Translate your Image to Metal
The patented ZIRA™ Technology enables artists and architects to automatically translate an image, graphic, or design to metal, using imagery of their choosing onto a metal surface of any size using any combination of selective embossing, cutting, or perforation of the metal. Any image, photograph, drawing, or pattern can be translated to the metal surface using with ZIRA™ technology.
* Patent No. 7,212,688 B2 - May, 2007
In 2014, Zahner engineers developed ImageWall for designers to directly create designs using the ZIRA™ Technology. The ImageWall app was launched for browsers on both Windows and OS X systems for ShopFloor™ Platform. The web-based application gives designers access to build perforated facades using a simple interface, a configurator which allows users to upload their own imagery and configure their design using Zahner custom surfaces.
The resulting mosaic or pixelation pattern is not limited to any one kind of cutting or perforation process. Several projects are produced using bumped textures as well as perforated holes cut into the metal such as the Royals Stadium pictured above, the Fairmont, below, or the de Young in San Francisco.
How we transfer an image to metal wall panels
The process for translating imagery to metal begins with your image. For example, on a recent Zahner project completed in Vancouver, ZIRA™ Technology was used to translate the architect's photograph of trees from a nearby redwood forest onto the surface of the Fairmont Hotel in downtown Vancouver BC, Canada.
ZIRA™ Technology is guided by engineered cad files that are generated using the architect's original drawing. James KM Cheng, the architect for the Fairmont, provided a photograph of the dense forest which surrounds Vancouver. Zahner Engineers took this photograph and ran it through a series of filters and tests to produce the designs which would one day result in the custom-perforated, custom-bumped, custom-image that surfaces the Fairmont Hotel. The metal surface of this project was mechanically bumped and perforated throughout via computer-controlled machinery, not unlike the de Young Museum in San Francisco.
How the ZIRA™ Process Works
ZIRA™ stands for Zahner Interpretive Relational Algorithm. This patented process was developed to expedite complex custom perforations and selective embossing on projects of every size and scope.
ZIRA™ Technology can be used translated into bumps, dents, holes and shapes. This map is then digitally laid across the building or specific area of the building and imprinted on the panels. Finally the patterning is translated into machine language and produced in our shop. Once installed the patterning matches up perfectly - Patterns and images seamlessly continue from one panel to the next, edge to edge, and around corners and edges. We call this the pattern’s parametric relationship of individual elements to the whole surface.
The end result was that light appears as though filtered between the trees, as seen on the de Young project's page.
Projects using ZIRA™ Technology
Zahner® has completed several projects using the ZIRA™ process, and it several more projects are in the works. This is painting with metal, so the possibilities are endless.
- Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City.
- SFMTA Ticketing Booths in San Francisco.
- Art Wall at Doha in Doha, Qatar.
- Cooper Union in New York City.
- Power & Light Bridge in Kansas City, Missouri.
- The Fairmont in Vancouver BC.
- De Young Museum in San Francisco, California.
- Alexandria in San Francisco, California.
- Cerner Headquarters in Kansas City, Missouri.
- Ovitz Residence on Leona Drive in Beverly Hills, California.
- Lumenhaus (Pictured Below), a portable housing unit by Virginia Tech Students.
New: Try building your own ZIRA™ Facade using ImageWall™ for ShopFloor.
Featured Post: Building a dual-curved facade with pre-fabricated panels. — Writer Susan Chaityn Lebovits profiles Zahner in Form Magazine, about how the Neiman Marcus facade was made in Natick, Massachusetts.
Featured Post: Zahner ShopFloor team develops a perforated Louvered Screen Wall Facade System — How a small team of ShopFloor engineers at Zahner hacked a ten-year old welding robot arm to create louvered screen wall facade systems.
ShopFloor: Create unique designs for architecture and interiors using a simple configurator.