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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

January 6, 2017

5 Ways Technology Is Boosting the Model Making Industry

The internet has benefited a wide range of industries, with bespoke model making being no exception. File sharing and communication technologies allow companies and clients from
December 15, 2016
modern model making

Manufacturing Traditional Items with Modern Technology – Display Models

For many projects we embark upon, modern manufacturing technology gives us superior results compared to traditional methods. Using computer-assisted tools and design software can allow us

For many projects we embark upon, modern manufacturing technology gives us superior results compared to traditional methods. Using computer-assisted tools and design software can allow us to offer our clients more complex, better manufactured models for their commercial or display purposes. This blog post is about designing and manufacturing display models for clients.


Most businesses will need to have a display model manufactured at some point in their lifetime; whether to promote a new product, entice new customers or just to show off a bit, a large scale display model can wow crowds and drive sales.

We have a long history of manufacturing models for display purposes, ranging from large scale versions of products for sales purposes to bespoke one off installations in high-end stores. This has included models for pharmaceutical companies, exclusive fashion brands, as well as concept models for exhibitions and televised appearances.

One of the main advantages that modern technology has presented us is the use of CAD (Computer Aided Design) software; while previously we would have had to draw out complicated technical drawings of a project, CAD gives us the ability to plan out a project in great detail, giving us precise measurements and detailed 3Dimages to work to. It also allows us to present a rendered image of a finished model to a client, ensuring they are able to give any feedback before manufacturing has begun. CAD gives us the opportunity to test the structural and environmental properties of a model before manufacture; we can see where additional supports could be needed, or whether a model could survive high winds if it was hanging on the outside of a building. This helps us to minimise problems through
out manufacture, installation and beyond.

Using CAD for Display Models

Another advantage of utilising CAD in our manufacturing of display models is that it allows us to use the CAD to create other items, like rapid prototypes, lost wax castings, and fibreglass moulds. These items become much more coAeroflot model created by JH Mayst effective for small scale production when employing CAD software. Utilising both the CAD and
our 5-axis milling machine, we can manufacture items from a wide variety of materials, creating designs that would have been too time consuming or expensive to manufacture by hand. This allows us to provide a wide range of expert services, including 3D printing, fibreglass manufacture, detailed prototypes and industrial concept models. Using CAD means different parts of projects can be manufactured using a variety of processes, with us being safe in the knowledge that the components will all fit together again; this saves the client time and money as it negates the need for trial and error manufacturing.

Using the CAD to manufacture items, as well as laser scanning to capture 3D images, allows us to utilise our bespoke model making skills at a scale that may have been unachievable previously. Our display models in the past have utilised 3D scanning to recreate footballers’ likenesses in a monumental homage to Mount Rushmore, scale up products over 200 times their original size, and create large scale models affixed to the back of cars to be driven around cities. This range of products achieved with 3D scanning illustrates our skill with using the technology and incorporating it into CAD software.

Staying up to date with modern technology has allowed us to streamline processes, speed up manufacture and offer more services to our clients. We’ve manufactured huge display models, used specialised and unusual materials, and manufactured 3D printed items that have astounded clients. If you think your next project could benefit from the best in bespoke model making and our excellent design engineers, email us at simon@jhmay.com or phone on 01277 365500.