Mincey Marble uses EnRoute for... Cast Marble Molds
Mincey Marble manufactures panel systems using cast marble. This process involves marble dust mixed with resin, which produces a ‘cake like’ mixture, which is then poured into pre-fabricated molds that were sprayed with a gel coat color. The molds then sit and cure, before the product is released from the mold, finished, packaged, and then shipped to the jobsite.
Mincey Marble uses EnRoute in designing the patterns which create the molds. Its panel systems are ¼” thick so they have certain design limitations when creating new patterns. Depth and overall height consistency are its biggest challenges when designing new patterns. Mincey designers create a design in EnRoute, and then use the CNC machine to cut the pattern. They typically use MDF or acrylic, depending on the type of finish needed for the final design. Once they have cut the pattern their design then goes to their mold shop where a “master” mold is made. After that multiple fiberglass molds are pulled from the master mold.
Mincey Marble used EnRoute to create a mold that would be used to create a decorative marble panel. Here we have a picture of the final project. For this mold the designers started by making a sample mold by hand, and then figured out how to create the design in EnRoute.
To begin, they cut thin vinyl strips with a uniform height and thickness, and laid out the design onto the sample board. A uniform height is essential so all of Mincey’s panels are 1/4" thick. This panel system will be slightly thicker to allow for the height variance.
The final panel system is about 5/16" thick as opposed to 1/4" thick. The design was then glued to the sample board.
Once the vinyl strips had been glued onto the sample board, they needed to chamfer the edges so that once the mold has been created the material can be easily released from the mold after it has been poured and cured. The designers created this chamfered edge by using putty.The next stage of the process is to paint sandand create a mold from this sample board.
This image shows the sample board with the design completed and all edges chamfered.
The cast marble sample of the design was created, allowing the design team to see what, if any, revisions needed to be made. They were very happy with the design, but decided that the best way to move forward was to create this design in EnRoute as opposed to creating the 60" x 96" panel entirely by hand.From here,
a full size drawing was created, then taken into the EnRoute, designed and toolpathed and then cut out on the in-house CNC machine.
They cut a sample board from the first design to determine what adjustments needed to be made. From the sample board they noticed that there was a lot of variation in height and width of the branches between the leaves.
This is the revision to the original drawing created for the Canopy pattern. The entire drawing needed to be reworked to make the 'branches' or spaces in between the leaves more uniform in order to achieve the final desired look.
To create the differences in height that this pattern offers, the 'branches' were first made by raising them above the rest of the design. After the 'branches' were created and raised above the rest of the design, the leaves were worked on next.
If you look closely at the finished product, you will notice that the leaves are depressed on their edges where they connect to the ‘branches,’ before the leaves bulge up slightly.The next step is to depress the outside edges of the leaves.
The last step of this design was to raise the main area of the leaves up. The effect gives a nice dramatic variation between the 'branches' and the leaves allowing for movement and an interesting texture.
This is Mincey Marble’s in-house CNC machine cutting the panel out
of wood. Once this CNC machine has cut this 60" x 96" pattern, a mold can then be made from it. From there they can use it to make cast marble panels.
This is the finished panel system. This panel system can be used as an accent wall or in the shower. The panels are manufactured in single sheets up to 60" wide and 96" tall, allowing for a perfect seamless look.