Anyone looking for a model making company here in Berlin
should be aware of all the options available, and fortunately there are quite a few. There are companies that will cut, sand, glue, and paint a model from start to finish, and there are companies who are only willing to cut out parts, but don’t have the capacity to assemble and paint the models themselves.
Shortcut (also represented here at Moritzplatz) is of the first variety that has been around for quite some time, and because model making is what they specialize in, they can be relied on to do a good job especially if a model is complex or needs to be finished within a very short time. One relatively new company that is also in this category is Marquette Berlin run by Mirko Avalos Henriquez. I have worked together with Mirko and cannot recommend his business enough.
Shortcut and other established model making companies often have cnc routers, lasercutters and 3D printers, all in-house. This is advantageous for those who want to outsource their model completely, but a lot of the time the budget is too small, and it is necesary to outsource the cutting of the individual parts of the model, and then assemble it oneself.
If this is true for you, then first of all you need to think about what materials you need cut, and how they should be cut, ie. is this something for a lasercutter, or for a cnc router, or should it be 3D printed? If you need a lasercutter (which is usually best for thin materials, 5mm thick or less) then two companies that I can recommend are Formulor and lasernlasern. The important difference between these two is that Formulor is online only, so you can’t bring them your own materials, and you have to order everything through their website. This has the singular advantage of making them very affordable. lasernlasern, run by Martin Bauer, is surprisingly affordable too, so if you have to bring your own material, then Martin is your man (he once lasercut a pattern into Sycamore leaf for me).
If you want to have something cut with a cnc router, then we won’t hesitate to recommend ourselves. Because we don’t specialise in model making, however, we mostly leave the assembly of the models for the clients.
As far as 3D printing goes, there are several huge international companies that you can order your parts from online, but there is also an extremely competent company right here at Moritzplatz called Figurenwerk.
Last but not least, for anyone interested in running the machines themselves, Fablab Berlin has lasercutters, Cnc routers, and 3D printers. They offer courses in which you can learn to run the machines. After taking a course, you can run the machine yourself for a nominal fee, and as a member, you can use their space for model making (this is highly recommended for those interested in meeting other makers).