Architectural Fiberglass, Inc. designs and manufactures custom decorative architectural fiberglass products for the restoration, reproduction, and new construction industries. The majority of all of our architectural products are new custom specialty projects. Even with thousands of stock molds we are always manufacturing custom products for new and innovative projects. We encourage our customers to design custom fiberglass products to work with their specific projects instead of choosing standard products that were not designed for their exact needs. It may be less expensive to design a custom fiberglass architectural element to the current design of a construction project rather than trying to adapt to stock products that were designed for other projects. When a custom shape is replicated numerous times the tooling and mold cost become insignificant and are consumed by each fiberglass element produced. When quantities dictate, we often absorb the cost of any custom tooling needed to complete a custom project.
Often custom molds can be manufactured from originals provided to us by our customers, or molds can be taken directly off of a decorative element onsite. Onsite molding requires ideal weather, flexible job conditions, and access to the decorative elements that is being molded. In most cases scaffolding or man lifts are need.
When originals are not available, our in house pattern shop gives us the capability to manufacture original patterns, molds, and fiberglass elements. We turn what was once just a designer's ideas into reality. Upon shop drawing approvals we fabricate a pattern in our facility for molding. The pattern represents the original part that is to be manufactured from fiberglass. The pattern is hand crafted from wood, foam, plaster, clay or other materials that can be carved and shaped to achieve the desired look. Patterns can also be made from a CNC (Computer Numeric Control) machine that machine routers the pattern from a solid material. Before molding, the desired finish is applied to the pattern.
From the original pattern, a silicone rubber, polyurethane rubber, or fiberglass mold is manufactured. Flexible rubber molds allow for molding of complex shapes with heavy textures or deep undercuts. Rubber molds are usually used for very decorative elements that are highly detailed. The flexible rubber transfers the detail needed for molding the fiberglass element, but also has the flexibility to release the part. Rubber molds are not as dimensionally stable as fiberglass molds, and require additional molds when a high volume of parts is needed. Fiberglass molds provide the most stability and can withstand higher volume use without distortion.
From the mold, exact reproductions of the original pattern is fabricated. Multiple castings with the smallest details from the pattern are seen in each molded fiberglass element. Custom fiberglass products have included columns, cornices, domes, cupolas, balusters, crosses, fascia panels, finials, sculptures, louvers, pilasters, brackets, moldings, and any simulated material or custom shape.
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