Technical model maker (m/f/d)

What does a technical model maker do? 

After a designer or engineer has designed a device or new components for a machine, it cannot be built straight away. A model is needed to visualise the design so that production can begin. As a technical model maker, you build these models and ensure that ideas and new inventions take shape. Technical modelling plays a role in various industries and forms the interface between design and production. After all, tests and measurements have to be carried out before production and prototypes are needed for this. Each industry places different demands on its models and those who produce them. This is why you will specialise in one of two fields during your dual training in mechanical and plant engineering: Foundry modelling or car body modelling.

These specialisations are available

As a technical model maker in foundry model making , you will create models for casting moulds. To do this, you have to take a number of factors into account. It is not only the shape of the component that is to be cast in the mould that is important, but also the metal that is used. The component may also need to contain cavities. All of these factors are incorporated into your work. For example, you produce so-called cores that prevent the liquid metal from filling cavities. Using lathes and milling machines, you create a model for the subsequent casting mould piece by piece.

In the bodywork and production specialisation, you do not work with casting moulds, but with elements of vehicle construction. You will use CAD (computer-aided design) software to produce models of body parts, tools and moulds. To do this, you first create a construction plan. You then put your plan into practice using milling machines and lathes. Above all, you pay attention to accuracy so that all dimensions are correct and each part fits seamlessly into the overall design. If not, you rework by hand. This requires a sure instinct and an eye for detail.

Where are you needed?

In technical modelling, you work with computer programs as well as with your hands. This means that you alternate between desk and workbench in your day-to-day work. The sector you work in, on the other hand, depends on the specialisation you choose during your dual training. If you specialise in foundry model making, for example, foundry companies in the steel industry are potential employers for you. If you specialise in bodywork and production, you will be perfectly suited for a career with a mechanical engineering company or in the automotive industry.

What should you bring with you? 

If you are applying for a dual apprenticeship in technical model making, you can impress above all with good spatial awareness. You need this to build dimensionally accurate models. If you can think outside the box, so to speak, that’s an added bonus. Technical understanding is also a great advantage, as you need to be able to understand which functions the components you are modelling will later fulfil. Your future training company will also want you to have at least a secondary school leaving certificate. If you also have no problem getting stuck in and getting to work in the workshop yourself, then you really are made for a dual apprenticeship as a technical model maker.

Your apprenticeship at a glance 

  • Duration 3.5 years
  • Theory at vocational school, practice in the training company
  • A wide range of training content, from creating two- and three-dimensional sketches to manufacturing processes such as milling or turning and operating CAD programmes.
  • After your apprenticeship, you can start your career straight away. And even after your final examination, you have the opportunity to continue your professional development. For example, with further training to become a technician in foundry technology or a master craftsman in model making. As completing the dual training programme also opens the door to university, you can also consider studying, for example in product development or mechanical engineering.

Training period:

3.5 years

Recommended school-leaving qualification:

High school

Average salary:

1st year: € 1,032 to € 1,154
2nd year: € 1,083 to € 1,187
3rd year: € 1,159 to € 1,261
4th year: € 1,238 to € 1,329

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