As told by Michael Fritz, Boston Valley Terra Cotta Industrial Designer and Master Sculptor

“The purpose of 3d in art and manufacturing is to bring us closer to spatial reality in the earliest stages of design and invention.  What begins with sound dimensionality in the conceptual phase has more potential for an informed and solid construction than that which might otherwise only be described in 2d.  The closer that we are able to insert 3d modeling into the very beginning of our manufacturing process, the more competitive and streamlined the design process may be.  With photo documentation and scanning we are able to construct digital models of whole site conditions and assemblies.  With Rhino we can render entire building facades fluidly, accurately, and in a manner that welcomes scan data as well as creative and concise revisions according to architect and in house recommendations.”

Design Innovations

Boston Valley’s Arch Design Lab uses 3D CAD/CAM technologies to rapidly fabricate and manufacture custom terra cotta products for interior surfaces, new building exteriors and existing building re-clad or restoration projects of all sizes and scopes. The collaborative design process begins by receiving 3D files in most any format from a client. Our team will then rationalize the design to make it possible to manufacture by our material and facility guidelines. We will work to determine the best manufacturing and installation methods based on a series of factors including profile, size, project scope, desired finish, and budget. This parametric design process allows us to collaborate sooner, with greater ease and efficiency, and to a manufacturable end goal.

Rapid Prototyping and Custom Fabrication

Our lab utilizes an industrial laser cutter, a 5-axis CNC machine, and a complete suite of architectural and digital sculpting programs to rapidly produce prototypes, mockups and models, molds and dies used in the manufacturing of the final product. The prototypes give us and the architect the ability to understand the design as true three-dimensional parts that can be touched and observed in different heights, angles and potentially various patterns. In some cases these machines and technology cut out tedious or time consuming parts of the manufacturing process, allowing our employees to focus on the true craft of terra cotta manufacturing. This technology, combined with our historic craftsmanship and material knowledge gives us an unparalleled edge in fabrication of custom designs.