Like many makers I've never been able to make the switch to full-time. Too many niche interests, I suppose.
But now I have an idea and even better, a plan, to shift gears and start trying to make a go of supporting my family with creativity.
I believe that CNC technology can make affordable, attractive, functional and, above all, durable flat-pack furniture into a reality.
Most flat-pack furniture is terrible. Those bookshelves you got at Target? Crap. They'll sag almost instantly, they don't break down for transport and they'll chip if you look at them crossways.
It doesn't have to be this way. Baltic birch plywood is a beautiful, consistent, strong, durable, renewable and affordable building material. With thoughtfully constructed joints, furniture made of this material can last as long as the wood does. You could leave this furniture to your grandchildren.
Rocking chairs are great but good ones are prohibitively expensive and cheap ones are terrible. I have the good fortune to have access to a beautiful and divinely comfortable rocker.
My plan, if I win, is to lease a Shopbot CNC router and begin the process of cloning the fantastically ergonomic dimensions of this rocker into a design that will break down into 2.5D components and can be shipped flat and assembled by the end user. I'll also make freely available my designs under a Creative Commons license. Piracy is not the enemy, obscurity is.
Why lease instead of buy? My shop will need some new wiring to accommodate the new hardware, I'll need some assistance building a useful and non-terrible website and I'll hopefully be buying enough plywood to choke a thousand beavers.