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 The TU Ilmenau develops tomorrow’s chip technology today
27.04.2017 | Technische Universität Ilmenau

nachricht Five developments for improved data exploitation
19.04.2017 | 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: Making lightweight construction suitable for series production

More and more automobile companies are focusing on body parts made of carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP). However, manufacturing and repair costs must be further reduced in order to make CFRP more economical in use. Together with the Volkswagen AG and five other partners in the project HolQueSt 3D, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) has developed laser processes for the automatic trimming, drilling and repair of three-dimensional components.

Automated manufacturing processes are the basis for ultimately establishing the series production of CFRP components. In the project HolQueSt 3D, the LZH has...

Im Focus: Wonder material? Novel nanotube structure strengthens thin films for flexible electronics

Reflecting the structure of composites found in nature and the ancient world, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have synthesized thin carbon nanotube (CNT) textiles that exhibit both high electrical conductivity and a level of toughness that is about fifty times higher than copper films, currently used in electronics.

"The structural robustness of thin metal films has significant importance for the reliable operation of smart skin and flexible electronics including...

Im Focus: Deep inside Galaxy M87

The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.

Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...

Im Focus: A Quantum Low Pass for Photons

Physicists in Garching observe novel quantum effect that limits the number of emitted photons.

The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...

Im Focus: Microprocessors based on a layer of just three atoms

Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.

Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Fighting drug resistant tuberculosis – InfectoGnostics meets MYCO-NET² partners in Peru

28.04.2017 | Event News

Expert meeting “Health Business Connect” will connect international medical technology companies

20.04.2017 | Event News

Wenn der Computer das Gehirn austrickst

18.04.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Wireless power can drive tiny electronic devices in the GI tract

28.04.2017 | Medical Engineering

Ice cave in Transylvania yields window into region's past

28.04.2017 | Earth Sciences

Nose2Brain – Better Therapy for Multiple Sclerosis

28.04.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>