(written from a Production point of view)
Delphos Lee Ettleman (26 April 1933 – 20 November 2007; age 74), generally known as Lee Ettleman, was a model maker in the employ of Magicam, Inc. during 1977-1979, and has contributed to the production of the studio models for Star Trek: The Motion Picture. Employed as lathe operator in Magicam's machine shop, he was responsible for cutting the aluminum parts that were used to construct the internal armatures for the studio models, that were necessary for structural integrity, internal strength and as attachment points for the mounting booms for filming. The most notable ones he constructed were for the eight foot refit-Enterprise model. (Star Trek: Creating the Enterprise, 1st ed, p. 48)
A lathe operator by trade, The Motion Picture has been Ettleman's only recorded motion picture credit, though he has contributed to Magicam's Emmy Award winning television series Cosmos, the Magicam follow-up project embarked upon directly after The Motion Picture. In daily life, Ettleman has worked in the boat excursion business, as well as operating his own surf, and scuba diving shop.
Lee Ettleman passed away in 2007 in his home state California.