A plaster mold CNC milled directly from digital drawings.

Boston Valley Terra Cotta’s Evolving Production Techniques

At Boston Valley Terra Cotta we are testing the use of our 5-axis CNC machine to make slip casting molds. Taking this century old technique and fusing it with state of the art milling is no easy task; the combination of digital and analog rarely is. With the capability to use 4 different manufacturing processes, Boston Valley has a variety of techniques to employ in the production of terra cotta units.

5-axis milling has added another tool to the bag of tricks, and the ARCH Design Lab has continued to explore and push the boundaries of its utilization.

A plaster mold CNC milled directly from digital drawings.

A plaster mold CNC milled directly from digital drawings.

Recent explorations have given us the ability to produce a plaster mold using a combination of software and the CNC router. Essentially the team is able to remove an entire step from the production process. In doing so, production makes a transition into a hybrid process, improving efficiency and reducing production time. Not all molds are capable of using this production process, however the ARCH Design Lab team continues to explore the possibilities.