Design Furniture for a CNC mill

Event wanted to design a chair? In this course, we begin with a manufacturing technique (CNC milling) and design a chair to suit. We test scale versions of our design on our own CNC machine, and at the end of the course, we commission full scale versions on a commercial CNC machine.
Starts Monday 17th of July 2017

@ Innovation Campus


Join us as we explore, design, prototype, build, assemble and re-iterate on the manufacture of a chair. We are working with a constraint: the chair must be manufactured with a CNC milling machine, and built using ply wood.
The intent of this workshop is to explore the boundary between design and technique, and to discover if there is a particular style of chair that is suited to a particular style of manufacture.
Each student will design, model and build a scale model version of their chair (using our small-scale CNC). Students may then go on to commission full-scale manufacture with local milling workshops in the Illawarra.
Week 1: Concept, research and initial ideas
     – Present the concept
     – Look at precedence (other people who have done this)
     – Research on possible joint types (see Pinterest board) … do a group board?
     – First sketches
Week 2: CNC demo cut / Fusion 360 basics
     – Do a demo cut out of MDF or whatever material … just one joint.
     – Fusion 360 basics:
             – extruding 2D shape into sheet of ply
             – how to parametrise a joint design
Week 3: Basic Designing
     – Work on design in sketch form / Fusion 360
     – Each person to share a famous chair design and discuss how it might be translated to CNC
Week 4: Sample detail
     – Prepare a sample detail to be tested on CNC machine
     – Detail will be cut next week
Week 5: CAD CAM
     – How to place parts on CAM layout
     – Calculating paths
     – How to create a GCode file
     – Cut on CNC (need to sort out the order of students use of CNC machine)
Week 6: Continue Full design
     – All students to complete full design to be cut next week.
Week 7: Full prototype
     – Full prototype cut out
Week 8: Translation to 12mm ply
      – Each prototype to be translated to 12mm ply (adjustment to parametrised joints)
      – Contact with commercial CNC supplier (Joe’s DIY?)
Week 9: Revise design … material efficiency
Week 10:  Revise Design … CAD CAM efficiency
Research Genesis
This project is based on the notion that a piece of furniture is inseparable from the techniques used to manufacture it. Indeed, design involves expressing those techniques. Proper references coming soon.