CNC (Computer Numerical Control) routing is a powerful tool that builders and designers can utilise and exploit to give them a distinct design advantage. This art form should not be treated as any other. It requires a combination of skill and planning to achieve a successful outcome. A CNC operator, like all other trades, has specific skills and tools that designers do not have. However, we can still benefit from their use.
CNC milling is a great fit for wood crafting. Even CNC waterjet machines can work on all the timber features that allow for wood manipulation using specific tools. Technology was available a long time ago, but innovations have allowed for larger and more powerful machines. This allows CNC wood routing to be used in architecture and design.
Common CNC machines can cut in five to six directions or axes. Complex forms, such as those that are angled or curved in different configurations, are possible. Automated drills move around and above a stationary piece of wood, cutting away where needed. The CAD/CAM software determines drill bit movement in 3D coordinates (XYZ span.
CNC routing can be used for almost any type of wood or product, including composites.
CNC crafting has moved beyond being used to make small ornamental pieces to furniture and architectural features to be used to build complex wooden structural members. The main limitation of wood design has shifted from the skill level of a craftsman to more practical considerations like machine size and space limitations.
Complex cuts are the most interesting aspect of CNC routing. For example, this can lead to highly complex ornamental features and very reliable joint systems. CNC is not an all-encompassing tool, however, as people often believe. Transporting both cut and raw materials to CNC milling factories remains a significant logistical concern. The need for manual labor is still a concern. It is still difficult to lift timber members onto, off, through and up the machine. It is also difficult to translate drawings from architectural standards into formats that CNC software can read.
While precision and efficiency have been greatly improved during the production phase, planning should still be as traditional as crafts to achieve the best results. Your manufacturer can help you develop your design efficiently.
There are many options for CNC operations, from small businesses to large corporations.
Pick the right operator for your needs. Operators are usually up for any challenge. Operators who spend long hours cutting ornamental doors and fence posts will appreciate an architect’s request for a complicated job.
It is rather important to be quite familiar with the limitations of the system. As with great architectural projects, CNC-cut architectural features should be designed using constraints.
It does not matter at all if you are cutting plywood walls or structural beams made of Glulam. It is important to consider the material size and machine bed sizes. Also, how often you will need to make angled cuts. When angled cuts are used in a design, it is crucial to gather as much information early on in the process. This can significantly increase the cost and time required for a CNC cut.
The sizes of the tables for the machines vary widely. A reasonable starting point is 1.5m(W)x4m(L)x1m(H).
CNC routing will be a key component of wood construction in the future. CNC routing is a far superior alternative to traditional craft techniques in terms of reliability, speed, and accuracy. CNC routing expands the possibilities of timber, in addition to creating new building techniques and identities.