By Tina Jepson
It was at the American of Architect’s annual convention (AIA) at the Javits Center in NYC that the House Tipster team first got a peek at the futuristic manufacturing methods Artaic uses to create their breathtaking mosaics. In speaking with Dr. Ted Acworth, Founder and CEO of this Boston-based outfit, we learned more about the technology and how it’s revolutionizing the tile industry.
What first struck us was Ted’s excitement to be at AIA where he was presenting his brainchild to the masses. “I’m excited to be here, and it’s a great crowd so far!” From there, he dove into the ins and outs of what Artaic is known for: their robotic tile assembly system.
“Over the past ten years, I’ve developed a computer-aided design software. We design mosaics and our robotic tile assembly system makes them,” Ted explained. From there, his company boxes up the tiles and ships them across the world.
At the company’s inception, the recession was hitting the housing market hard, and many homeowners were unwilling or unable to invest in designer-quality mosaic designs. So Artaic started by making designs for the commercial hospitality setting, particularly hotels, restaurants, retail environments, swimming pools, educational settings, and healthcare facilities. But recently, as the economy has strengthened, Artaic has jumped into the residential market.
Today, Ted’s company creates mosaics for virtually any type of property. “We create mosaics just about anywhere that a designer wants to add a beautiful surface finish element that’s durable, hygienic, green, cost-effective, and gorgeous,” he added.
Of course, creating mosaic tiles by hand is expensive and time-consuming, which is where Ted’s state-of-the-art technology comes into play. “Our technology takes the human labor out of the cost.” These robots operate roughly ten times faster than a human, which allows Artaic to manufacture domestically as opposed to outsourcing their labor overseas. “We’ve brought manufacturing back to the United States,” he told us emphatically, “which makes it accessible and reliable for commercial and residential projects.”
At the end of the day, Ted and the rest of the team at Artaic Mosaic are dedicated to creating completely custom products with the help of their robotic software program. In Ted’s opinion, the more intricate the product, the better! “Once you use a robot, it doesn’t matter if it’s making a basic white area or an intricate one-of-a-kind design. Why not send the robot more customized jobs?”
We loved what we saw from Artaic Mosaic, and think you will too. To learn more about their innovative approach to tile art and their Design & Gather design competition, head to the Artaic website.
You can also check out our video footage from the exciting interview with Ted.