30 Jan TOMORROW’S WORLD OF CARPENTRY: WHERE CARPENTERS ARE CAPITALIZING ON NEW TECHNOLOGY TRENDS
Carpentry is poised for a digital makeover as innovative tools, advanced materials and prefabrication techniques transform skillsets and workflows. An assortment of fascinating and emerging advancements are going to impact the profession over the next decade.
Augmented and virtual reality will revolutionize design prototyping, client presentations and on-site assembly. Enabling clients to virtually walk through photorealistic renderings of kitchens, stairs or furniture and tweak dimensions or materials interactively streamlines decision making. For carpenters, AR assists complex measurements, projections and layout marking using holographic guides. VR also enables remote collaboration.
Robotic fabrication from computer aided design models will alter production, especially for commercial firms. Multi-axis robotic arms can precisely cut, drill, carve and sand based on programmed toolpaths for consistent high-quality results in shorter times. Already adopted for countertop production, robotic CNC mills will prevail across cabinetry and fixture-making.
Drone and photogrammetry mapping provides detailed 3D site scans that power generative design algorithms aiding customized solutions tailored to space constraints and functional needs. Parametric modeling also allows rapid design iterations. Together, project feasibility improves.
Wider material choices shake up typical palettes. Durable, renewable mass timber varieties prompt innovative structural applications as cities mandate greener building. Beautiful hardwood alternatives like bamboo possess excellent strength-to-weight ratios for novel decorative uses, while recycled plastic composites and polymers create wood-mimic decking.
Sustainable adhesive solutions also continue advancing, from soy-based products to innovative bio-epoxies using microbes and fungus mycelium with promising bonding strength. More benign material lifecycles are coming.
Additive manufacturing via large-scale 3D printers can directly construct specialty fixtures, architectural features like lattices and lightweight forms otherwise labour intensive through conventional methods.
Through synergistic technologies, carpentry’s productivity, customization, collaborative potential and sustainability will transform markedly. Blending old-world craft with digitization and automation, the trade is on the cusp of reinvigoration.