Where treasures are made with digital cutting technology
The Czech company Preciosa is in the business of creating treasures. Steeped in tradition, this family enterprise designs everything from jewelry
for retail, to elaborate lighting systems for hotels or cruise ships – anything and everything involving glass. Preciosa skillfully weaves together
traditional craftsmanship, a unique capacity for innovation, and state-of-the-art equipment.
In Bohemia, glass-making is a craft with origins dating back to the 16th century. Preciosa was one of the first manufacturers of traditional Czech beads in this region. With its glass products, Preciosa gained a worldwide reputation early on. Even in the Baroque era, opulent Bohemian chandeliers from the so-called Crystal Valley managed to put the rich and powerful of this world in the best light.
Today the Preciosa Group is a large, international corporation that melts glass at a rate of 40 tons a day at their production facilities, including the one in Kamenicky Senov. All this molten glass is made into crystal components for the fashion industry, gemstones, those famous Czech beads, and custom lighting installations. The company's exclusive chandeliers illuminate the lobbies of luxury hotels, casinos as well as dining rooms on cruise ships and decorate many private villas around the globe.
It is the combination of traditional craftsmanship and state-of-the-art manufacturing techniques that has contributed significantly to Preciosa's success all over the world. As in the past, glass production is still influenced heavily by craft and handiwork; nevertheless, the company now also employs state-of-the-art digital production technologies. Besides nanotechnology and 3D modeling solutions, Preciosa's R&D department has been making use of highly advanced Zünd digital cutting equipment installed in 2018. In terms of implementing digital production processes, Preciosa is already very far along. With the Zünd cutter, the company has turned an important production step into a digital process. Because of its modular design and universal application, the Zünd cutter efficiently processes a vast variety of materials and simplifies such complex production processes as the creation of three-dimensional molds for casting molten glass. These days, the molds can be routed out fully automatically from a CAD file – practically at the touch of a button.
Manufacturing lighting systems is a demanding process in many ways. Glass is combined with many different materials and then has to be processed further. The developers work with wood, acrylic, aluminum, MDF, gypsum, foams, and even textiles. The ability to process all of these with one and the same cutting system and do so in an efficient production workflow, were two decisive reasons why Preciosa opted for Zünd.
"The Zünd G3 cutter is the most modular and universal cutting solution on the market. We can use it equally well for development work, mold construction, and prototyping as for custom orders or short-run production," explains R&D Director Vladimír Hejkal. Before we made the investment in a Zünd, all materials had to be shaped manually. Hejkal explains that this was clearly at the expense of speed and precision: "Using the Zünd cutter, we are now much faster and can work much more precisely. The routing quality made possible by the high-performance 3.6 kW RM-L router model inspired us from the start. Digital cutting also brings with it perfect repeatability. With manual cutting processes, we would not even come close».
«Zünd cutting systems are high-tech solutions. We see this machine purchase as a long-term investment that enormously advances our research in new materials and our ability to develop new products».
Since 2018, Preciosa has been making use of highly advanced Zünd digital cutting equipment in its R&D department.
“The routing quality made possible by the high-performance 3.6 kW RM-L router model inspired us from the start.”