Waterjet cut ceramic tile test at Zahner
Tessellate™ mockup test at Zahner

Research & Discovery

We want to uncover and advance knowledge.

At Zahner, one thing you will find is a desire to learn. Our desire to discover is the backbone of what makes us who we are. Whether it involves digital definition techniques that allow for accurate fabrication and embodiment of a design or how to keep moisture from entering a system under variable ambient conditions. We at Zahner seek out knowledge.

When you arrive at Zahner you will be first confronted with a vast array of different metals. The feeling is you have entered an artist studio combined with an alchemist laboratory. As you go deeper within Zahner you discover the science, project directed design and development. Here we are working to put our knowledge and expertise to work on various projects for designers. 

Digital R&D


Create, manufacture, and ship unique designs.

ShopFloor is a platform for designers which provides a fast and easy way to make fully engineered and manufactured designs. The platform provides mass customization architectural and industrial design. Mass customization is a term which describes factory-based manufacturing with advanced user-based customization. Each product offered on ShopFloor provides an app which designers can use to customize their designs. Mass customization with ShopFloor means that designers are able to customize material and finish, shape and form, image-based perforation, and more. ShopFloor also introduces instant pricing for custom architecture. As designers make changes to their designs online, each app provides instant pricing for the cstThe product system includes a small number of Zahner products including CloudWall, ImageWall, and StoreFront. The product system also provides a collaborative platform for designers to develop products manufactured by Zahner. The Aluminum Bench designed by Jonathan Olivares is the first such collaboration. Each of the apps running on ShopFloor benefit from generative manufacturing, advanced user-customization, and instant pricing which is calculated based on the current price of the metals market with the cost of Zahner’s manufacturing. Visit the ShopFloor homepage today, and start designing with our apps.

Zinc preweathered missouri ice flow
"Iceflow" custom patina on zinc.
Dirty penny
Dirty Penny patina on copper.
Zinc blackened white wash 4
Custom mottled patina on zinc.
Zinc preweathered nr11 amwv 2
Custom preweathered patina on zinc.
Reticulated steel
Reticulated nickel and steel.
Wave effect on metal
Wave-patterned stainless steel panel.
Zinc patina with copper reaction
Patinated zinc with copper reaction.
Jan hendrix mockup
Mockup testing for Jan Hendrix canopy artwork.
Custom copper joinery
Custom patinated copper with custom joinery.
Custom formed and perforated metal
Custom formed and punched metals.

Leading Edge Technology

We want to create without stifling the art.

Zahner is constantly looking to incorporate technological prowess into the virtuosity of its workforce. Our roots are in generations of highly skilled craftsmen and women. We find, however, a deep desire to augment this with cutting edge engineering and technology. How to incorporate robotics into design for manufacturing, how to connect artistic abilities with advanced spatial characterization are at the heart and soul of Zahner. 

Palm tree disney
Robotic palm tree fabrication.
Palm tree disney robotics
Detail of the robotic palm tree.
Palm tree disney robotics
Details of the palm leaves.
Zahner shop robot palm tree
Zahner fabricators assemble trees.
Custom ceramic test zahner
Waterjet-cut terracotta sample.
Custom teracota cnc
Custom cut terracotta.
Jokamm ceramic test
Laser-etched glazing on a ceramic sample.
Solanum Steel with ceramic nano-coating
Ruby Robot looks at Zahner employees

Applied Research

We provide tools to our clients to make them better at what they do.

Zahner has a long history of developing systems for the architectural market. In 1937, Zahner applied and received the first patent for machine seaming metal roofing. Since then, over a dozen patents or provisional patents have been awarded for unique and novel inventions. All of these had their basis in applied research at Zahner.

Zahner works with metal surfaces to understand their behavior both in a visual and tactile sense as well as long term performance. We work will all metals and understand the thermodynamic behavior of natural materials in the environment. All of our patinas arrive from experimentation and discovery. We ‘push’ the surfaces to levels of natural stability in order to arrive at beauty and predictability. We do this in a near natural way to keep them from having a painted, faux, appearance.  


We work with the best, like-minded individuals and companies.    

At Zahner we seek out relationships with brilliant and diverse minds in the world. From the creative geniuses of Chuck Hoberman, Dr. Jerry Jones, the artist Jan Hendrix, the designer Jonathan Olivares and many more brilliant artists, architects and designers we push into areas of discovery. By association and engagement we strive to expand the knowledge of materials and systems to make the world more interesting and beautiful.  

Metal analysis zahner