Case Study: Decorative Mirror

Design and manufacturing process

For a hotel project we were requested to manufacture a decorative dry riser wall mirror with some art details, that are found at other places in the hotel. In this article we want to show our working process and the different steps, from design to production.

On the right side, you can already see a 3D model of the final mirror, that was manufactured in the end. On request we also create renderings and a 3D model like the one on the here for our clients. But this is usually not part of our procurement process.

Step 1: Design requirements

The interior designers requested us to implement a leaf pattern that was already used as a decorative element in the lobby of the hotel. You can see the leaf pattern on the wall (on the left image). Paired with the overall dimensions of the mirror, that was provided by the interior designer, we were ready to start the design of the mirror.

Before we started we discussed general details, such as frame thickness, material, installation and finish of the mirror. Once we had clarified these points, we went ahead with the design.

Step 2: Design

We work for furniture, case goods, and joinery design mainly with AutoCAD or SolidWorks. The decision which program is better to use, depends on some factors. On the one hand we consider the final manufacturer and their ability to deal with our CAD files. On the other hand, there is certain products, that are just better to design by one of the 2. For example, cabinetry is always better to plan with SolidWorks, as it enables you to make adjustments quickly. This art mirror, we also designed with SolidWorks. We took the original design idea and created a CAD file, that reflected the pattern. Once the drawing was done, we reviewed it in collaboration with the design team.

Step 3: Building a mock-up

To see whether the mirror looked in real as we planned it in SolidWorks, we made at first a structural mock-up. This mock-up was just the plain MDF with the mirror in it. There was no color coating yet. We just wanted to see at first whether there are any structural weaknesses or details we oversaw in the design phase. Once this structural mock-up was finished, we also shared all details with the interior design team. Since they liked it, we went ahead and made another mock-up. This time a proper final mock-up with color coating.

Step 4: Approvals

Once we had our final mock-up, we could get all approvals from the design team to go ahead with manufacturing. In this case the product is rather simple. There is the main frame of the mirror, the mirror glass and a back plate. Additionally we added a z-bracket on the back side for installation purposes.

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