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.

A plaster mold CNC milled directly from digital drawings.

A plaster mold CNC milled directly from digital drawings.

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.

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.

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