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

February 13, 2017

3 Techniques We Use to Fast Track the Manufacturing Process

When designing models for companies around the globe we often have to work to a fast delivery date, set to meet an international marketing campaign, a
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

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 around the globe to share concepts, ideas and images with us, allows us to send renderings and updates back in real time, and allows our work to reach a global market of customers if the clients choose to share it through an internet marketing campaign or share a picture of it on their social media sites. Here are a few ways technology is giving the model making industry a boost:


Always being able to get in contact with a client and keep them updated on how the job is going assures the client that everything is above board, and instantly being able to contact them about any issue instils trust. With the use of email and instant messaging growing over the last few decades, just get in touch if you want us to keep you posted; updates and pictures of your model are only ever a conversation away. Our website has allowed more global clients to find us, and more communication between us and prospective clients.


Using Software in the model making processOur Design Engineers utilising CAD software to design a project

Showing rendered images and designs of how a finished model will look allows clients to make changes before manufacture has begun. Designs can be tested and stressed using FEA; this can showcase issues before they arise, and all copies and changes can be instantly sent to the client through the wonders of email. Our design engineers can create a CAD of your model, or if you need a scale model of an existing item (for a Point of Sale display or an edited prototype) we can use laser scanning to reverse engineer the item with incredible precision.


CNC milling allows us to mechanically create models rapidly and in a variety of materials, including wood, metals and model board. With 22 CNC milling and turning machines ranging from 3 to 5 axis, we can turn CAD drawings into functioning models much faster than traditional model manufacturing – perfect for clients with a tight deadline who don’t want to sacrifice quality. We’ve modelled and manufactured projects for a range of industries, from large scale displays to precise multi-faceted prototypes, which are quickly and efficiently manufactured by our expert engineers.

creating technically difficult modelsUtilising 3D printing technology to create artistic designs

3D Printing

Having over a decade of experience with 3D printing, we can manufacture and design items accurately and quickly. Combining rapid prototyping techniques with our expert model makers and our paint shop, we can create a wide array of finishes on SLS and SLA printed material to create an impressive finished product. Combined with our knowledge of CAD software, we can create intricate shapes and amazing designs, as well as 3D printing logos and models for a range of industries.

Constantly learning new skills through the internet, and through new software and services, allows us to regularly push the boundaries of new technologies, as well as learning and sharing experiences of different methods to utilises old technology too. This has led us to finding new ways of combine old and new technology; we’ve 3D printed and hand-painted models which traditionally would have taken weeks to make by hand. We’ve utilised CAM software to design the packaging to keep a model safe in transit. We’ve hand modelled sculptures out of clay, built on a CAD-designed structural support. All in all, the combination of cutting-edge manufacturing technologies and over 70 years of model-making expertise means that we can manufacture models in a fraction of the time without sacrificing the excellent quality we are known for.

Having such a wealth of information at our fingertips also allows us to find other high quality manufacturers; these contacts, who often specialise in other niche areas of manufacture, allows us to team up and create the best quality product in the shortest time.

For more information on any of our manufacturing processes or to schedule a consultation, email simon@jhmay.com or phone us on 01277 365500