When we talk of plywood design there is often a term that floats along with it; design for CNC manufacturing. We are not designing for CNC manufacturing, we are designing for people, or at least we should be.
It is important to remember how we are perceived in reality and in context. Essentially we are trying to create better spaces and environments for everyone, globally. A CNC machine can help us achieve this very accurately and very consistently, however it is just a tool we use to get us to the actual goal. It provides one part in the chain of fluid motion to achieving satisfaction.
We can’t allow the machines to dictate that which we wish to do, instead we can work with the machines to manipulate their abilities and exploit their strengths. Generally we have only scratched the surface with our designs, there is so much potential to able the machines with the tools to create far more sophisticated products, in the aesthetic, construction and practical realms.
This feeds into the idea of designing for people. Ultimately these products are used by people, so why not make the whole process about that idea? If someone can engage in what we are trying to do from the beginning then we could potentially make a far greater connection with good design. The people who are making the furniture are getting satisfaction from the ease of assembly, the amount of parts, less chance of confusion and limited meaningless decision making. It may be a good idea to break these elements down into a coherent legible explanation.
Meaningless decision maker- The idea is to remove parts, processes and decisions from the maker so that the there is a flow to the finishing and assembly the doesn’t stop, create blockages or make life difficult. Where possible, the products should have a continuously smooth output from the point in which the machine is starting to cut all the way through to the customer. On the machine, all things consider- how is the sheet laid out, how are the parts nested- are the parts easy to clean up- is there much waste on the sheet. Then through to finishing and assembly- how easy are the parts to sand/oil- are there multiple parts- are there repeated parts- are they easy enough to understand with limited assembly instructions, is it possible to assemble wrong.
If we can build into the design the lower risk factors then we can potentially make products that are happier to make and happier to use. Products for people.
One of the main principles being removing rather than adding. How can we remove the potential for things to go wrong, can we remove meaningless decision so someone doesn’t have to think too much about what they are doing and enjoy the process of making and using far more?