Build It | CNC Built Stool

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From This Old House.

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Ask This Old House general contractor Tom Silva travels to a workshop in San Francisco to build a stool using computer-based tools.

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1. When using computerized equipment, begin by designing the finished piece using a 3D CAD program.
2. A laser printer is often used for etching metal and glass, but it can also be used for making a physical model using plywood.
3. A 3D printer can prototype smaller sections of the design, like where two joints come together and how stock hardware interfaces with the 3D model.
4. A water jet uses a high-pressure stream of water mixed with garnet to cut the aluminum legs and base, including countersinks, mortises, and tenons.
5. A CNC router can mill the wood top using several different cutter heads.
6. The final assembly takes place by hand.

Tom visited Autodesk at Pier 9 ( The stool he built was based on a design by Matt Hutchinson, a designer at PATH (

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