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The Model Maker, His Wife, and His Muse

By Guest Author,

Added 26 December 2015

If you spend most of your waking hours in a business running CNC machine tools, life is sweeter if the machines are easy to use and you like them – a lot.


Based near Udine in the northeast of Italy, Haas customer Modeltek is a successful international motorsport business supplying teams and privateers all over the world. The fact that the cars and parts it produces are one-fifth scale doesn't make the company's achievements any less impressive.

Even when his wife is present, Modeltek founder, Zeno Noacco, happily admits to being "married" to his four Haas CNC machine tools. To her credit, company director Paola doesn't appear to be the least bit put out, even though Zeno frequently uses words like love and passion to describe his feelings for the machines.

"I was at a trade show when I first saw her," he says, reminiscing not about how he met Mrs. Noacco, but about how he came across the company's first Haas, a Super Mini Mill. "I immediately liked the simplicity of the machine; the control was very easy to use, and as someone with no experience of CNC machining, I was worried that I might buy a machine and then not know how to use it."

Turns out, he worried unnecessarily. "I told myself I'd give it a go, and if I'd made a mistake, I'd sell the machine and go back to using subcontractors to make our parts. I'm glad I kept it. I think it's a great product. After a few weeks, I was completely confident, and I knew all the machine's functions and capabilities."

Modeltek's 1:5 scale model ‘professional' racing cars, sold under the name Genius RC, cost around €2000. Each is a painstaking replica of a full-scale counterpart, with custom designed and made differentials, gearboxes, hydraulic disc-brake systems, drive shafts, and suspension. All of the parts are created to tight and specific criteria - size, weight, materials, etc. - laid down by the sport's governing body, the European Federation of Radio Operated Automobiles (EFRA).

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