Even an experienced carpenter may not be able to see how best to build a building he designed. Carpentry Compiler, a new digital tool, offers a way to convert the shapes of the structure into a step-by-step guide to their manufacture. It could help you get your next carpentry project off the screen into the store.
"If you look at design and manufacture as programs, you can use programming language methods to solve carpentry problems, which is really cool," said project manager Adriana Schulz of the University of Washington Computer Science Department in a press release.
It sounds a bit detached from the sawdust and sweat of woodworking to be touched, but it is not for nothing that they say "measure twice, cut once". Carpentry is more a cerebral process than a physical one, and intelligent, efficient solutions usually only replace well-made ones.
Carpentry Compiler codifies the rules for design and carpentry, e.g. B. What materials are available, what tools, etc., and uses them to create a solution (in terms of cuts and connections) for a problem (How to Turn Boards into a Treehouse).
Users design in a familiar 3D model surface, as many already do, and create the desired structure from various shapes that they can modify, split, pierce, attach, and so on. The program then takes these shapes and uses the existing tools that you can choose from a list to determine the best way to create them from your existing inventory.
Do you need to build the roof of your tree house but only have 2×4? It will provide a prescription with this limitation. Do you have plywood panels? These are used and the remnants contribute to the base, so less waste is created. By evaluating numerous variations on how this could be achieved, the program finds what it believes are the best options and presents several solutions.
"If you want to make a bookshelf, there are several plans to do it," said Schulz. “You could use less material. Another could be more accurate because it uses a more precise tool. And a third is faster, but uses more material. All of these plans make the same bookshelf, but they are not the same in terms of cost. These are examples of compromises that a designer could sound out. "
It's really the same thing that's going on in a woodworker's brain: I could make this part with this fresh leaf, and it would be easy, or I could cut these shapes out of every corner and it would leave space in the middle, but that will be a kind of pain … something like that. It can also be optimized for spatial elements, for example if you want to pack the parts in a box, or for costs if you want to save a few dollars from the project.
Finally, the user receives a series of instructions that are specific to his tool kit. And the carpenters themselves act as "processors" who carry out processes such as "cutting at this angle" on real materials. In Carpenter Compiler, the computer programs you!
The team presented their work at SIGGRAPH Asia last month. You can read more about the project on his website (and learn how to try it out for yourself).