Welcome to

JH May

J H May are well known high-tech model makers that offer a first class service to creative and manufacturing industry alike.

Read More

Professional Model Makers JH May

We are equipped with comprehensive 3D CNC machining facilities, large 5 axis milling, 3D printing, 3D scanning, SolidWorks CAD design, paint shop and electro- mechanical assembly. In short, everything we need to provide models, sculpture, prototypes and bespoke pieces in one place with speed and precision.

J H May has built up a great reputation over the last 70 years as one of the best model makers in the industry by creating highly accurate and quality products for clients, from the first concept right through to the finished product. Our aim is to translate whatever the clients conceptualise to form. Our client’s more often than not say we have exceeded their expectations, and this is on both individual projects and turnkey type projects. We believe we are amongst the most talented professionals in the industry, delivering excellent work on time every time.

We can assist with visual, animated and interactive models that are required for exhibitions, architectural displays, promotions and various other types of displays. We will take your concept through to reality with JH Mays highly skilled team made up of modelling specialists, engineers and 3D designers. We have experience in the entire process and can therefore offer an exceptional service to customers that is performed right here under the one roof.

Our team of designers are highly experienced and have created a name for themselves through creating fully functioning prototype products and assemblies both quickly and cost effectively. They are also experienced in traditional hand and woodworking skills. We have worked with some of the best known brands creating models to depict a wide variety of products and concepts.

The JH May Model Makers Process

Our many years in the industry as model makers in has allowed us to develop a refined process. Speed of delivery and quality are optimised by utilising cutting edge CNC machining and rapid prototyping technologies, but you can be assured the team never forget that the final presentation has to be outstanding. It is the company’s goal to supply amazing results and to delight our clients every time. This is what sets us apart from others in the industry.

Continuous investment in CNC milling and Rapid prototyping equipment has been invaluable in supporting the comprehensive skills of our team. In recent years we have responded to demands for large scale items with the purchase of a large capacity 5 axis CNC machining equipment, which has enabled us to create both enormous and sculpture pieces for the promotional, exhibition, experiential and art sectors.

Our mechanical and product team are supported by up to the minute technology. Our sister company Thompson Precision, which operates from the same factory complex, employs the most modern CNC machining processes. This allows us to offer complex high precision mechanical components and assemblies as part of our prototyping services. Being able to offer this gives us a clear advantage when it comes to mechanical concepts and prototypes as well as animated or articulating models. It is rare to find all of these engineering skills under one roof alongside highly skilled product, architectural, display and exhibition modelling experts.

3D CAD design as well as design assistance is an integral part of the business and greatly improves our speed of service. Our Solidworks design package and 2 dedicated 3D design engineers permit us to contribute on projects without delay to help solve production issues. In addition we can design pretty much anything you require, components, prototypes and electro mechanical operational products quickly and economically from scratch.

Here at J H May, our ethos is to work with you, to help solve issues and create solutions for whatever challenges you face with your project. This sets us apart from our competition and keeps clients coming back time and time again.

Electronics Enclosure This case study was from a client who was very specific about the requirements for this electronics enclosure for the exact positional tolerances. It was a challenging job and one we completed to perfection....Read More
Mechanical Prototyping of a Fishing Reel. The client for this case study had a new fishing reel concept that they wanted us to manufacturer so they could test it out before taking the design further....Read More
We offer services which employ the latest technology. These include CNC machining, rapid prototypes, CAD design and CAM manufacturing. These are supported by traditional hand modelling techniques, vacuum casting, RIM moulding and paint shop.
Our model makers have a very broad skill base and we can produce many types of models and prototypes including architectural, industrial, exhibition, mechanical, concept and wind tunnel.
When you need the services of an expert model maker there are few companies with the vast experience J H May has accumulated over 90 years of trading. It has always been our policy to invest in the very best equipment and processes available and today our 10,000 sq ft purpose built factory is packed with the latest technology including 5 axis CNC machining, 3D printing and laser scanning. Manned by highly skilled model makers, engineers and 3D CAD designers we offer an all-encompassing model making service. Read More

