Boston Valley Terra Cotta is developing new machinery that will use digital design to produce fully custom, unique terra cotta extrusions. Peter Schmidt, who has been working in the ARCH Design Lab for the past few years while also earning his Masters degree in architecture from the University at Buffalo, designed the machine for his thesis program and is now building the machine and its one-of-a-kind GUI interface for operation at Boston Valley. Peter was hired by Boston Valley upon graduation to serve as the Digital Design Manager.
Designers will soon be able to take a profile such as a standard ashlar unit and modify it in any number of ways to create new profiles. This will occur directly from the extrusion line, negating the need for custom jigs and cutting. Stay tuned for more as the machine becomes operational!
This technique of ruled surface toolpath cutting is designed to take a typical terra cotta profile extrusion and, in a third or fourth axis, trim the shape to achieve a different result that would not have been possible with standard extrusion.
The machine and the user interface are both in the beta testing phases and will soon be up and running. This state of the art development through research is once again testament to Boston Valley Terra Cotta’s dedication to excellence in craftsmanship and innovation.