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 Safe glide at total engine failure with ELA-inside
27.02.2017 | FernUniversität in Hagen

nachricht Deep Learning predicts hematopoietic stem cell development
21.02.2017 | Helmholtz Zentrum München - Deutsches Forschungszentrum für Gesundheit und Umwelt

All articles from Information Technology >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Safe glide at total engine failure with ELA-inside

On January 15, 2009, Chesley B. Sullenberger was celebrated world-wide: after the two engines had failed due to bird strike, he and his flight crew succeeded after a glide flight with an Airbus A320 in ditching on the Hudson River. All 155 people on board were saved.

On January 15, 2009, Chesley B. Sullenberger was celebrated world-wide: after the two engines had failed due to bird strike, he and his flight crew succeeded...

Im Focus: Breakthrough with a chain of gold atoms

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

Im Focus: DNA repair: a new letter in the cell alphabet

Results reveal how discoveries may be hidden in scientific “blind spots”

Cells need to repair damaged DNA in our genes to prevent the development of cancer and other diseases. Our cells therefore activate and send “repair-proteins”...

Im Focus: Dresdner scientists print tomorrow’s world

The Fraunhofer IWS Dresden and Technische Universität Dresden inaugurated their jointly operated Center for Additive Manufacturing Dresden (AMCD) with a festive ceremony on February 7, 2017. Scientists from various disciplines perform research on materials, additive manufacturing processes and innovative technologies, which build up components in a layer by layer process. This technology opens up new horizons for component design and combinations of functions. For example during fabrication, electrical conductors and sensors are already able to be additively manufactured into components. They provide information about stress conditions of a product during operation.

The 3D-printing technology, or additive manufacturing as it is often called, has long made the step out of scientific research laboratories into industrial...

Im Focus: Mimicking nature's cellular architectures via 3-D printing

Research offers new level of control over the structure of 3-D printed materials

Nature does amazing things with limited design materials. Grass, for example, can support its own weight, resist strong wind loads, and recover after being...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Booth and panel discussion – The Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings at the AAAS 2017 Annual Meeting

13.02.2017 | Event News

Complex Loading versus Hidden Reserves

10.02.2017 | Event News

International Conference on Crystal Growth in Freiburg

09.02.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

New pop-up strategy inspired by cuts, not folds

27.02.2017 | Materials Sciences

Sandia uses confined nanoparticles to improve hydrogen storage materials performance

27.02.2017 | Interdisciplinary Research

Decoding the genome's cryptic language

27.02.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>