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Member profile : Solve 3D

beautiful design, Valkyrie 2 Business Class Suite Prototype
Valkyrie 2 Business Class Suite Prototype

Solve 3D was first set up by Chris Hill in 2004 to undertake traditional model-making, prototypes and ‘objects of beauty’ for clients. Solve 3D’s clients have included some of the world’s leading designers and global companies.

From an early age, Chris has always been interested in design. He loved woodwork, metalwork and technical drawing at school. Even at a young age he was a problem solver, trying to make things work better, innovating and adapting.

Chris Hill - Solve 3D
Chris Hill

Chris studied for a two-year HND in Industrial Model Making and Technical Graphics at Hertfordshire College of Art and Design. He then worked for design consultants in London for six years before setting up his first company Benchmark Model Making in 1992 and establishing an impressive portfolio of clients.

The range of projects

As a trained Industrial Design Model Maker, the main core of the business for Chris at Solve 3D has always been traditional model-making for the design industry – encompassing product design, packaging, transport, advertising and film work.

Solve 3D has been approached to undertake bespoke design and build projects, cabinetmaking, fine jewellery and heritage projects for museums. He has worked for a number of globally acclaimed designers and named manufacturers on a broad range of projects. From some of the first available home computers to the world’s most expensive mobile phone, the scope of Chris’s work has been eclectic; no two jobs have ever been the same.

PYE 1957 Outside Broadcast Vehicle
PYE 1957 Outside Broadcast Vehicle

Over 37 years of business Chris’s clients have demanded as near perfection as can be achieved, so in order to gain his enviable reputation, Chris has had to become a master of the skills he has acquired. Furthermore he always uses the best materials available and the most appropriate techniques for each job to achieve exceptional results.

The process

Chris is often mistaken for the designer of the things he makes, and while there is often design engineering required, in most cases, the original form, detail and finish is the work of the client. In the old days, designers would have good knowledge of manufacturing and this would inform their design. These days, designers tend to focus on the aesthetic and leave the decisions on how things are made to design engineers or people like Chris who design and build with a view to manufacture. 

Mont Blanc ink Well
Model Ink Well for Mont Blanc

Chris considers himself a problem solver who can take an object containing a number of ‘cross platform’ skills and fully resolve the client’s vision, to a standard second to none. His workshop is crammed with a variety of kits from traditional cabinet making equipment to traditional engineering. This is supplemented with more specialised equipment such as a laser cutter, vacuum forming and casting equipment and even a paint finishing and graphics section with silk-screen printing capabilities.

Since moving to the studio and workshop in rural East Yorkshire a few years ago Chris has established working relationships with a number of skilled local artisans and applied their contributions to cutting-edge design. Keeping traditional skills relevant by applying them to 21st century challenges is something that is important to him.

Recent times

In recent years and with the majority of the product design work going to China most of Chris’s work has come from the airline industry, where Chris’s team has built a number of full-size finished prototypes of First and Business class suites. There has also been a resurgence of museum, exhibition and film work.

Perfume Selfridges London
Perfume Boutique at Selfridges London

The Covid-19 crisis placed most of the planned projects on hold but curiously this has been filled by a rise in people ordering bespoke library shelving and furniture for garden offices.

Chris feels lucky to receive a variety of unusual and challenging projects which serve to maintain his love of making.

A Guild member and a true master of his craft!

For further information contact via:

Findacraftsman.com

Website: www.solve3d.com

Tel: 01262 490636, 07830 316806 (mobile)

Email: chris@solve3d.com

Comments

  • david tonge
    23/10/2020 at 5:24 pm

    I have worked with Chris since the early 90’s.

    Having had the pleasure to work with prototype makers here in the UK as well as the US and Japan, I can unreservedly say Chris is the best of the best. He consistently builds prototypes and models which add value to my projects and clients experience. My predominantly Japanese clients, no slouches in the world of craft skills, are blown away by the level of detail, mechanical sophistication and surface finish Chris delivers.

    Work with Chris – he will deliver something fantastic.

  • Kiril Guriev
    24/10/2020 at 2:11 pm

    Much of the best work of the world has been done against seeming impossible. That’s where Chris steps in. During the last several years Chris took care of different stages of my product development starting with feasibility study, R&D and MVP to the fully functional unit. The most hard-working and highly professional person I had the pleasure to working with.

  • David Fisher
    25/10/2020 at 6:46 am

    I’ve known and worked with Chris for 25+ years. It’s an understatement to say he is passionate about his craft and he can literally make anything, perfectly and precisely. I know no one better at bringing your designs to life, you are in very safe hands.

  • Peter O'Halloran
    25/10/2020 at 11:04 am

    I like to think I have a good level of granularity when doing most things in life, but when it comes to details, Chris’ way of doing things is microscopic. Supported by a can do attitude and an engineering mindset, Chris was an asset to our Project and I’m sure will be to any new design challenges he takes on.

  • Simon Fisher
    26/10/2020 at 6:21 am

    There is no one finer to undertake your model making needs! Chris is absolutely amazing and redefines ‘the extra mile’ when it comes to attention to detail and quality of workmanship

  • Charles Greenway
    26/10/2020 at 10:20 am

    We have worked with Chris since he started in business which is pretty good endorsement of how highly we value his skills. Quite simply we have never had higher quality models or prototypes supplied.

  • Phil Champ
    28/10/2020 at 12:16 pm

    I have known Chris for over twenty years. He is obsessive about detail and quality in every piece of work that I have ever seen of his.
    A true craftsman who is totally driven by results.
    A better problem solver than most designers and engineers and shows real passion in his work

  • Aleksandr Bernhard
    28/10/2020 at 1:28 pm

    I have known Chris since 2003 when my company first contracted him to create a highly specialized and technically challenging model for a first-of-its-kind wearable technology / high jewelry bracelet. We had conducted a global search to find the right model maker who would be able to deliver a top notch prototype within the correct budget and timeframe. We were also very much against outsourcing the work to the lowest bidder as in the long run we had learned that this always ends up costing more for an inferior product. We were delighted to have found Chris through multiple referrals and were impressed by his work ethic and attention to detail. We have used him for our model making needs since and gladly refer him to others looking for a model maker who has a specialized set of skills not often found.

  • Simon James
    30/10/2020 at 1:19 am

    I am delighted to see this article about Chris in the Guild of Master Craftsman. Having worked with Chris for 7 years, I can attest to his high standard of work, attention to detail and meticulous execution of work. His skills go beyond any other model maker I know. Model maker, designer, engineer and creative thinker, are just some of the hats that Chris is more than deserving of wearing. If you have, or are lucky enough to work with Chris, you will be recognize how unique of an individual he is.

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