CNC Wood Machining - Chairs & Curved Plywood
Today's chair designers and manufacturers create a wide range of innovative and striking productions, as evidenced by the freedom and chic beauty of designs ranging from 3D formed and curved plywood to that of the classic beauty of solid wood... Providing manufacturing solutions for the artistic creations of today's world-famous designers and manufacturers of furniture, chairs and bentwood furnishings, has been one of CMS' continuing long term passions. And with this passion CMS has responded to the manufacturer's need to produce high quality, aesthetic products, which encompass a range of uniquely complex problems, with its equally broad range of specialized and flexible CNC machining center solutions, providing unique methods for holding, orientating, machining, sanding - and bringing the unique from fantasy to actuality.
ARES - curved top back rail chair components
ARES, CMS' moving bridge class machining center, an all around choice for almost any type of work, is also perfectly at home with chair components and bent plywood production work. ARES' large 3D machining envelop, for full, free-form, 5-axis machining capabilities, using CMS' PX5 type working unit, and complete protection for the operator and work area, even in a nonstop cycle, can also be adapted with Automatic Pallet Changing tables, type APC, providing load/unload freedom on 3 sides of each work table.
In this photo, ARES is shown executing an A/B machining cycle, so that on the right table, the bottom side of the work on 2 curved back captain's chair rails is completed, including all the holes for the spindles connecting from the back rail to the seat bottom, while on the left, the parts are repositioned, and upright, so that the remaining work of shaping and profiling can be completed, resulting in a finished pair of curved back rails each cycle.
Karat - higher production, larger format, increased options for chair production
Karat, CMS' moving table class machining center, offers options for larger moving tables, multiple working unit capabilities, and increased flexibility. CMS' Karat CNC machining center for chair components, assemblies and bent plywood production provides large table spaces on which large fixtures, or multiple fixtures and molds can be placed for production, making it possible to create machining cycles in which groups of different parts can be machined during the same cycle, or batches of the same part. Karat is also capable of using more than one working unit at the same time, either working units of the same type, as with the 2 RX4 working units shown in this photo, which have 5-axis capability and can work in unison at the same time on the same table, or on different tables on different parts at the same time, completely and independently CNC controlled, or different working units combined together on the same bridge, for example a combination such as CMS' PX5, a 5-axis working unit, and TX3, a 3 axis working unit.
In this photo, Karat is shown without its protective enclosure so that its easier to see the working units and fixtures. In the picture to the left Karat is shown with its 2 RX4 working units, previously described, which are completely independent and each of which have their own tool changing disc at one end of the bridge. On the right table Karat is shown with a bent plywood layup from which rail parts for a chair seat frame will be machined and on the left table Karat is shown ready to machine assemblies of these parts which have been glued together at their corners into a modern stylish seat frame with all the joinery and machining work finished, in one placement, and the frame ready to be assembled with the remaining chair components.
Karat - high volume, 5 axis, curved plywood parts, with double 6th axis basculating tables
This Karat is shown without its protective enclosure so that its work and equipment can be easily seen. In this photo, Karat is provided with 2 large basculating tables, each of which function as a rotational 6th axis and mounting location for curved plywood chair parts, which at the end of their machining cycle are moved forward and extended beyond the protective enclosure for easy, safe, load/unload work. This Karat is also equipped with 3 completely and independently CNC controlled 5-axis working units, type PX5. The combination of the PX5 working units and the basculating 6th axis means that machining work orientation and head articulation can occur in any manner necessary to accomplish all processing work required.
Karat, configured in this manner, provides the maximum in high volume, complex work, while at the same time resulting in unlimited flexibility for other types of component work and work cycle combinations.
Multilathe - high production, small footprint, 6 axis chair component machining
Multilathe is CMS' unique combination, multi spindle, CNC lathe and 6 axis machining center combined into one small footprint for the most efficient result possible for manufacturing a range of chair part components, as well as other types of parts. Multilathe makes it possible to machine 4 component parts at the same time, just like a multiple spindle carving machine, but in a vertically oriented fashion, not horizontally. Each of Multilathe's point/counterpoint holding devices (headstock/tailstock) securely holds the part to be worked, while at the same time is capable of high speed CNC controlled rotation so that large amounts of material may be removed quickly, as well as simple rotational controlled movement for CNC machining work.
Multilathe's 4 working spindles, each have a powerful 5-axis working unit, which each have access to a storage rack of 10 cutting tools, so that each spindle is provided with all of its own tools for processing. To give Multilathe optimum control, its spindle is also inclinable, so that its lathe working operations can present the side of the milling tool for fast, smooth removal of large amounts of material, and not just the end of the tool. Following the roughing and finishing lathe operations, which result in a perfect anatomical surface, without the use of traditional copying lathe processes, but rather a true geometric surface, Multilathe can finish all the remaining CNC controlled processes by executing machining cycles for trimming, joint surfaces, holes, openings, carving operations, and so forth, resulting in a complete and finished part. With Multilathe's unique approach to roughing and finishing lathe work, only some light hand-sanding is usually required for parts to be ready for remaining production work.
With all of Multilathe's capabilities, it also turns out that Multilathe is extremely fast, and accurate, not only due to its innate approach to doing the work, but because it combines several steps together at one time, in one place, and in a completed manner, no re-processing, no intermediate stocks of material, and no possible further lost parts in other subsequent machining operations.
