Recap :: CNC Open House

Photos by Rand Lemley
By Rand Lemley, BArch Candidate

For those who don't know, the BAC has a CNC router. I certainly wasn't aware until I heard about it in passing late in the fall semester. Instantly, my imagination ran with the possibilities this machine opens up for studio and beyond. When I heard about the open house, I signed up as soon as I could. I had to have access to this fabrication tool of the future.

A CNC router is essentially a high-speed drill on a computer-controlled arm that can precisely carve many planar materials to match a 3D computer model. Kyle Sturgeon, the faculty member who oversees the CNC router operation, showed examples of his digital fabrication work from University of Michigan to give a sense of the capabilities of the machine. After Kyle's talk, we were given a demonstration of the router in action by the student assistants, Jeff Nunez and Levi Tofias. The demonstration was followed by a tutorial of how to use the toolpath software, Partworks.

Levi explaining how the CNC router works. Image: Rand Lemley
We were repeatedly told that this class of the open house is serving as pioneers for this technology at the BAC. Each project output by the router is another piece of research to build upon for the future. The router has many capabilities yet to be tested and I can't wait to put it through the motions.