. With this in mind, if you are unsure of something please refer to FabLab staff.

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