Miramodus ltd. is a small company based south of Edinburgh in the Scottish Borders, with just a small team of skilled model
builders. Because of that, we are very flexible in what we can build for you. Our aim is to provide you with the best quality
accurate models of your three dimensional molecular and crystal structures. Our team includes former academics with experience
in the biological, chemical and physical sciences, a mathematician and skilled model builders. We also have access to some
highly skilled electronics experience. So, whatever you want built, we almost certainly have the experience to understand
your needs and the ability to make it. If we haven't previously built what you want, we will be able to work out a way to
There is a strong tradition of model making in the Chemistry Department of Edinburgh University. Alexander Crum Brown,
Professor of Chemistry from 1869-1908, was a character of tremendous imagination and ingenuity. As a child, he was fascinated
by models and inventions and he had a life-long interest in knots and a kind of 3D knitting. He built models of all sorts -
a pot of glue was always to hand - and some of his attempts to model crystal growth with assemblies of fused spheres still
survive. Against much opposition, he introduced his "graphic formulae" for organic molecules; these are essentially those
still in use today, showing both the valency and the connectivity of atoms.One remarkable survival is a model constructed
with wool balls and knitting needles to illustrate the rock salt structure. It shows the correct arrangement of ions, which
was only proved much later by X-ray diffraction. It also shows his insight into novel possibilities for crystal structures
at a time when most scientists believedthat all solids were molecular in nature. Crum Brown is commemorated now in the
title of the Chair of Inorganic Chemistry, while his structural representations remain an inspiration.
In the Year the Crum Brown retired, Cecil Arnold Beevers was born in Manchester, moving with his parents to Liverpool a few
months later. He took a degree in Physics at the University of Liverpool in 1929, and then became involved, under the
influence of Lawrence Bragg in Manchester, in research in crystallography. With Henry Lipson, he made major contribution in
the Beevers-Lipson Strips. This method of computing Fourier synthesis was a great aid in the solution of crystal structures
from diffraction data, and was later incorporated as the basis of many computer programs. His solution of many important
crystal structures added greatly to our understanding of matter.
In 1938, Dr Beevers became the Dewar Fellow at Edinburgh University, and models were once more to the fore in the Chemistry
Department, Over the years Dr Beevers experimented with many ways of making models, but found most to be bulky, unattractive,
inaccurate or impermanent. So he devised machines capable of drilling very small balls with great precision, and in the early
1960's he made his first models with 7mm acrylic balls to a scale of 1cm=1Å.
During this time, Dr Beevers had also become actively concerned with the welfare of disabled people, and he was for many
years a manager of the Edinburgh Cripple Aid Society, which ran a centre for physically handicapped people in Simon Square.
Dr Beevers was able to combine his interests by involving the people attending the day centre in model-making, and by the
time he retired from the university in 1977, there were seven people at the Simon Square Day Centre making models which were
sent all over the world. In 1979 the administration of the Simon Square Day Centre passed from he Edinburgh Cripple Aid
Society to the Lothian Regional Council, and the model making continued to be a valued part of the Centre's activities.
Meanwhile, Edinburgh University was making arrangements for the continuation of Dr Beever's work and ideals. The result was
the establishment in 1980 of a self-financing unit within the Chemistry Department - the Beevers Miniature Models Unit,
later becoming known simply as BMM. Sadly, Arnold Beevers died on 16 January 2001, but left a great legacy in the form of
By 2007, most of the original staff had retired leaving Sheila Gould in charge of the unit. After failed attempts to
transfer the business on from the University into private hands outside the university, it was finally formed into a limited
company under the name Miramodus. The name was supposed to be derived from the Greek 'to look at small things', but we were probably lied to and it doesn't really matter anyway. What matters is that the business continues to trade and prides itself on the quality of the
models that it produces.
Nowhere else can you get such precise models of such a huge range of crystal and molecular
structures. The range of models made is constantly growing and now numbers well over 1100 crystal structure models. These
include all standard chemical structures as well as a range of complex minerals and many of the materials of modern solid
state physics. In addition, many hundreds of models of molecules have been made, from novel "metal cluster" compounds through to highly complex
Miramodus Ltd. 7 Nettlingflat, Heriot, EH38 5YF Tel: 07794361024
Company Registered in Scotland no. SC329683 VAT no 916067916