MICRO MILLING™ slatted fronts vs. fronts based on MDF board dyed in the mass

There are several technologies that allow you to create decorated furniture fronts with elegant decorations. In this post, we look at one of the most popular solutions, i.e. the production of fronts based on mass-dyed MDF and the alternative that we have implemented in MELACO – the MICRO MILLING™ technology. Check what are the advantages and disadvantages of both solutions.

What is the mass dyeing process?

The mass dyeing process takes place at the production stage of the MDF board. The MDF mass consists of fine wood chips, resins and glue, which are tightly pressed into a uniform board. During this process, the dye can be added to the mixture of chips and glue to give the board the desired colour. After the dye is thoroughly mixed with the mass, the material is transferred to the next stage, where the compressed mass is formed into a plate of the desired thickness.

Decorated fronts dyed in mass – advantages and disadvantages

Solution-dyed MDF boards are available in various colours and shades, depending on the type and amount of dye added. They are more uniform in colour than boards that are coated with paint or varnish on the surface. At the same time, while MICRO MILLING™ takes place on the thickness of the foil, i.e. 0.3-0.4 mm, the production process of fronts made of the coloured board enables milling into the board. Milling can therefore be deeper and more distinct.

However, deeper milling means it is more difficult to remove dirt from the grooves, which can be a serious disadvantage from the consumer’s point of view. What furniture manufacturers must remember are also the limitations associated with the process described above. Fronts made of mass-dyed MDF boards have lower water resistance due to the opening of the board structure as a result of the milling process. Such fronts are therefore not suitable for creating kitchen and bathroom furniture collections.

Limitations are also related to the relatively low availability of the material, i.e. the MDF base board dyed in the mass. Products based on chipboard and MDF boards are more easily available, and this solution can be used in the case of the MICRO MILLING™ technology. At the same time, limited availability is associated with higher costs, which will translate into higher product prices and lower competitiveness of the manufacturer on the market.

MICRO MILLING™ – a convenient alternative

The MICRO MILLING™ technology consists of the surface treatment of a COMPLETE SKIN or MELAFOL board, which is covered with foil or veneer with a thickness of 200 μm to 300 μm. Using diamond cutters and precision copying units with real-time electronic thickness measurement, this outer layer is milled as designed.

Machining in the MICRO MILLING™ technology is carried out in the depth range of 50 μm – 300 μm and – as we mentioned above – this is a limitation in the obtained spatial effect, which is shallower than milling MDF board dyed in mass.

Advantages of MICRO MILLING™ fronts

This technology offers several advantages. The most important of them is the higher resistance of the surface to water. It is ensured by covering the laminated chipboard or MDF with a high-quality polymer film from reputable suppliers in the HOT MELT LAMINATION process or 3D vacuum pressing. The use of reactive PUR glue at this stage makes the fronts resistant not only to moisture but also to elevated temperatures. Fronts decorated in the MICRO MILLING™ technology can decorate a room, living room, and office, as well as more demanding spaces: kitchen and bathroom.

Need some inspiration? See our projects in technology MICRO MILLING™ →

Consumers will also appreciate the advantages of MICRO MILLING™ fronts. Shallower hollows make their cleaning much easier, dirt does not accumulate in large amounts in the recesses, thanks to which the fronts do not require as frequent washing as decorated fronts dyed on the mass. The production cost of MICRO MILLING™ fronts is also lower due to the less demanding production process and the availability of cheaper materials.

Using this technology, manufacturers can offer their customers a durable, carefully finished product at a competitive price. Are you one of them? Contact us and learn more about our possibilities and solutions for furniture manufacturers.

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Melaco sp. z o.o.

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67-100 Nowa Sól


Agata Sroczyńska

Sales Coordinator


Beata Prałat

Sales Specialist