6 Ways CNC Technology is Affecting Interior Design

February 18, 2020


Computer Numerical Control, also known as CNC, is not a new technology. CNC has been used in various industries, mainly manufacturing and heavy industries, for several years now. CNC is a technology used for rapid tooling and CNC machining, allowing certain workflows to be fully automated using computer programs.

What makes CNC unique as a technology is how its application becomes more universal by the day. While the technology used to only be accessible to certain industries and large corporations, anyone can take advantage of rapid machining and CNC prototyping these days. CNC machines are becoming more affordable, and there are more CNC services online to choose from.

The impacts of CNC as a technology in interior design are easy to recognize. New techniques such as sheet metal fabrication are giving designers more tools to work with and a wider ability to make their designs and ideas come to life. When reviewed closely, it is easy to see the many ways CNC technology is transforming interior design.


One-Off Items at Affordable Prices

It is not uncommon for a designer to produce one-off items and ornaments as part of an interior design. These ornaments used to be difficult to produce, since they need to be manufactured by hand. This means only high-end interior projects can benefit from the unique touches of personalized ornaments.

That is certainly not the case today. CNC machining services available online are making it easy for designers and clients to order custom parts. Simply provide a design to the service provider and the rest of the process will be handled for you. CNC machining online is granting access to expensive CNC machines in the form of services.

One-off items can also be produced more rapidly. Instead of having to wait for weeks to create a single item, designers can order a large bulk of customized ornaments and interior components and have them completed in a matter of days. The manufacturing process for those items will be a lot easier to complete thanks to CNC.


Access to More Materials

CNC grants designers access to more materials. In the old days, certain materials such as copper, aluminum, and iron were difficult to work with. They required special handling and had to be treated with care. Many designers opted to go with other materials when there were budget constraints and other limitations to comply with.

Creating a window frame with detailed patterns using aluminum or stainless steel was not possible unless you had extra reserve in your budget. Smaller projects would not be able to benefit from the beauty and durability of certain materials because they were difficult to work with.

Online CNC services simplify the process of working with these materials completely. You’ll be surprised by how easy it is to order a part or a complex ornament online, especially with top names like rapiddirect.com offering their services at reasonable prices. In the case of rapiddirect.com, you won’t even have to worry about material sourcing, as the firm can support this and give you the benefit of its wide array of manufacturing services, which include not only CNC machining but also 3D printing, injection molding and much more. The service is easy and quick: all you need to do is drag and drop your CAD or 2D drawings onto the firm’s site, specify the details of what you need, and then sit back and wait for the firm’s experts to work their magic and produce a quality product.


Ease of Production

Let’s not forget that CNC machining also makes the production of one-off interior components and ornaments a simpler process. You don’t have to plan weeks of work in order to produce custom items. In fact, the process takes no more than a few days, minus design and shipping time. Since you are outsourcing the work, you can focus on creating the best design.

As mentioned before, CNC services are easy to find. The best CNC services China company is capable of handling materials like MDF and stainless steel, plus they use the same design standard as other CNC service providers. You benefit from the faster manufacturing process and the lower cost of production too.

CNC machining China companies are used to working with US or Europe based interior designers. They understand complex designs, patterns, and quality standards - you can expect the service provider to exceed your expectations every time.


Beyond Projects

Since CNC is widely used for rapid production, a lot of interior designers now rely on CNC machining to produce one-off items. In reality, the technology can be used to do so much more than that. Injection molding services and prototype machining also rely on CNC technology for tooling or for producing the actual mold.

CNC is the most efficient way to go. Instead of manually creating a clay mold, converting it into a harder form, and then recreating the injection mold using metal or other materials, manufacturers can jump straight to prototype molding using molds build using CNC machine. This alone saves a lot of time and money.

When you want to produce a series of interior elements or ornaments, you don’t have to have them produced using CNC machine every time. Instead, you can create the right tooling for mass production and switch to a bigger production line to save more money. Not only will production be efficient, you also benefit from extra flexibility in product design.


Rapid Prototyping at Its Best

That actually brings us to the next way CNC is changing interior design: rapid prototyping. Modern 3D printers are actually based on the same CNC technology. The only difference is that ABS plastic, wood, or even metal is printed on a 3D plane rather than machined away from a block of the same material. The process gives designers even more flexibility in prototype manufacturing.

Rapid prototyping services are just as easy to find. In fact, companies like RapidDirect usually offer 3D printing and rapid prototyping as services alongside traditional CNC machining. For simpler projects, you can also take advantage of sheet metal prototyping, which basically folds and presses a sheet of metal into shape.

Don’t think that rapid prototyping limits how you can interact with your designs too. The technology behind rapid prototyping has evolved rapidly this past couple of years. Today, you can print metal and wood, print moving parts without additional assembly, and produce prototypes strong enough to be stress-tested or used in real life.


More for the Future

One thing that can be expected from CNC and technologies surrounding it is the improved ability to handle complexity. Prototype molding will soon be capable enough to handle complex 3D shapes without serious cost implications. Sheet metal fabrications no longer have to rely on manual work all the time, especially with automated machines entering the market.

CNC itself is becoming much more accurate. Modern CNC machines are capable of producing smooth curves and well-finished surfaces without additional work after the CNC runtime. This means prototypes and one-off items can be made with immense attention to details and by following the highest quality standards.

Many interior designers are already taking advantage of newer CNC machines. Sculptures are being designed in 3D environment and built in full automation. Beautiful ornaments – down to the smallest items like bolts and pins – can be produced in one cycle and requires no more than 24 hours to complete. Even larger blocks of material are now supported.

Combined with 3D printing and other technologies, the possibilities are certainly endless. The interior design industry has been transformed forever with the presence of these new technologies. More importantly, the industry is being transformed by providers that bring the latest technology to the market through their services.


JJ Sterling
As the co-founder of Urban Splatter and an architecture graduate from Chicago, I thrive on crafting a digital nexus where architectural innovation intersects with boundless digital opportunity. My academic roots in the Windy City's rich architectural tapestry inspire a unique vision for Urban Splatter's journey into the ever-evolving digital frontier of design. Join us as we navigate the exciting confluence of structure, style, and technology.

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