solid surface

Dupont Corian benchesHow do you design and shape solid surface projects? The technique of thermoforming is used to mold and shape different solid surface materials. This allows flat sheets of synthetic solid surface material to be transformed into almost any shape. By using heat and pressure the synthetic material is shaped into different three dimensional, rounded designs. The material is heated until it is pliable, placed over a mold and vacuum formed by removing the air between the material and a high temperature silicon membrane. Once the material has cooled it is trimmed to exact specifications using our 5 axis CNC.

Not all surfaces can be molded and turned into three dimensional shapes but most synthetic solid surfaces can. This process cannot be used on other solid surface materials like quartz and granite. Companies that choose synthetic solid surfaces have a broader range of artistic ability when it comes to solid surface projects. Thermoforming is a tricky trade and creating the right balance of heat and bend is crucial to this process. The different chemical makeup of synthetic solid surfaces requires different temperatures. There are also limitations of the bend radius with different materials. No one enjoys telling a customer that the project has to be redesigned because the material specified cannot be formed into the desired shape.

ASST has thermoformed most synthetic solid surfaces and we know the requirements for each. With the high level of technology in our fabrication facility, there are no limitations to the design of synthetic solid surfaces. ASST can bend synthetic surfaces any which way to bring your 2D project plans into to the 3D world.

Let ASST bend over backwards for you on your next project. Whatever you need, ASST can build it to your 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.

United Therapeutics


SOLID SURFACE IS REACHING NEW HEIGHTS. These Corian® and 3Form® walls were fabricated for United Therapeutics.

Solid Surface Wall CladdingWe all know solid surface is both durable and repairable. Do we know what this man-made surfacing material is made of? Solid surface was invented in 1967 and patented in 1968 by DuPont. They formally introduced the Corian® brand to the public in 1971 at a trade show in Houston. It was first promoted as a kitchen and bath countertop material. Solid surface is made of a blend of acrylic, epoxy or polyester resins and alumina trihydrate (ATH). This mixture is poured onto a moving belt and cured in an oven. Both pigment and aggregate add-ins can be mixed into the sheet to create an infinite variety of color and textural effects.

With the expiration of DuPont’s patent, a plethora of new manufacturers have introduced competing brands. This has pushed the evolution of solid surface beyond countertops to more vertical and complex architectural applications. All solid surfaces are cast polymers. Some utilize special formulations to create enhanced transparency or artistic effects to differentiate their products in the marketplace. Brand confusion has many design professionals being uncertain of performance characteristics for various brands in the marketplace. This uncertainty can reduce innovation and expansion into additional architectural applications.

In response, ASST has primarily focused on propelling fabrication technology. We believe providing design professionals with unbiased valuable case study information regarding our experiences to be valuable to the design community. We work in concert with ALL brands to provide fabrication solutions to assist with project challenges other fabricators avoid.

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

Translucent Resin SignagePublic spaces require clear and coherent wayfinding signage. Design professionals are under pressure to develop signage programs that successfully enhance the visitor experience. This is particularly critical in large public assembly spaces such as airport terminals. Directing large groups of pedestrians in a terminal is no easy task. Design professionals are increasingly looking for ideas to create signage with solid surface. Ideas that capture the attention of visitors to provide visual cues to keep pedestrian traffic flowing.

Many times typical “off the shelf” cheaper plastic signage solutions are not distinctive enough to grab the attention of pedestrians in a busy public space. With signage from multiple vendors competing for attention in an airport terminal, it can be a struggle to stand out. Most signage fabricators can’t provide creative design assist experience to design professionals. Design professionals need fabricators with demonstrated knowledge of LED lighting, solid surface and translucent resin sheet materials. The fabricator’s ability to CNC machine various graphic font types and experience with handcrafted dimensional letters is critical. Backlit signage requires careful attention to the finer details of the finishing process.

Because of ASST’s depth of experience we can provide a wealth of knowledge for your signage project. We can share creative ideas and best practices on incorporating solid surface signage into your next project. Whether you are looking for opaque solid surface dimensional letters or translucent backlit resin letters, ASST can help. We can provide you with the project inspiration and technical details to make your wayfinding strategy a success!

Let us assist you with your next solid surface signage project! Whatever you need, ASST can build it to your exact specifications, in a safe manner, and to the quality standards you expect. Contact us now online or call us at 717-630-1251.

Solid Surface Public SeatingPublic seating in high traffic applications can take quite a beating. Design professionals are under increasing pressure from clients to provide seating solutions that are both durable and comfortable. Many are unaware of the flexibility solid surface provides to create seating that conforms ergonomically. The inherent performance characteristics of thermoformed solid surface materials provide an amazing opportunity to increase the longevity of public seating.

Design professionals today are bombarded with a plethora of furniture seating solutions. Unfortunately, many of these “seating systems” are poorly manufactured with planned obsolescence. Constructed of cheaper plastics, many of these systems fail soon after warranty expiration. This is hardly a strategy for clients looking to be environmentally responsible. Design professionals need to provide smart ergonomic seating solutions addressing both performance and value. These challenges seem insurmountable when industry standard public seating systems don’t fulfill your specified requirements.

ASST has the capability to help. With a state-of-the-art thermoforming studio we can create ergonomic seating to your exact design specifications. We can share past solid surface project case studies to inspire your creativity. Working in concert with your team, we provide design assistance and credible information to present to your clients. Tailored services to meet busy design professional’s needs are what we do!

Let us assist you with your next solid surface seating 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.

Childrens National Medical Center - solid surface interiorProper care for solid surface should always follow the guidelines set by each individual manufacturer. Manufacturers have their own recommendations. Follow these guidelines to avoid incorrect cleaning procedures that could potentially void a warranty. It is also important to first identify the specific finish level that was applied to the solid surface before you start any cleaning procedures.

Commercial facility maintenance crews may not realize that determining the finish level is the most critical part of the cleaning process. Solid surface can be finished to four different sheen levels: matte, satin, semi-gloss and gloss. Each finish level has specific requirements for care. Matte finish is the most popular because it has a low sheen and requires the least maintenance. Satin requires a bit more care and semi-gloss and gloss require a certified fabricator to maintain the finish. If manufacturer guidelines are not followed by facility maintenance personnel, costly refinishing may be required by a certified solid surface fabricator to correct the problem.

ASST takes the maintenance of our solid surface product seriously. We supply manufacturer maintenance recommendations to all customers to ensure clear communication with regard to specific product care. As a general guideline, regular daily cleaning can be done with warm soapy water, ammonia-based household cleaner, or a dedicated countertop cleaner. Be sure to use a soft cloth lint free cloth especially for semi-gloss and gloss finishes. To prevent hard water marks, rinse and wipe completely dry after cleaning; clean up spills before they dry. To remove hard water marks, use a product formulated for this task. Lime-A-Way is one such product that can remove these stains. For disinfecting surfaces, diluted bleach (5 Tbsp. of bleach to 1 gallon of water) is recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for disinfecting surfaces. Removing blotchy appearance or fine scratches can be achieved with an non-abrasive cleanser such as Softscrub with a wet sponge, buffing in a circular motion. Semi-gloss and gloss finishes can be cleaned with liquid soap and water. A white Scotch-brite pad can be used to remove stains using circular motions. Semi–gloss and gloss finishes however may require a certified fabricator to remove serious scratches and whirl marks. Remember that working with a certified fabricator like ASST means having access to experienced professionals who will assist in keeping your solid surface investment looking great!

First impressions always count. Be sure to call us for your next 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.

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.