About Us

Columbian Models makes scale models and exhibits for senior living specialists, real estate developers, large corporations, museums, foundations, attorneys, movies and TV shows. In business for over 30 years, we are located at 1528 W. Adams in Chicago, Illinois. We work nationally and internationally.

The owner Catherine E. Tinker, practiced law for 10 years before resigning her partnership to become a “model lawyer” in 1990. The original intention was to focus on trial exhibits but the architectural model making side of the business quickly took off. All of the senior staff has worked together for more than 20 years. William Bauman has been making scale models and exhibits since 1984. He managed Laser Art Studio, a laser cutting service provider, for 6.5 years before coming to work with CMEW in 1999. In addition to designing and building models and exhibits, he handles our computerized lighting schemes. He also programs and runs our milling machine which allows us to make topographic models. He received a Bachelor of Architecture from IIT in 1986. He successfully completed the IIT Graduate program in Public Administration program in 2001, graduating with a Master’s Degree in Public Administration with High Honors. He also holds a GIS Graduate Certificate with high honors.John M. Schell received a BS in Architecture from the University of Illinois in 1986. He took part in the Versailles Architecture Program in 1984 -1985. He is CMEW’s most senior employee. He has been leading model design teams for 34 years and is the primary reason we succeeded when we first started CMEW.

Romel Rodriguez has been with CMEW for over 20 years. He started working as a model maker in Miami in 1996 and joined CMEW in 2001. His technical model making skills and attention to detail are outstanding. If the task is overly complex or difficult, we are confident that Romel is the person for the job. Romel earned his BA in Publishing and Advertising in Venezuela and is fluent in both English and Spanish.

All of our model makers are expert in 2d and 3d cad programs as well as the use of our 3d printers. We design the models in 2d and 3d and then laser cut and 3d print parts. These elements are hand painted and then assembled in our studio.We started using 3d printing when we were commissioned to make a Model of the City of Chicago for the Chicago Architecture Foundation in 2007. At that time using 3d printing in architectural scale model making was uncommon. As the cost of 3d printing machines became more affordable we invested in machines. Today we operate 7 machines in house.Located at 1528 W Adams in Chicago Illinois, we have 10000 square feet of space. We have the space to handle any size project – from a full scale model of the Mars Curiosity Rover to a scale model of the City of Chicago.Review our References Contact us at 312 243 2655 or columbianmodel@gmail.com

Columbian Model & Exhibit Works, Ltd.

1528 W. Adams 2nd fl. Chicago, Illinois 60607 312 243 2655

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