The Countertop Fabrication Process: A Step-by-Step Guide
August 16, 2023
Kitchen with White Cabinets and Blue Island

Summary

Learn how your kitchen or bath countertops turned from being a slab to the shapes sitting on your cabinets.

Have you ever wondered how your countertops transformed from the slab you saw in the warehouse to the luxurious shapes sitting on your kitchen or bath cabinets? In this blog we’re going to discuss the process of countertop fabrication.

In this process there are 5 steps:

  1. Laser Measuring
  2. Slab Photographing
  3. CAD and Layouts
  4. Machine Cutting
  5. Polishing and Inspection

Let’s dive deeper into each of these steps.

Countertop Fabrication Step 1

Image representation of the LT-2D3D Laser Templator in action.

Laser Measuring

The first step of the countertop fabrication process is laser measuring.

In the past, countertop templating was done with three inch strips of plywood anchored to a slab. Now we live in a world where many industries have taken a digital approach to their work. One way that we’ve done this is through the use of the LT-2D3D Laser Templator.

Instead of spending a lot of time measuring, cutting, and laying pieces out in a shape, we can use this laser to quickly, easily, and precisely measure your countertops. This tool emits laser beams that focus on all the corners of the cabinets. Then it creates a digital template and sends it to an iPad or any similar device. To learn more about our laser measuring system, visit another article here.

 

Countertop Fabrication Step 2
An image of the Park Industries Pathfinder digital slab station.

Slab Photographing

After you have chosen your slab(s), they will be brought to the green screen. We will then take a picture with a high-definition camera. When the photo has been taken, we’ll create an ID for it. This ID sticker includes the material type, color name, ID number, level, finish, size, and which bundle, or lot, it was purchased in. That information will be contained in our inventory. We will also use the photo(s) to make the digital layout.

Countertop Fabrication Step 3

An image with the countertop measurements in Alphacam is shown on the left. And on the right is shown a finished layout of what the veining of the countertops will look like in the kitchen.

CAD and Layouts

When we receive the measurements for your countertops, they are imported into a CAD/CAM program. Once we save that file, it is imported into a layout software where we design your countertops. You can see more about the layout process at the bottom of our FAQ blog page.

Once we have approval, that same file will be sent to the programming room to prepare for processing on our state of the art CNC machines. In this process, we’ll create a list of cuts for the CNC machines to complete.

Countertop Fabrication Step 4
This image shows our Park Industries Saber saw at work.

Machine Cutting

It’s to these machines that we send the cutting job files to. Through a CNC computer language, the machine will read what cuts it needs to perform. The first thing that the machine operator will do is load up the program file to the machine. Then we situate the slab on the table, and the cutting can begin.

Our CNC’s have 5-axis capabilities, so that not only straight cuts can be made precisely, but contour cuts can as well. Performing these steps on the CNC removes small errors and inconsistencies associated with hand fabrication.

Countertop Fabrication Step 5
Polishing a mitered quartz piece.

Polishing and Inspection

The last step of the process Mogastone implements is the CNC router which is essentially a polishing machine. This highspeed work center that implements laser accuracy removes the rudimentary work, leaving the polishing technicians to focus on the quality of the final polish.

The best result comes from the combination of both the machine and the technician together. This is what we have accomplished here at Mogastone.

While the polishers do their magic, they also inspect the stone and fix any minor chips or scratches that could have been made before, during, or after the cutting process. Once the technicians have completed their quality work, the countertop pieces are ready to be installed by our team.

Conclusion

There seems to be back-stage occurences in everything you see today, and it’s interesting to find out what exactly is happening there. At Mogastone you can request to see how we fabricate or how our other processes work.

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