TIMBUR: A Digital Fabrication Company That Pioneered CNC Manufacturing For Interior Design
By Elaine Tveit
Whatever architectural or artistic dream you have for your business or home decor, Timbur can make it become a reality, layer by layer.
Timbur is a digital fabrication company based out of NYC that changed the game in interior and exterior design when they were founded in 2009. They are a digital fabrication company, and they use advanced robotics and CNC manufacturing to design their products digitally and then build them layer by layer. It’s the concept of 3D printing, but on an industrial level.
Timbur was founded in 2009 by the architect Ezra Ardolino. Ardolino teaches architecture at Pratt Institute and has also taught at Cornell University. Since the beginning, Timbur has been using the latest robotics technology for digital fabrication, which is the process of designing an object in a computer program and then manufacturing that object using robotics.
How Timbur Uses Digital Fabrication To Make Their Designs A Reality
This advanced form of design and production works using CAD and CAM software. “CAD” stands for “computer-aided design” and “CAM” means “computer-aided manufacturing.” Hence the term “digital fabrication.” The object is created using a CAD program. The machines running the CAM program are able to read the instructions for building the object and then perform them without human aid. This process is called CNC machining.
To aid the CAM program, Timbur uses a 7-axis robotic machine and a 3-axis CNC router. The robotic machine can build up large-scale individual objects, while the CNC router creates sheets that can be put together into the desired design later, almost like a puzzle. Producing a design in sheets allows Timbur to handle huge projects.
But even a highly sophisticated CNC machining assembly line needs a little elbow grease to produce a finished product. That’s why Timbur also runs a fully functional millwork shop for woodworking. It is this combination of robotics and intelligent attention to details that makes Timbur unique among its peers.
What Timbur Makes Using Digital Fabrication
The answer to this question is: everything. Timbur can make just about anything their clients dream up. They've made custom furniture, signage, architectural designs, and interior and exterior decor for hundreds of big name clients, including Louis Vuitton, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, ABC News, and Netflix/NBC Universal.
Timbur has currently released two collections: Bark and Stack. Ardolino describes the Bark collection as "a series of metaphysical objects that explore the relationship between tangible and abstract, natural and fabricated, real and artificial." The object is a piece of timber that has had a bark texture digitally mapped and then carved into it using CNC robotics.
The Stack collection is a series of smooth, rounded furniture made from stack lamination. Stack lamination is the process of stacking layers of thin plywood sheets one on top of the other to create a piece of furniture. Timbur builds up layers of lamination into a block of wood that's roughly the same size as the piece they want to create, and then they remove the excess material. According to Ardolino, this collection is a "unique perspective on the conception and production of contemporary furniture." It includes a stool, a seat, a bench, and a table available in 4 different colors and finish combinations: Matte Clear, Translucent PMS, Clear Oil, and Black Oil.
What The Future Looks Like For Timbur
The future for Timbur is luminous. They began as pioneers of robotics manufacturing, and they're continuing to uphold that standard, so the coming years are going to be even more exciting for this digital fabrication company.
Based on their Instagram feed, they've got a lot of projects going on. In February 2021, they were using their CNC machines to build lamps for Norman Jaffe. They've also been highlighting Stack and showing behind the scenes looks at the making of the collection.
Timbur is so successful and getting so much business, they're needing to hire more people to expand their team. As of February 18, 2021, they are hiring for a CNC & Industrial Robot Programmer/Project Manager.
Check in with us to follow up on any Timbur updates and latest innovations and how they use digital fabrication to create a new industrial future. Enjoy Timbur's new collections currently sold at Molecule.
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