Furniture Workshop Successful in Digital Fabrication Lab Grant
School of Art's Furniture workshop has been successful in their bid for $180,000 to purchase a Digital Fabrication Lab Utilizing Laser Cutter and CNC Routing Machine. The Digital Fabrication Lab has broad interdisciplinary support, and is vital to the School of Art moving forward as a leader in Art, Craft, and Design
This technology, now standard to conventional design and manufacturing, greatly improves the research environment both through efficiency and fantastic capacity for innovation. Accessibility, familiarity, and exploration of Digital Fabrication would be a boon to creative research, and is critical for art and design researchers in this day and age. The chief investigators, Ashley Eriksmoen, Gilbert Riedelbauch, Rohan Nicol, Richard Whiteley, and Pasty Payne are already utilising Digital Fabrication technologies through outsourcing, and have all made significant contributions to the School of Art research outcomes through exhibiting and publishing nationally and internationally.
The 1200 x 700 mm Laser Cutter uses a high-powered laser directed by a computer to process a wide variety of materials common to art and design. It is particularly suited to precise cutting and engraving a broad range of thin, and more flexible materials too fine to withstand CNC routing, making it perfect not only for many finished products/artworks, but also ideal for scale models of larger objects. The 2500 x 1300mm CNC Router is able to cut and shape larger parts from thicker, denser, and more rigid materials that the laser cutter cannot penetrate, allowing full scale prototyping and realization of artworks. Together, the two machines allow a sequencing of design concept verification from model to product as well as innovative forays into complex solid to surface development, an exciting yet underexplored area in visual arts practice-led research.
It is anticipated that the Digital Fabrication Lab will be completed by mid 2013.