3D printed architectural model. Source: WhiteClouds
3D printed architectural model. Source: WhiteClouds

Architectural models are used to visually communicate what a structure will look like once it is constructed. A model might also be used when the audience is unable to view the real building, such as in a classroom setting or museum. Architectural scale models display shapes, details, layout and perspectives of a structure that is impossible to achieve with blueprints, a drawing, or even 3D virtual renderings.   

Architectural models have been used in the planning, design, and construction process of homes, office space, retail space, hotels, medical and government buildings, educational institutions, resorts, trade-show booths, displays, bridges, and more. A scale architectural model can be created of just about any physical structure.

Architectural models can be in full-color or monochrome. Some models display the outside of the structure, but scale models can also show the layout and design of the interior of a structure. The model can have a removable roof or be split in two parts to show a cross section of the building or home.   

Create your own architectural model.

Architectural models serve many purposes in various areas of construction and design. Some of these areas include:

New Construction

For most people, especially non-architects and those who don’t work in the construction industry, it’s hard to visualize what a new home and commercial building is actually going to look like once completed. Architectural models instantly communicate the design of a new home or building. With a home model, homeowners can make decisions before the home is under construction; saving time and money and achieving the desired results. Homeowners and developers can also better simulate a home or building on a building lot to capitalize on natural elements such as the sun, wind, and views.  


Architectural models are indispensable tools for selling and marketing real estate. A developer can show potential tenants or homeowners what they can expect once the development or neighborhood is complete. A scale model makes it easy to show retail or office space or apartments to clients interested in leasing space or an apartment.  

Trade Shows

Many construction companies and manufacturers participate in trade shows where their products or projects are much too large to display. However, through scale models, these companies can demonstrate and explain the benefits of their products or be used as a portfolio of past projects.

City and Home Owners Association Approval and Permits

Some cities and homeowners’ associations require an architectural scale model before they will signoff on the required permits. This allows the association or city to view the home or other structure and ensure that it will be cohesive with the neighborhood or surrounding developments.


An architectural model is an excellent way to attract investors, sponsors and donors in a fundraising effort. There isn’t a better way to communicate what an individual or company will be investing in than a model. Models can be put on display during fundraising events, during presentations, and once the project is underway to bring the awareness. 

Public Display

Architectural models are an engaging tool to bring public awareness to a new project. Both private and public construction projects can benefit from having a model on display for local citizens to view and understand the project and how it will benefit and impact them. Architectural models will engage the public and encourage feedback and suggestions when requested.  

Conceptual Architectural

Designers will often create concepts that shape the future of architecture. While these designs aren’t actually constructed, they can be modeled and displayed to inspire others to dream about the possibilities. 3D physical models are a good way to display building concepts that can’t be constructed using today’s technologies, but that might be possible in the future.  

Click here to learn more about 3D-printed architectural models.

Here are the specs on the architectural model featured in this article:

  • Size of model: 13.75” x 5.15” x 9.9”
  • Number of Layers: 1281
  • Build Time: 12 hours and 23 minutes
  • Design Time: 10 hours
  • Software Used: Maya