Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Traditional craft industry with a bright future

02.12.2009
Mary and Joseph, the angels, the manger – at Christmas time, lots of people still decorate their homes with high-quality wooden figures depicting the nativity scene. Now, the wood carvers of South Tyrol are moving over to high-tech production methods.

A South Tyrolean craftsman wearing ear protection carefully guides a tool arm over a master figure, producing forty or more mini-copies of the original at the cutting machine next to him. This kind of pantograph machine has long been the traditional means of manufacturing wooden figures in many of South Tyrol’s valleys. “Pantographs are often given away in children’s magazines and comics.

Kids love them. With just a pencil and paper, they can reproduce their favorite characters on whatever scale they like, and then hang the posters on their wall. The same principle applies here, too – only in this case, we’re talking about producing high-quality wooden carvings,” explains group manager Jürgen Goetz of the Fraunhofer Institute for Manufacturing Engineering and Automation IPA.

“First, an artist produces Mary or Joseph by hand, perhaps cast in bronze or brass. Then a colleague at the pantograph traces the figure and the carving machine produces copies.” This traditional way of working has its disadvantages: It’s loud, dusty, and the unenclosed machines are a hazard to workers. Additionally, it often takes several months before even a small production batch is ready for dispatch. The artist must first produce a design, then create a master figure; only after that can manufacturing begin.

On behalf of the company 3D Wood, Goetz’ s team of scientists have now developed a new workflow for this traditional branch of woodworking. First, a 3D scanner traces the original, or else data is input from a CAD program. Then a software package processes up to 50,000 scanner data sets of the design model, producing the basis for a CNC program which controls the milling machine. Goetz reels off the technical details: “The 3 meter by 3 meter by 8 meter machine is fully automated, has five simultaneous axes, operates at up to 40,000 revolutions per minute, automatically swops tools, and stops immediately if any malfunction occurs. It produces 42 extremely high-quality copies simultaneously, and their size can vary anywhere between 10 and 600 millimeters.” Using this automated process, figures can be turned out in less than half the previous time – and their quality is better too.

This new way of working cuts the time between design of the master and manufacture of the end product from several months to just a few weeks. The artist can even make the master out of soft wood or wax, which is in turn much quicker than casting a figure in bronze and enables work to begin sooner on new contracts. And let’s not forget another happy side-effect: workers no longer need to be exposed to high levels of noise and dust.

Juergen Goetz | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.ipa.fraunhofer.de

More articles from Information Technology:

nachricht Fingerprints of quantum entanglement
16.02.2018 | University of Vienna

nachricht Simple in the Cloud: The digitalization of brownfield systems made easy
07.02.2018 | Deutsches Forschungszentrum für Künstliche Intelligenz GmbH, DFKI

All articles from Information Technology >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Demonstration of a single molecule piezoelectric effect

Breakthrough provides a new concept of the design of molecular motors, sensors and electricity generators at nanoscale

Researchers from the Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry of the CAS (IOCB Prague), Institute of Physics of the CAS (IP CAS) and Palacký University...

Im Focus: Hybrid optics bring color imaging using ultrathin metalenses into focus

For photographers and scientists, lenses are lifesavers. They reflect and refract light, making possible the imaging systems that drive discovery through the microscope and preserve history through cameras.

But today's glass-based lenses are bulky and resist miniaturization. Next-generation technologies, such as ultrathin cameras or tiny microscopes, require...

Im Focus: Stem cell divisions in the adult brain seen for the first time

Scientists from the University of Zurich have succeeded for the first time in tracking individual stem cells and their neuronal progeny over months within the intact adult brain. This study sheds light on how new neurons are produced throughout life.

The generation of new nerve cells was once thought to taper off at the end of embryonic development. However, recent research has shown that the adult brain...

Im Focus: Interference as a new method for cooling quantum devices

Theoretical physicists propose to use negative interference to control heat flow in quantum devices. Study published in Physical Review Letters

Quantum computer parts are sensitive and need to be cooled to very low temperatures. Their tiny size makes them particularly susceptible to a temperature...

Im Focus: Autonomous 3D scanner supports individual manufacturing processes

Let’s say the armrest is broken in your vintage car. As things stand, you would need a lot of luck and persistence to find the right spare part. But in the world of Industrie 4.0 and production with batch sizes of one, you can simply scan the armrest and print it out. This is made possible by the first ever 3D scanner capable of working autonomously and in real time. The autonomous scanning system will be on display at the Hannover Messe Preview on February 6 and at the Hannover Messe proper from April 23 to 27, 2018 (Hall 6, Booth A30).

Part of the charm of vintage cars is that they stopped making them long ago, so it is special when you do see one out on the roads. If something breaks or...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

2nd International Conference on High Temperature Shape Memory Alloys (HTSMAs)

15.02.2018 | Event News

Aachen DC Grid Summit 2018

13.02.2018 | Event News

How Global Climate Policy Can Learn from the Energy Transition

12.02.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Fingerprints of quantum entanglement

16.02.2018 | Information Technology

'Living bandages': NUST MISIS scientists develop biocompatible anti-burn nanofibers

16.02.2018 | Health and Medicine

Hubble sees Neptune's mysterious shrinking storm

16.02.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>