Robotic Micro Capentry


Robotic Micro Carpentry….was a 5-day workshop Tom Pawlofsky supervised at Iaac / Barcelona Mai 2014. The main aim was to introduce to robotic fabrication and connect it to traditional craft. The challenge was to mass produce a chair, by using a robot. The 15 students were divided into 3 groups – each group was responsible for the implementation of one tool ( sander, planar, drilling machine ) and for a certain part of the chair (frontleg, backleg, rest, backrest).

Thanks to Iaac for the invitation, thanks to Alexandre Dubor and Sofoklis Giannakopoulos for their great support, thanks to all the participating students.


sword test The “sword-test” is a first exercise to understand the Euler-coordinates ( XYZ-ABC) of the robot. The aim is to move a tool – the “sword” – into a very narrow opening in a cardboard box without touching it.

Craft Of course working with the robot also needs some traditional craft knowledge in the background.

External Tool To produce the elements of the chair, most machining will be done by moving the wooden elements along the fixed machines – this approach is called external tool. For the Kuka-Controller it is implemented by setting $IPO_MODE=#TCP

The photos show a small demonstration of the external tool by writing “hello world” once by moving the pen, once by moving the paper – by using the same tool-paths and adapted machine code.

Process First all elements of the chair are cut by a jigsaw, that is moved by the robot. In a second step a manual gripper is used as the robot’s end-effector to move the elements along the tools in front of the robot.

some impressions of the workshop. Finally we had to drill the holes for the dodges by hand – as we ran out of time.
DSC_0015_psdHappy Birthday Elena – blowing out the candles with the robot.

DSC_0280many thanks to Festool for their support – very nice tools