Template Process

Digitizing Computer Screenshot AutoCADConnecting the Dots

An excellent installation begins with an accurate template, but there is a lot that goes into a making a good template.  At Blasius, we use one of the most technologically advanced systems to create the pattern that is the starting point of your countertop.  The technical name for the process is photogrammetry.  With the help of the PhotoTop system, we capture the geometry of the top by placing targets dots and taking a series of photographs.  These photos, when processed and woven together, form the shape of your tops to an amazing degree of accuracy.

Technology is only as good as the person using it however.  Our templators have the experience needed to spot the potential pitfalls and problems that accompany any project. Before we can do a template however, we MUST have all the cabinets in place and screwed to the wall. If you are just replacing the tops and keeping your old cabinets, please clean the tops off so it is a nice empty surface.

The template begins with an introduction and review of the project specs. There are bound to be questions, so it is best to have a decision maker there. We like to see the sink and may even need to take it with us depending on the type. It is also best to have the stove on site so we can make sure the cutout is correct. Hopefully you discussed with your salesperson all the details like color, edge treatment, and backsplash. We will need to know all that.

Digitizing Computer Screenshot PhotoTOPOnce we are confident we have all the information to start, we take a couple overview photos of the area and then begin placing target dots around the perimeter walls and fronts of the cabinets. The dots also mark things like sink centers and important reference points. After the dots are in place, we set marker panels every few feet which are used in the processing of the perimeter dots. Finally, we add sticky notes with all the important details that need to be communicated to the digitizers who convert the dots to drawings and pieces for the CNC machines to cut.

When all that is done and in place, we start to take the photos. A systematic pattern of photos from one end to the other and different angles is what we need for the system to work. By this time, everyone is usually wondering how in the world we can make a pattern this way so we usually are explaining the process as we try to concentrate on getting all the photos done correctly. In all reality, it is best explained like a GPS system. The computer recognizes the marker panels in each photo and triangulates back to find the cameras position in space. It then takes that information and locates each particular dot relative to the camera position. Combine the information on any particular dot with the information in the three other photos of that dot from different angles and you can triangulate to find the exact position of that dot in space. Now put all those dots on a piece of paper and combine them with the photos and instructions, connect the dots, add the offsets for overhangs, label center lines and a dozen other steps and there is your pattern, ready to send to the CNC.

Once the photos are done, the templator cleans up, and does a detailed drawing of the countertop. We use this as a double check for the digitizers to make sure nothing was missed in the drawing process and for the estimators to check for changes from what was quoted originally.

And with that, we are off to the next template. The whole template process for an average kitchen will take about 1 1/2 hours, more if it is complex or lots of decisions that need to be resolved and less if it is straight forward and all the decisions have been thought thru ahead of time. We encourage you to go over all the details with your salesperson before the template. Utilize the information on our website as well to assist in your decision making process. A well prepared customer makes the template go much more smoothly.

 

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