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!
Stanford researchers create new special-purpose computer that may someday save us billions
21.10.2016 | Stanford University
New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality
19.10.2016 | University of Waterloo
Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.
"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...
In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.
A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...
By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.
"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...
COMPAMED has become the leading international marketplace for suppliers of medical manufacturing. The trade fair, which takes place every November and is co-located to MEDICA in Dusseldorf, has been steadily growing over the past years and shows that medical technology remains a rapidly growing market.
In 2016, the joint pavilion by the IVAM Microtechnology Network, the Product Market “High-tech for Medical Devices”, will be located in Hall 8a again and will...
'Ferroelectric' materials can switch between different states of electrical polarization in response to an external electric field. This flexibility means they show promise for many applications, for example in electronic devices and computer memory. Current ferroelectric materials are highly valued for their thermal and chemical stability and rapid electro-mechanical responses, but creating a material that is scalable down to the tiny sizes needed for technologies like silicon-based semiconductors (Si-based CMOS) has proven challenging.
Now, Hiroshi Funakubo and co-workers at the Tokyo Institute of Technology, in collaboration with researchers across Japan, have conducted experiments to...
14.10.2016 | Event News
14.10.2016 | Event News
12.10.2016 | Event News
21.10.2016 | Health and Medicine
21.10.2016 | Information Technology
21.10.2016 | Materials Sciences