CNC_machine

How to leverage CNC for construction – CNC machines guide

We announced that ArchiFrame supported CNC exporting a few years ago, so let’s take a closer look at ArchiFrame CNC and how it can be used to speed up construction!

CNC (computer numerical control) exporting has always been an important feature of ArchiFrame; we have supported CNC-output from the very first ArchiFrame version in 2013, and some of our users are very reliant on CNC production methods. CNC is also something that new users are increasingly interested in as they explore offsite construction and prefabrication benefits.

The potential for more efficient offsite building, construction automation, and the maximisation of building materials are all key reasons why CNC is popular.

CNC in construction: CAD + CNC power combo

CNC means automating machining tools, such as mills, drills, and lathes, by controlling them with numerical symbols. CNC is embedded in a software that gives the microcomputer instructions on how to operate, cut, and shape etc.

This way, a computer handles all the cutting and shaping of the material, producing accurate and desired results quickly and efficiently. Using a CNC machine is less error-prone and often less expensive and time-consuming than manual machining.

Exporting your CAD drawings straight to a CNC machine means that the same file that holds the designs to your building, is the one that goes through to the machine actually cutting material to size. So, in timber construction, you can design and set your beams, planks etc. in ArchiFrame, and then send that same file to a CNC machine that will cut and saw your beams and planks to size. It’s a dynamic way of building that takes modern construction demands of flexibility, safety, and sustainability into account.

ArchiFrame users and CNC

ArchiFrame is widely used in the design of large-scale wooden buildings that are often built using CNC due to them being constructed from an ensemble of timber elements. As a result, the demands on the accuracy and detail of CNC-based data are high. ArchiFrame allows endless editing and reshaping of wooden elements throughout the modeling process. Finished plans can be easily outputted to CNC and manufactured quickly and easily with less errors. The end product will always look like your design and settings when you use ArchiFrame.

The software allows you to seamlessly adjust and control all phases of construction. ArchiFrame streamlines the work by offering the ultimate CAD software that operates seamlessly from an architect’s drawing all the way to CNC files.

Our clients use CNC machines as part of their prefabrication production lines, and we have included some real-life examples below.

Benefits of CNC

CNC machine control is reliable, safe to operate, and time-efficient. Using CNC means that the possibility of human errors is reduced to a minimum, and even intricate designs can be replicated with consistent quantity and quality.

There are many reasons why which using CNC machines rather than manual machining can be beneficial:

  • Accuracy: CNC machines are incredibly precise
  • Efficiency: Manual machining and assembly can lead to efficiency problems and miscommunication, whereas CNC is pretty fool-proof
  • Agile: Design changes can be reflected in production incredibly quickly
  • Sustainability: CNC machines can help with waste management and waste reduction, helping you maximise building materials
  • Scalability: Prefabrication is a very scalable construction method
  • Offsite production methods are often safer, as well as easier to monitor and quantify.

In general, using a CNC machine is about letting the computers and the software do the heavy lifting so that human intervention and creativity can be maximised.

Different CNC output types used with ArchiFrame

There are two main CNC machine types that ArchiFrame users use:

  • Cut saw
  • Framing station

Cut saws pre-cut timber pieces and automatically optimise the cutting processes to minimise waste. Examples of CNC machines using cut saws supported by ArchiFrame are: Hundegger, Weinmann and Randek. There are also some additional saws that we support such as Italian Essetre and Stromab.

Framing stations nail the frames together: nails or screws are used on boards and cladding pieces and to add any additional studding layers to the main frame. Also, our customers use the framing station to mark positions of air space layers and cladding pieces to the windshield boards. ArchiFrame also runs the framing station’s saw blade or milling unit to cut boards and claddings to their final shapes. Examples of supported framing stations are Weinmann wup-based machines and Mobi-One.

Please see more information here.

ArchiFrame CNC support

We offer CNC support to help clients with element production, offsite building, and prefabrication.

Currently we offer CNC support for BTL, or BTLx, or BTL CLT, or EasyFrame EZF, or Hundegger BVX, or Hundegger BVX2, or MiTek EHX, or Randek SPL728, or Randek CDT4, or Spida SSF, or Weinmann WUP

  • BVN and BVX: Hundegger k2, speed cut, CLT-processing machine
  • BTL: Weinmann cut saw, Essetre cut saw, Stromab cut saw, Salvador cut saw
  • BTL: Mobi-One framing stations
  • BTL: Tigerstop cut saw as custom solution
  • BTL: CLT processing using DDX Software Solution’s products (https://www.ddxgroup.com/)
  • WUP: Weinmann framing stations and cut saws
  • Randek cut saws  (SPL72x is in use at Skanska Husfabrikken )
  • TXT: Sawteq board cutting station as A custom solution

Examples of CNC & ArchiFrame in action

Birkeland Bruk

The same BTL CNC file used with a projector to show where reinforcements should be placed in the factory.

BTL CNC-file for Weinmann Optimat WBZ 110/13 including markings for studs, doors, windows, and neighbouring elements.

1-2 Tre AS

ArchiFrame generated CNC-files are used to feed Hundegger cut saw (BVN) and multiple Weinmann framing stations (WUP).

 

Derome

ArchiFrame generated CNC-files are used to feed Weinmann cut saws (BTL) and multiple Weinmann framing stations (WUP).

All files are processed by GranIT GmbH’s software to further streamline production.

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