According to the landscape construction firm, the architecture is “designed to encourage visitors to extend the museum outward and reflect on the important stories told by the interior.” To allow visitors to extend their exposure, granite walls have been erected around the site, which has become a gathering place for the National Mall.
The CNC stone technology is key to creating the beautiful Black granite walls that surround the site. Most of the walls are very shiny. However, a combination of polished coping and Diamond 8 siding was chosen for the museum’s north wall, which serves as the entrance to the museum. The north wall extends approximately 340 feet in front of the museum and spans Law Avenue. The low impact Diamond 8 finish was chosen due to concerns about excessive impact on the walls of the crowd entrance.
Making a piece of granite for the north wall proved particularly difficult due to the slightly rounded wall and continuous rounded nose. The designers had to build each of these stones with a thick layer to ensure a consistent fit during installation, and CNC proofing was important for this project. The makers also used a CNC machine to grind off a piece of the wall cap and finish it off to produce the rounded nose. Different combinations and craftsmanship are required for many workers using bullnose for hundreds of parts to meet competition requirements.
A total of approximately 37,000 square feet of granite was used for the National Museum of African American Culture and History (NMAACH) landscape, including walls and protection, paving, stairs, curbs, tables, chairs and bollards. Many of the stones used in the project were modeled in 3D software, allowing designers to collaborate with landscape teams and ensure the design is as realistic as possible. Due to the complexity of the project, extensive collaboration of design teams and design engineers to ensure that the 3D model is realistic before production. After the design team approves the manufacturer’s drawings and designs, the manufacturer turns the model into data for use on a 5-axis CNC machine.
Los Angeles’ Riverside Roundabout on the West Coast is the city’s first modern circuit designed to help manage the impact of smog and emissions on the environment. The circle base relies on CNC technology to create beautiful carvings. Nine egg-shaped sculptures of California’s Academy Black® granite, designed by Greenmeme Art & Design Studio, provide beautiful material for city stone and asphalt. The sculptures are 8 to 12 feet tall and feature the faces of people from the communities. Egg Sculpture Riverside Roundabout | Photo credit: Makena Hunt
An important combination of architects, granite merchants and designers made this beautiful vision a reality. Manufacturers and fabricators of granite products use electronic engravers to create the cutting tools needed to create the engraving.
Regardless of the type of CNC project, careful collaboration and communication between the designer and the team helps bring the vision and design goal to fruition. The early cooperation of architects and stone designers helps to get the most out of your CNC project.
Designers and designers should discuss stone size restrictions due to material selection. The team should also address the operation of the equipment and the size at which the machine can operate. The ability to work together to solve any problem makes the design idea a reality.
As CNC manufacturing has gained national recognition, the use of this technology is expected to increase over the next few years. As a result, designers can create high quality, precise and creative products for the new era of stone production.