By installing a Biesse Rover A CNC 5-axis machining centre coupled with Biesse’s bSolid software, he has enhanced his capacity to contribute to some new and exciting furniture making and showcase fit-outs for Australian flagship venues. Athol describes this initiative that has improved the company’s performance as “a traditional artisan gone high tech”.
Athol heads CDF Studio and works with leading Australian and international architects and designers. The company has been making stunning timber furniture and undertaking stylish commercial fit-outs since 1996. With commissions across Australia, New Zealand, Singapore and elsewhere CDF Studio work is widely recognized for its design flare, superior craftsmanship and attention to detail. An example of Athol’s work can be seen in Sydney's Rocks precinct – one of the city’s hotspots – now further improved by the newest local, the Grain, a bespoke bar at the Four Seasons Hotel. Positioned overlooking Sydney’s George and Alfred Streets at Circular Quay and designed by award-winning architect Michael McCann, Grain brings a strong local bar feel to the city's harbour front. Its many highlights include a floating up-lit bottle wall, large grained wooden artisan entry doors; a large central fireplace, and retractable glass windows which open to views of the harbour over a beautiful native garden.
We improved our company’s performance as a traditional artisan gone high tech.
The bar's entrance features an artisan sand-blast carved New Guinea rosewood timber floor-to-ceiling wall panel sitting behind a custom designed and built glass topped Tasmanian oak timber ‘skeleton’ table, all designed and made by the Tamworth master craftsman. Both hotel lobby and George Street entrance feature custom designed timber doors featuring a patchwork of differing Australian hardwoods hand-made by Athol. Immediately noticeable on the the executive level of the hotel is the emphasis on timber, with floor planking, tables and chairs, display cabinets, wine storage, private dining area and a huge butcher’s block. Also a 15-metre bar flanking the entry in roughly hewn salvaged Victorian red gum and a large communal American oak table, again Athol’s expertise underpins much of the design and manufacturing.
Along with others CDF Studio’s Rover A is a powerful yet compact 5-axis router that is an ideal solution for manufacturing solid wood. With a wide range of sizes and configuration, the Rover A is ideally suited for both small and large shops that need to manufacture a wide variety of components in small batches. The 5-axis operating section, equipped with 360 degree continuous rotation on the vertical and horizontal axes, enables the machining of complex shaped pieces ensuring quality, precision and absolute reliability. As is the case at CDF Studio the Rover A CNC router series with 5-axis capacity can be readily linked to bSolid software. While bSolid has intuitive and advanced 3D drawing tools, the software also works with common 3D CAD files.
Biesse’s Australian software specialist Bart Carr says this means designing can also be done in a third party drawing software program. "Importing and sending your designs to the machine is really easy and it provides greater flexibility in working and designing methods".
One of the most impressive features of bSolid is its ability to virtually test run a job with a 3D on-screen simulation of the job in real time. This sophisticated element allows for monitoring of the job and minimises the impact of programming errors by predicting any issues and allowing interception prior to job being run on real materials with real tools. "The bSolid unparallel collision detection technology can save the operator a lot of trouble. If there's a tool out of place, or something is in the way of the tool path, it will show up in the virtual simulation with a collision warning. The error can then be rectified and a machine ‘crash’ avoided," says Bart. “Obviously this can mean big savings on time and wastage. This is all made more accurate via detailed 3D modelling of the machine, the individual tools and various machining components”.