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SPACE10’s Take on Digital CNC Milling

Why IKEA’s SPACE10 lab is using digital CNC milling to reawaken old handicrafts

IKEA meatballs (not 3D printed nor done with digital CNC milling) image by Arkadiusz Fajer (via Shutterstock).

Yes, they really do make 3D printed meatballs as well! Digital CNC milling could achieve a similar effect but they would have the same consistency as gobstoppers. Image by Arkadiusz Fajer (credit).

If you’re familiar with the Swedish self-assembly giant’s offerings, you would know there’s more to IKEA than Billy bookcases and Asplund wardrobes. There’s the hot dog stand by the tills; also the Swedish meatballs in the café, the children’s section, and the circuitous walk around the store. Did you know that IKEA has an experimental offshoot known as SPACE10? They do a lot of the futuristic type stuff you would have seen on programmes like Tomorrow’s World. Did you know that, thanks to the wonder of digital CNC milling, they are using these techniques to reinvigorate moribund handicrafts?

At the SPACE10 laboratory in Copenhagen, architects Yuan Chieh Yang, Benas Burdulis, and Emil Froege are using digital CNC milling to reawaken otherwise moribund handicrafts. In other words, they will use CNC milling machines to relearn the techniques lost to mechanisation. They also decry the depersonalisation of the digital age and wishes to apply a more human scale to industrial design practice.

Their main aim is to use modern day methods to create hand crafted style products. Yuan Chieh Yang is using this approach to develop wooden joinery pieces, without the need for screws in its assembly process. This is to a 1,000-year-old method of Japanese joinery.

Other SPACE10 projects include 3D printed meatballs (yes, you read that right – IKEA meatballs in 3D printed form). Perhaps there’s a case for digital CNC milling. Also changes to the way we chat online, and an urban farm pavilion known as The Growroom.

Stoney CNC, 20 July 2017.

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