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.

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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

July 12, 2016

Prototypes – Advances in Technology

In this series of blogs, we will talk about how we make use of modern technological advances to offer a fast turnaround service for our customers
June 15, 2016
Architectural award using tradition manufacturing

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 that would

In this series of blogs, we will focus on how we use advances in manufacturing processes to aid the creation of models and prototypes that would have previously been completely handcrafted. Using computer-assisted tools and design technologies can help us manufacture the most complex items from a wide range of materials, all faster than it would have been possible to carve by hand. The first in this series is on architectural models and how we utilise different manufacturing techniques to make them surpass our client’s expectations.

Technology advances manufacturing in all industries. Items that were difficult to manufacture become easier over time, and computerised design and manufacturing leads to less mistakes (human error). This saves a project time and money when manufacturing, whether you’re working in low volume or high. Mistakes (or trial and error manufacturing) cause delays, whereas working with CAD software allows engineers to check how an item will perform before manufacturing begins. Similarly, CNC engineering allows items to be milled to a fraction of a millimetre, leading to products being created with a high level of precision and repeatability. This style of high precision manufacturing is perfect for small batch production, such as prototypes or technologically advanced models.

One of the main ways we’ve updated the manufacturing process for one of our main products is to revolutionise the methods with which we manufacture architectural models. Traditionally, architectural models were presented in either – 2D drawings, Time consuming handmade models or Simple wooden or foam block models; these would be scaled down from design drawings and cut out using traditional saw and sanding combinations. These could only really be used to manufacture simple designs, whereas utilising technological methods allows complex 3 dimensional shapes to be printed or milled with a high level of precision.

Architectural modelCNC Milling with our 5-axis machine allows complex shapes to be milled out of a single piece of material, allowing architectural models to be cut with precision. We’ve used this technique to design complex scaled architectural models from acrylic and ureol, as well as designing and manufacturing bases for models that echo the terrain of the proposed build. Similarly, 3D printing or rapid prototyping allows components or the entire model to be built layer by layer; this can create hollow shapes or complex interwoven designs easily, which would be time consuming to manufacture by hand. Milling leaves the finished product the same colour as whatever material was used, which can then be polished, primed or painted by our expert model makers, and modern 3D printing techniques leave a monochromatic model in a wide range of colours that can also be painted.

Translating CAD information to a file that can be 3D printed is considerably faster than scaling an architectural model using traditional methods; as well this increase in speed, the level of detail and the accuracy of complex shapes that can be produced allows revolutionary architectural designs to be modeled precisely.

The level of detail that can be achieved from 3D printing can be beneficial for helping the client visualise the project, with accurate scale models allowing the viewer to see how the finished building would look amongst the surroundings. While a rough architectural model may only outline the size and shape of the finished building, a 3D printed model can exhibit a level of detail that can amaze clients, as well as being a useful practical tool for architects and contractors. We’ve used SLA and SLS 3D printing to create complex designs including removable floors and design features, as well as creating flowing architectural designs built from a single piece of material. The 3D printing technology can also be used to mass produce components in a model that would be time consuming to manufacture by hand; if you were to design a housing complex, and several models of houses were to be repeated multiple times, 3D printing would allow these parts to be repeated perfectly, quickly and cost effectively.

To save model-building time, and to create high quality and lightweight models that are perfect representations of your design, take advantage of modern manufacturing techniques like 3D printing. For examples of how we’ve utilised all available technologies to manufacture high quality architectural models, view our case study page. Or if you would like more information on what we can achieve with modern technology, get in touch with us by email at simon@jhmay.com or phone us on 01277 365500 for a quotation or a discussion.