Using the precision and accuracy of CNC Routing and 3D laser scanning together brings exciting new possibilities to the building industry and to fabricators in general. Although 3D Laser Scanning is not new technology and is widely used worldwide, it’s applications have yet to be fully explored and embraced. Such is the case with it’s use in conjunction with CNC Routed templates

Together with Perth based company, ErgoMeasure, we are bringing to the industry a non-traditional approach to building and fabrication which allows for a previously unattainable level of accuracy throughout each step of the process, from planning to completion.

  Case Study: Not Just Any Old Staircase Build

3-D model of spiral staircase showing position of engraved MDF templates

CNC routed templates were used to acccurately construct this staircase section & are shown in this image providing final verification of accuracy before installation.

As part of the renovation of a three story home in Perth, Western Australia, our CNC Routing service was able to assist with the manufacture of a spiral elliptical staircase spanning three floors. This was a particularly challenging project due to the fact that the large fabricated metal structure would need to be constructed and then lifted by a crane on the street and lowered into position, down three floors, through a hole in the roof.

As well as this, the elliptical design of the staircase made it a reasonably difficult job to design and construct accurately. The term elliptical refers to the shape of an ellipse, which is an elongated circle stretched into an oval. Unlike a simple spiral, with this design the angle of the curve is continually changing.

It was essential that both the fabrication of the steel structure and it’s installation were done exactly right the first time. Think: local Council permission to stop all traffic for hours for the crane and trucks etc; the cost of removing/replacing the roof section-again; potential damage to the building in the event of miscalculation; the cost of having to do it all a second time etc etc…

Success with CNC Routed Templates and Laser Scanning

steel fabrication for spiral staircase using CNC Routed templates by Routers Australia for accuracy

CNC Routed Templates laid out and connected using a jigsaw pattern to guide fabricationChecking Templates with jigsaw pattern join. CNC Routed from MDF by Routers Australia

The Ergomeasure team 3D scanned the entire building and surrounding area and created a digital model from the scans of the building’s interior. They then designed and modeled the staircase, which could  be dropped into the virtual image. Construction of the metal structure would need to match the 3D computer model exactly, which is where the CNC Router provided the perfect solution.

From files created by ErgoMeasure of the exact specifications for the structure, we were able to produce Templates which could be joined together perfectly using a jigsaw design. These were finely engraved with guidelines and information necessary, and, used in conjunction with the laser technology, would help to create a structure which was accurate to within 2-3 mm over three floors. Not bad.

Video: ErgoBuild – Elliptical Spiral Staircase Installation

One-Stop CNC Routing Solid Wood Treads

As well as the CNC Routed templates, we were able to provide an efficient method of cutting for the wooden treads and landings. Due to the fact that each one was unique, this would normally be a time consuming and tedious job. Add to this the bolt holes which would need to be accurately positioned and drilled in each one.

This time the carpenter didn’t need templates to individually cut each tread, with it’s accompanying infill and end. This was achieved on the CNC Router in a single, quick operation, bolt holes included.

In Summary:

The use of CNC Routed templates and laser scanning is an absolute no-brainer, but is, as a break with traditional methods, nevertheless taking time to catch on. It is an economical and simple method of ensuring a successful job the first time around, thereby avoiding mistakes that are often extremely costly in terms of time, materials and labour; not to mention the stress factors of deadlines, fines and penalties.

Templates can be used for vertical and horizontal positioning of any and all objects and are useful in many areas of fabrication, wherever positioning is involved. They are produced using MDF and are light and easy to assemble. Contact our team for more information and exactly how we can assist you with your next project!

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