5-Axis CNC

Retail Solid Surface FixtureWe have all heard the similar phrase “leading edge” or “cutting edge.” What does “bleeding edge” imply? The risk and uncertainty of being an innovator can certainly have it’s downside. Conversely the reward can be found in the competitive advantages gained in the marketplace. This has certainly been true in the world of design and construction. Architects who embrace 3D BIM modeling early are seeing their practices grow. Solid surface fabricators who also invested in 5 axis CNC machining technologies are also experiencing growth. BIM software and 5 axis CNC machining technologies together help to drive efficiency and accuracy when utilized as part of a well planned project SOP process. Together with a great technical team, the sky’s the limit to what can actually be achieved.

Design professionals are embracing 3D technologies at a rapid pace and are requiring building professionals to do the same. Unfortunately some solid surface fabricators have been slow to adapt to these changes. 5 axis CNC machining requires programming software such as Solidworks®. Fabricators who have ignored these opportunities have forfeited greater business advancement.

There is a degree of risk in being an innovator on the bleeding edge. ASST values and embraces technological change in order to serve our customers effectively. As an early adopter of CNC machining technologies, ASST today has two 3 axis CNC machines as well as a 5 axis CNC. These investments have proven wise in the project opportunities they have brought and the professionals who have sought to work with us. Our employees have a depth of knowledge with programming software and CNC machining solid surface. The quest to look for better ways to serve our customers will always continue!


First impressions always count. Be sure to call us for your next bleeding edge project! Whatever you need, ASST can build it to the exact specifications, in a safe manner and to the finest quality standards you expect. Contact us now online or call us at 717-630-1251.


LED Backlight Thermoformed Solid Surface Trade Show BoothLighting and wall surfaces make a huge impact on interior spaces and can support a brand message. Design professionals are becoming increasingly involved in strategies that incorporate branding. Durable solid surface materials can be thermoformed, CNC machined, and backlighted to create a variety of dramatic effects. Translucent solid surface can be backlighted with LED panels and light controllers. A programmed display of color images promoting a brand can be run continuously in a loop. The opportunities are endless for stunning aesthetics.

Design professionals are responsible for how interior spaces look. Often how lighting is implemented to achieve an aesthetic is confusing, especially backlighting. Backlighting evenly is one of the real challenges of achieving a branded aesthetic. The distance behind a solid surface panel is critical to prevent hotspots and shadow lines. Requesting a mockup from the fabricator is in most cases required to evaluate the correct distance. Undesirable shadows can also be cast around CNC machined logo corners, and curved areas if not properly masked from behind. LED lighting is the best choice for most backlighted applications and reduces maintenance and power consumption. Contracting fabricators with firsthand knowledge and experience with backlighting architectural surfaces is essential to achieving desirable branded looks for the client image.

ASST has the depth of knowledge and experience to address the technical challenges. Our team of expert project managers and technical staff have a unique perspective having worked on hundreds of backlighted projects. We can share past relevant project experiences and case studies guiding you through the entire process. We love assisting customers and making their vision real!


First impressions always count. Be sure to call us for your next backlighted solid surface project! Whatever you need, ASST can build it to the exact specifications, in a safe manner and to the finest quality standards you expect. Contact us now online or call us at 717-630-1251.


Thermoformed spiral staircaseForming solid surface into complex geometric forms is still a relatively new topic to many design professionals. With advancing computer technologies, the future looks bright for those looking to push the boundaries of design with solid surface materials.

Although thermoforming has been around awhile, advanced technologies to assist with fabrication has not. 5-axis CNC machining is an essential tool used in creating the molds necessary for thermoforming. Many fabrication businesses are focused on flat solid surface countertops and/or quartz. They may only have a small oven or vacuum table to form simple curves. The equipment costs and learning curve for thermoforming are out of reach for many of these fabrication businesses.

