Friday, December 29, 2006

Carvewright $1900 for computer controlled carving

The cost of CNC machines is something I have been keeping an eye on. Until recently the cheapest machine that was not a kit cost $10K and was designed for factory use. But all that really provided was a router on an X-Y plotter.

The Carvewright shows what is possible with production engineering. The costly X-Y bed is replaced by what is in effect the guts of a benchtop planer. Sears even sell the machine alongside their planing machines.

With volume production I don't see why a machine like this should not be possible for $1000 or even less.

All of which is likely to have a profound impact on design trends. Since the 1930s design has been dominated by flat surfaces. Plywood and chipboard are the materials of choice for the manufacturers. Extraneous detail has been eliminated.

With cheap CNC machines the cost of adding relief detail is likely to drop to $10 per square foot or less. How about a relief frieze underneath the cornice mouldings? Include pictures of members of the family, change them acording to the season.

Perhaps this is what happens to all those print your photos online operations when people stop feeling the need to mimic 35mm prints.

2 comments: said...
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Check out website
We have free patterns for the CarveWright machine.