Weave Side Table
Aaron Moore, Independent Designer-Maker
Conference activity: Pop Up Exhibition, Trelissick House
Keywords: digital craft, furniture, open design.
One of my areas of interest is the democratisation of design and manufacturing. My aim is to design objects and processes that enable small scale manufacturing to take place at a local level in order to reduce the carbon footprint of product distribution and empower and enable communities to become more self sufficient. I use a low cost self-made 3-axis CNC router, combined with open source software to make wooden components for furniture and household goods.
A three axis machine however, is really only capable of producing 2 dimensional objects from flat sheets of material which have to ‘jigsaw’ together to become 3 dimensional. Like an origamist turning a flat sheet of paper into a representation of a 3 dimensional object, a great deal of skill is used but the paper is always present. As a consequence I have been exploring how the addition of a fourth rotary axis can change the aesthetic. In terms of technical complexity, adding a rotary axis to a 3 axis machine is relatively simple, and therefore still accessible to digital craft workers. It allows the machine to be used more like a lathe to shape all sides of the work-piece.
The table exhibited is the result of an exploration of the capabilities afforded by the new axis and an interest in self-supporting structures i.e. those that are held together with no fixings other than the tension and compression forces within the structure itself. The interlocking components require very few manufacturing processes and only a small amount of glue in their construction. The piece is easily assembled and disassembled for repair and transport, which hopefully results in a low environmental impact. The maker hopes to go on and develop a range of pieces that use similar manufacturing and assembly systems.
All of the Open Source community
A question that arises from your project: Is there a role for micro manufacturing units using free and open source designs to produce more products for local communities?