Our Blogs

June 15, 2016
Architectural award using tradition manufacturing

Manufacturing traditional items with modern technology

Architectural Models In this series of blogs, we will focus on how we use advances in manufacturing processes to aid the creation of models and prototypes
May 16, 2016
3D Award

Traditional Techniques Benefit Modern Manufacturing

Creating models will always be a hands-on profession; using modern manufacturing techniques saves time, but model making skills aren’t at risk of being lost. Read More

Creating models will always be a hands-on profession; using modern manufacturing techniques saves time, but model making skills aren’t at risk of being lost.

Using modern manufacturing techniques we can quickly create models of almost any size, utilising traditional skills, our range of CNC Machining Centres and our history with Rapid Prototyping techniques. Working from a CAD file, an outline or shape can be formed in no time at all; to achieve more than just an outline, our expert model makers are required to use some of their hand-manufacturing expertise. Working with incredible detail, our model makers can sand down and create a high quality finish on a range of materials, before utilising our custom-built paint facilities to create a perfect high-quality replica of your product, or a prototype of your design. These can be used for museum exhibits, private collections, commercial exhibitions, or point-of-sale displays.

When utilising modern manufacturing techniques, there are plenty of systems in place to speed up the manufacturing process; using laser scanning

3D Model being created

A 3D printed project ready for painting.

saves design engineers the time-intensive task of manually drawing a CAD of an existing item, and using modern manufacturing techniques like CNC machining and Rapid Prototyping means that our model makers don’t have to hand-sculpt every item coming through the workshop. However, there really is no substitute for a hands on approach to manufacturing; while machines can be used to speed up the process, the best finish will always be achieved by patient and practical hard work.

Just because we’re skilled with rapid prototyping techniques, that doesn’t mean we’re afraid of getting our hands dirty; we still enlist a hands-on approach to a project when we need to. Recently we created a near-life size model of tennis champion Rafael Nadal, hand-sculpted entirely out of tennis court clay. We will always try to choose the best process for any project, and our wide ranging expertise allows us to tailor those processes around what you as the client needs from the project.

With hand-painting models to match the client’s specifications, and hand-sanding to ensure a project has a high-quality finish without straying from the dimensions of the client’s design, our model makers are trained with decades of experience to utilise their skills to create artistic and precise models and products in conjunction with mechanised manufacturing. With producing models from small-scale designs to large sculptures, our model makers can often spend hours hand-sanding and painting a project; it’s this care and attention that creates models of the highest quality.

Modern manufacturing processes also have their drawbacks; 3D printed items need to be painstakingly hand-sanded to create a smooth primed surface for a high-quality painted finish, and CNC machined products also need time-intensive rubbing down to create a smooth surface, whether for moulding or as a finished product. This utilisation of technology and experience is where we thrive, with over 70 years in the model making industry and large-scale investment in recent engineering advances; alongside our sister company Thompson Precision, we make use of 22 CNC Machines with a range of  benefits for computerised manufacturing. However these too have limitation; with most CNC machines having limited dimensions of operation, our design engineers can work with these restrictions by splitting designs and inserting dowels at the design stage to aid with the re-joining of the different parts.

Utilising over a decade’s worth of experience with 3D printing technology, we regularly design and create a range of products manufactured from a variety of different 3D printed processes. The experience and knowledge we have amassed concerning the different methods of 3D printing allows us to accurately assist clients with choosing the right manufacturing method for their project; letting them know the benefits and drawbacks of different methods. Many of the styles of printing leaves a colourless or monochromatic object, so we enlist our expert model makers to create a high-quality painted finish. With this mix of traditional methods and modern manufacturing, astounding and durable shapes can be manufactured with the same high-quality finish our clients expect from our projects.

If you think you have a project that we can help you with, get in touch by email or phone using the contact information at the top of the page, and see how we can use modern and traditional manufacturing techniques to aid your project. For a consultation, get in touch and we’ll do our best to accommodate any needs you may have.