Cnc And Cad For Woodworking

Cottage-industry CN C is gaining impetus as machine prices fall, but it is still a long way from the maturity of use by professional cabinet and furniture manufacturers. Carbatec’s CNC Shark will cut profiles within its 635 X 635mm table limit and a great introduction to CN C a far cry from furniture making on full size machines, although it is it. The software is really capable of 3D engraving or 2D cutting and what they show you at trade shows are slot- engraved panels and dinosaurs.
Forget those; what about a beehive in the shape of an egg? For anybody who doubts that CNC is actual woodworking, Nick Killey’s story is inspiring and he is well on his way to re-defining bespoke wood design and cottage industry manufacture using CNC equipment. Nick purchased his CNC machine only 18 months ago but despite this, his current project is technically ambitious and conceptually innovative.

It is a stunning modern example of the sun hive usually made from cane, straw and plywood and designed by German sculptor Guenther Mancke, from research into the natural environment of the honeybee colony. Nick is not an apiarist, so working with Guenther’s layout and local Warburton (Victoria) biodynamic bee pro Tobias Mager, Nick developed the wooden dome hive. It is made from 101 pieces of kiln dried radiata pine and paulownia and all the parts are cut from only a few long lengths of wood.
When assembled, the hive is made up of barrel-like base, a landing cone for a central ring that the top and bottom attach to the bees and a dome lid made from pine. In the dome are 12 bars made from paulownia for the honeycombs to hang from. These are designed to provide a big surface for the honeycomb to attach to, and when assembled they form a dome. This means that each bit is different but they’re all machined in the one time. The bars are numbered by the machine for assembly and shapes are cut into the while wearing gloves, to enable easy separation and removal. The hive is naturally humid, so wood motion is a thought and paulownia is very secure.

This is left un-sanded and the rough surface is well suited for the honeycomb to attach to. Making the hive conventionally would mean creating every part Separately using jigs that are exact. ‘If you were only doing a limited run, making them on normal gear wouldn’t be worth it’, said Nick. Nick Custom Made Furniture Fremantle likes CAD as any alterations to the entire product’s layout and it could be seen forthwith. The CNC machine makes it simple to do things that would be extremely difficult by hand. Given he’s a Masters in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Birmingham (UK) followed by six months in the workshop and design centre at Mirrlees Blackstone working with CAD design and diesel engines, but his woodworking is mostly self- taught and the end result of a demand for house furnishings and joinery.

With no formal woodwork training, Nick does not believe like a woodworker and that’s to his edge. The woodworker’s not held down by customs or traditions. He’s free to express his thoughts without limitations. Nick spent six months studying CNC equipment and this led to a Chinese manufacturing company that came highly recommended on the forum. The machine came with a 3kW (4hp) single stage motor, industrial drives and guides, a 2.4 x 1.2 metre table and even after transportation, Nick considers the machine a great buy. Apart from a modest workshop using a combination machine, it is all he needs for the most complicated jobs. After ten years successfully day-trading the stock market, Nick does not need to rely on sales to support the woodworker and is not financially unable to investigate CNC woodworking; though he concedes this will transform.

By then, he should have many new merchandises to keep him busy. ‘ If you made something yourself you would love it because it was made by you’, Nick says. ‘CNC lets you change an unresolved layout without the pain of making jigs that are new. It’s the ease and speed of the feedback loop (design, make, redesign, remake…) that permits you to perfect the design.’ He considers there is ‘tons of extent in the middle’ between the high quality handcrafted type and also affordable mass produced furniture. CNC is equally as creative although perhaps hand work is romantic.
I’m looking for an emotional result from my work and I can get this in a much shorter time’. With wood and CNC he’s found the ideal combination of manufacturing and layout, empowering him to create nearly anything he can imagine using his CNC machine and CAD software.