Over the past couple of years, producers of technology for stone processors have introduced a new technology specifically for stone slab projects, and it appears to be making some serious traction in the marketplace. Referred to as "artistic nesting" software, this technology allows stone processors, designers and end users to view exactly how a completed stone slab installation will appear before a single cut is made in the stone.

Northwood Designs
courtesy of Northwood Designs


There are a range of providers for this technology in North America, and the basic process is to take a digital photo of the specific slabs that have been selected for an application -- such as kitchen countertops and center islands. Once the image of the slab is captured, it can be imposed onto the layout of the countertops. This gives the processor and customer the ability to preview visuals such as the vein flow of the material, how the slabs will work together, sink cut-outs within the slab, cooktops and other factors. Given the popularity of exotic materials in today's marketplace -- with pronounced, dramatic patterning, this technology can help ensure that everyone's expectations are established (and ultimately met) prior to the start of processing.


Park Industries
courtesy of Park Industries

Moreover, the use of nesting technology allows for the highest level of slab optimization. In some cases, this could mean using less slabs to complete the same job -- an important consideration in this still-struggling economy. Stoneworking professionals who are utilizing digital nesting technology courtesy of Northwood Designs courtesy of Park Industries courtesy of Breton report a greater level of customer satisfaction and enhanced communication. Meanwhile, designers and their customers are able to "sample" how a given stone will look in their designs. It all goes back to increasing the stature of stone as a premier building material and coming with that, a premium buying experience.

courtesy of Breton