Digital Fabrication

Digital fabrication is quickly becoming affordable not only for large businesses, but for small companies and individuals. Educational organisations as well as community centres are getting 3d printers, laser cutters and CNC routing machines to test ideas, prototype products and teach people design which is not only easy but also exciting and hands-on.

In the past few months we have been working together with CADS and Studio Polpo to develop a full-size CNC router as a creative resource.

With digital fabrication, design rather than craft is the main skill. With CNC technology, the user can know very little about joinery – with the final product coming out as it was designed on a computer. Also, designs rather than objects can be transported around the world in a matter of seconds with local manufacturers being able to replicate the product with locally-available materials, reducing the carbon footprint and strengthening international small-scale creative networks.

Furthermore, CNC allows much more complexity and new design language to be developed, different to traditional approach possible with hand tools. Complex graphics can be integrated and modifications and evolution of objects can happen faster.

In the last few moths we have been experimenting with the machine. Have already produced an open-source set of design for fit-out of vacant shops. The prototype items have been used in Bird’s Yard Shop on Chapel Walk.

CNC will add to Wavelab, a new Digital Media Centre at CADS. They already have a whole suite of PCs with latest software, 3d printer and a whole bunch of other gadgets.

In the spring-summer we will be running a range of workshops on how to design, cut and put together anything from a sign for your business to furniture for your office, or even larger structure.

We hope that this will help local start-up businesses, creatives and third sector organisations to both improve their working enviroments (by having custom locally-produced furniture), get a number of new exciting products to the market and hopefully start new businesses.