CLAY MODELS – need a lift?


Clay models in a design studio are either mounted on posts/pins screwed into the cast iron or steel plate or on a lifter.

What are the pros and cons of the posts and the lifter?

First of all why do we need to raise the clay model?

1. The Z-axis stroke of clay mills starts way off the floor level
2. If we see from the guys working below the below-door or sill areas are hard to work on without the clay being raised up.

car model mounted on higher posts

Point 1 cannot be argued with, although some vendors like Wenzel provide angle brackets to minimize the height of the dead milling area above the plate.

Looking again at the photo to the left, it’s clear to see that it would be even more convenient to work on the model if it was even higher up that shown here.

modelers working on the lower areas of car model

This picture shows the model mounted on higher
posts and it looks like the modelers have a good set up to work on the lower areas. I have heard designers say that the sill areas can have the least ‘style’ on the whole vehicle.

No modeler wants to work lying down on a cold steel plate for hours! If the model was mounted higher still, it would be even more convenient though.

modelers working on the lower areas of car model

This picture shows a model mounted in what would seem to be a convenient working height for the lower areas of the vehicle. This type of lifter (known as a scissor lift) provides an excellent range of Z-axis working heights.

This type of lifts are relatively cheap, but the Z positioning is not accurate so they are not compatible with automatic milling without the table height being recalibrated. Most are also perhaps not stable enough for high speed milling.

So if it’s important to have the model high enough so that modelers can give the sill areas the same degree of attention, why not just put the model on really high posts?

Two reasons why not

1. How can the modelers then work on the roof areas?
2. Most CNC mills don’t have a massive Z-stroke, so if the model is mounted too high milling operation cannot be performed on the roof areas either.

So what’s the answer?

Here is a new, driven lifter which was unveiled in the Wenzel Design Studio recently. Whilst this solution can be a little pricey, it offers massive benefits;

car model mounted on higher posts1. Manual (through a pendant) or automatic height adjustment
2. Repeatable and accurate positioning – mill – reset height –mill
3. Strong and stable telescopic legs for high speed milling
4. Quickly raise of lower for the most convenient working height for manual modelling
5. Lower completely to flush floor plate height for good studio aesthetics and easy cleaning

Need a lift? Let Wenzel help.

Andy Woodward
Wenzel America

car model mounted on higher posts
car model mounted on higher posts
car model mounted on higher posts