Software that helps run our technology is all around us. It improves our lives in a variety of ways — from the cell phones we carry in our pocket to the navigation systems in our cars. Technology makes our lives easier and more efficient. And relating to stone fabrication, as technology continues to evolve, the software in CNC machines continues to get better and assist fabricators. The stone industry may have started behind the technological curve, but it’s quickly catching up. The days of fabricators having to move every slab in their yard to show customers what that specific slab looks like, may be a thing of the past.
Digital slabs are becoming increasingly popular and the future for them looks promising. Digital slabs shouldn’t be thought of as a simple photo of a slab. It’s an accurate copy of real life. According to Bill Elliott of Northwood Designs, Inc. in Antwerp, NY, developer of Slabsmith, digital slabs allow the entire properties of a slab to be shown to a fabricator. “With the digital version of the slab, I know the exact dimensions; the color is accurate, and the parts that will fit in the slab or remnant are known making it more than just a photo of the slab,” said Elliott. “Then everything flows downhill from that. We can then manage inventories, manage remnants in a new way, do layouts in new ways. We know not only how many square feet are in a slab, but what the largest area we can use in it and what the largest rectangle we can make in that slab is. That also means we know exactly what is in stock if we need to meet certain needs. The possibilities are endless when you have an accurate digital version of a slab.”