In the photo to the top-right can be seen an example of a "ball & claw" leg and on the bottom-right is shown pair of back posts for a chair, both good examples of Multilathe's range of processing capabilities.
Chair production: complete work carried out - including sanding
Not only does CMS provide complete machining solutions for chair parts, chair assemblies and curved plywood component production requirements, but CMS can integrate edge sanding and hardware machining into process cycles. In the photo to the right CMS is shown using an "air bag" sanding device to complete the edge sanding on a curved/bent plywood seat shell, while on the right a CMS CNC machining center equipped with a revolver is shown machining the compound angled hardware holes for a curved plywood chair shell.
Traditional hardwood chairs & component production
CMS provides a wide range of solutions for high volume or batch component chair production, as well as assembled frames which are processed as one piece. This photo shows some of that work in finished traditional chairs with and without arms, and for range of components, such as: top rails, back rails, arms, seats, legs, stretchers, feet, backsplats. To the right of the photo is shown a chair back, which is machined as an assembly.
Curved / Bent plywood chairs
Curved plywood, also called bent plywood, production techniques result in striking, as well as comfortable, new modern seating designs. CMS' range of CNC machining centers provide all the processing capabilities demanded by the latest innovations.
Curved plywood seating: ultra modern
Curved, bent, plywood designers find a natural and unencumbered medium for design that's both appealing to the eye and relaxing for the body. This freedom of unrestricted design is unmatched by any other medium, while still providing the beauty and warmth of wood in the most modern setting.
Curved plywood seating - public settings
As shown in this photo, curved plywood also makes a fresh, modern, statement for public seating purposes, as with this stylish seating ring.
Traditional oval chair back and carved legs
There's always a place for the traditional beauty of chairs in combination with dining or living room furniture. This oval back chair with carved legs is a perfect application for CMS' CNC machining technology and comes from one of CMS' high quality traditional American furniture manufacturers.
Traditional chair with backsplat, carved legs
Just another example of traditional styled beauty in chair manufacturing, with and without arms, backsplat and carved legs, elegantly conceived and carefully made.
Wood Chairs: Case History and Technology Overview
A case history of Italicurvi, the well known and leading Italian manufacturer of curved plywood chairs, seating and other bentwood products is presented. Italicurvi's long history as one of the world's leading manufacturers and its range of beautiful plywood creations is highlighted in their case history, of which CMS is proud to be a part. In addition, CMS presents a technology overview of the many types of wood seating products manufactured on CMS' CNC machining centers with a look at solid wood bent parts, nested curved plywood parts, assembled chair frames, and the range of solid wood chair components, and featuring processing operations such as, milling, drilling, sawing, sanding, and routing, across the range of CMS machining centers and using one or multiple spindles in 5 axis work, with horizontal milling aggregates and a wide variety of special fixtures.
Karat - Bent plywood chair seat frame with joinery
A double table, double RX4, Karat is shown making the curved back and seat frame for a chair based on bent plywood technology. There are 3 curved forms prepared and placed upon holding fixtures, yielding 2 curved shorter side pieces for the seat frame and 2 longer side pieces along with a larger curved back piece. The bent plywood forms each yield multiple parts for efficiency of material and time to produce. Karat is equipped with a double RX4 unit, each of which have an ATC station for additional cutting tools and which can work simultaneously on the same table or independently executing different programs on separate tables at the same time. On Karat's right table the bent plywood layups are secured to the forms and all the operations for processing are carried out, completing all the needed operation for the frame's top and bottom edge surfaces. After this, the frame parts are glued at their corners and brought back to Karat to finish the work on these assembled parts. On the left table, a special holding fixture secures and references the frame and a program is executed on all 4 corners to create a precise joint for assembly to the chair legs. A stylish, modern, unique chair design approach exploiting the benefits of bent plywood.
ARES - curved chair back top rails
ARES is shown executing an A/B work cycle for the production of a pair of curved plywood top back chair rails. This ARES is equipped with APC tables for an easy load/unload operation, complete nonstop production capability and protection for the operator. On the right table, the top back rails have their bottom side up and all of the machining operations for the holes and slots and handle hold are carried out; on the left table, after the parts have been reposition so that the top surface is up, the parts have the remaining machining work carried out, including the shaping and profiling operations, highlighting the use of stacked tooling to improve cycle time and avoid blow out on the ends of the back rail arms.
Multilathe - multiple chair back posts with carving
Multilathe is shown executing the lathe and machining work on 4 back posts at the same time. The lathe work is carried out at high speed, according to the CNC program, resulting in a perfect anatomical shape, without use of any template, along with a smooth final surface, needing only some light hand sanding to be ready for assembly. Following the lathe work, Multilathe completes the cycle by machining joining surface flats, slots, holes and some decorative carving for a final touch. High speed, high quality, high efficiency - a perfect application for manufacturing chair components.
Assembled chair back frame machining
CMS' R8 revolver with 4th axis aggregates and 5th axis basculating devices are shown machining assembled chair backs: one with a decorative backsplat and the other with an oval back. The assembled chair backs are placed in the basculating fixtures and rotated under CNC control to carry out all the required machining operations including: joints, profiling, routing and carving, along with the use of CMS' special 4th axis aggregates with horizontal milling devices, resulting in beautifully machined and ready to use traditional chair backs.
Wood Chairs & Curved Plywood Sector and Italicurvi Case Study
(click folder on the left to download)