With such powerful digital tools at our disposal these days, the design o 'things' to be fabricated from entirely custom parts is a reality and probably all too easy! often overlooked in the realm of 'digital fabrication' are the ubiquitous 'stock' sections which have become universal because of their efficiencies , standard dimensions, and properties.
Along with these off the shelf sections there exist many familiar methods for assembly into large systems- coping notching, mitering, bolting, welding, etc. while easily suited to the fabrication of regular geometries these methods become tedious when creating structures which require very many custom parts. This is where CNC processes become an essential part of the fabrication workflow. There is untapped opportunity in the potential synthesis of these two realms; off-the-shelf stock sections interfacing with custom CNC parts to generate complex yet easily fabricated assemblies.
Hence to understand these assemblies and fabrication methods we fabricated a steel cube by using stock sections and custom CNC parts.
Step 1: Stock Sections and CNC Parts
- We used 3/16" thick, 1.5" square steel tube for framing and 3/16" thick steel plate for making the joints.
- These steel plate joints were 2- dimensionally CNC cut .
- We used horizontal metal band saw to cut the steel tubes in 3' length.Steel plates were digitally designed and then were cut by using water jet.
Step 2: Welding
After cutting all the parts to desired shape and sizes, we welded all of them. Firstly the plates were assembled and joined together by using TIG welding and then we did MIG welding to join steel plate assembly and steel tubes.
- Black patina finish was then given to the CNC cut parts to highlight the corners of the cube.
Step 4: Final Assembly
- Our concept for designing this cube was to make a 3 dimensional assembly where the steel tubes are connected in a way that they don't touch each other.Also we kept all the joints exposed to give a rigid look to the assembly.