To address this issue, we focused our business from the beginning around thermoforming. ASST created a truly “niche” business, catering to advanced projects requiring fabrication solutions for commercial construction. ASST invested heavily in the necessary equipment and training required for thermoforming. ASST’s headquarters includes both offices and fabrication facilities, as well as a large thermoforming workshop. The workshop features three thermoforming ovens and two vacuum tables, as well as a 360-ton proprietary press and a vacuum press related to patented ASST technologies. It also has three CNC machines: one 5-axis CNC machine and two 3-axis CNC machines which allows us to reintroduce thermoformed parts to the 5-axis for final size machining. For cutting parts, ASST also has a Schelling panel saw. The shop is set up into typical “line work” areas for more common flat countertop fabrication work and has various open workshop areas for custom projects. Custom projects that frequently feature thermoformed solid surface parts. It is ASST’s legacy to continue assisting design professionals with thermoforming project challenges other fabricators avoid. Be sure to contact us with your next solid surface project!

ASST is uniquely positioned to fulfill all aspects of your project. Whatever you need, ASST can build it to the exact specifications, in a safe manner and to the finest quality standards you expect. Our EMR safety rating is outstanding at .793! We look forward to Going Beyond to address your exciting project challenges. Contact us now online or call us at 717-630-1251.


5-Axis CNC logo pattern with LED backlightsLast week we touched on how Architects and Designers are creating innovative forms to satisfy the branding requirements of their Clients. Design Professionals are increasingly integrating client brand identities with dramatically backlighted translucent solid surface. LED lighting is leading the way with these amazing innovations as fixtures get smaller, more efficient and more precise.

Machining intricate logo patterns can create complex problems. Fabricating solid surface in a cost effective manner is the primary goal, however exorbitant labor costs can result from utilizing inefficient power hand tools. Maintaining a high standard of quality when duplicating multiple parts by hand can be difficult. Creating a “wash of light” with vertically installed translucent solid surface is also a challenge with older lighting technologies such as halogen and fluorescent.

ASST has addressed these problems by harnessing both our in-house CNC machining capabilities as well as our research to identify the most innovative LED lighting products in the marketplace. LED lighting is by far the best way of creating an even wash of backlight without hotspots. LED lighting advancements offer the benefit of energy efficiency, reduced heat and overall maintenance costs. We even address the practical issues of maintenance providing hidden panels for convenient lighting access. 5-Axis CNC machining technologies will no doubt continue to indirectly impact LED lighting and we will be there to ASsiST you with your projects every step of the way!

ASST is uniquely positioned to fulfill all aspects of your project. Whatever you need, ASST can build it to the exact specifications you require and the finest quality standards you expect. We look forward to Going Beyond™ to address your exciting project challenges. Contact us now online or call us at 717-630-1251.


Thermoformed reception deskArchitects and Designers are continuing to create innovative geometric forms to satisfy their Client’s branding requirements. While companies today have a need to project an image of innovation and quality, this creates the problem of how to fabricate molds in a quick and cost effective manner. Curved solid surface cladding requires molds to form the heated solid surface to the geometry specified on the architectural drawings.

Creating wooden molds by carving them with power hand tools was initially the way it was done. The problem was how to reduce the exorbitant labor costs for creating these molds by hand. Also, using solid hardwood is expensive and was required depending upon the mold design.

With ASST’s 5-Axis CNC, we have addressed these problems. Labor costs have been reduced for the customer and new innovative sustainable molding materials can be utilized with this technology. We are also constantly looking for the next generation of materials to create our molds for better durability and machining accuracy.

We have found that the only limits to 5-Axis CNC capability is the designer’s imagination and CNC Engineer’s abilities. The evolution of 5-Axis CNC machining will eventually usher us into a world of instantaneous object creation further expanding the boundaries of innovative designs with solid surface. ASST looks forward to the challenges and opportunities this will present!

ASST is uniquely positioned to fulfill all aspects of your project. Whatever you need, ASST can build it to the exact specifications you require and the finest quality standards you expect. Contact us now online or call us at 717-630-1251.