Axiom 2' x 4' CNC Routers for Architecture and Interior Design Department

Project Title: Axiom 2' x 4' CNC Routers for Architecture and Interior Design Department

Project Lead's Name: Teddy W. Wong Jr.

Project Lead's Email:

Project Lead's Phone: 513-529-7242

Project Lead's Division: CCA

Primary Department: Architecture and Interior Design

List Departments Benefiting or Affected by this proposal:

  • The Department of Architecture and Interior Design
  • Other departments in the College of Creative Arts : Theater, Sculpture, Inter-Media Studies
  • College of Engineering
  • Summer Scholars

Estimated Number of Under-Graduate students affected per year (should be number who will actually use solution, not just who is it available to): 150

Estimated Number of Graduate students affected per year (should be number who will actually use solution, not just who is it available to): 10

Describe the problem you are attempting to solve and your approach for solving that problem: The proposal's aim is to relieve congestion on existing digital fabrication infrastructure in the Department of Architecture and Interior Design and to expand accessibility to digital fabrication methods for the student population.

In 2008 the department was awarded a Tech Fee Grant for a CNC Router and the department acquired it's first piece of digital fabrication equipment. Adoption of the technology into the department's pedagogies has increased steadily in the last decade. There are several components of the department's undergraduate curriculum that now require or strongly encourage the use of the CNC Router for coursework. In Arc 103 (Shop Methods and Materials) all new freshmen are required to complete projects that utilize the 3D modeling software and the CNC Router. In Arc 309 (Furniture Design and Construction) all Interior Design Students are introduced to the equipment and learn how the technology is an integral component of the furniture-making industry. In Arc 105 ( Introduction to Architecture ) students digitally fabricate full-scale plywood furniture pieces. And students in the department's core upper division studios use the equipment for fabricating site models and full scale architectural mock-ups. Summer Scholars students have also used the equipment as a hands-on way to fabricate furniture and learn the basic concepts of digital design. In addition, our department also services the needs of students in the College of Creative Arts and the School of Engineering.

These demands have put a strain on the department's resources that has created workflow backlogs and delays and has been a deterrent to use.

Acquisition of additional CNC Routers would double our capacity and relieve the stress on the staff and existing equipment.

How would you describe the innovation and/or the significance of your project: Digital Fabrication equipment and techniques allow people to become makers in a way previously not possible. The paradigm has shifted. Skill sets that were once required in order to fabricate or make something are no longer requisite. The process has become democratized and designers can imagine something, digitally model it and then create it without the lengthy learning curve of using traditional tools and analog equipment. It has democratized the act of creating.

Digital fabrication is no longer a buzzword in design disciplines. It is an integral component of the design process. Our response has been to develop and maintain facilities that will support the department's mission of "rigorous professional preparation" and to "embrace a culture of innovation".

Acquiring new equipment will make the technology available to a greater percentage of students in the department and increase productivity.

How will you assess the success of the project: Backlog of workflow is greatly diminished or becomes non-existent. Production bottleneck is no longer a deterrent from using the equipment.

We will document document the number of users over the course of three consecutive academic years and observe any year over year increase of use.

We will observe workflow and throughput and note and record when there has been a production delay due to lack of capacity. Since we have not previously recorded backlogs we can only make anecdotal comparisons after the acquisition of new equipment.

Total Amount Requested: $24,995.00

Budget Details: The attached document shows three separate funding options. The preferred option is listed at the top with alternative options following.

Is this a multi-year request: No

Please address how, if at all, this project impacts any of Miami's BCSAE, 2020, or divisional plans: At the University level this proposal meets the 1st foundational goal of Miami's 2020 plan: "Ensure vitality and sustainability by building a forward-looking, efficient, and caring culture that stimulates, recognizes, and rewards creativity, entrepreneurial thinking, and exemplary performance."

Providing the tools of digital fabrication will help foster and nurture a creative design environment now and in the foreseeable future. Providing this resource will help prepare students for the challenges of a competitive design environment which will be driven by technology and social change.

At the Divisional level (CCA) this proposal builds on the Unifying Goal of the division: "Promote a vibrant learning and discovery environment that produces extraordinary student and scholarly outcomes."

The pedagogy built around digital fabrication is driven by exploration, discovery and inquiry. Digital fabrication resources are a part of a comprehensive design education.

At the department level this proposal is in line with mission statement of the department: ". . . to embrace a culture of innovation grounded in an understanding of artistic tradition; and to promote engaged and critical inquiry in the pursuit of new understandings and new knowledge . . ."

This proposal aims to increase the accessibility of digital fabrication resources which is in the spirit of promoting a culture of innovation, inquiry, knowledge and creativity.