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Wikihouse - building the future?






Computerisation has had a major impact on just about every aspect of manufacturing and fabrication. It’s also led to a democratisation of the process, enabling enthusiastic Do-It -Yourself-ers with a bit of know-how, and a little extra cash in their bank accounts to create some pretty amazing things with devices like 3D printers, desktop laser cutters, and programmable Computer Numerical Control (CNC) machines.

It’s this last piece of equipment that WikiHouse wants to help you put to good use. The goal of WikiHouse is to allow people to freely download “open source structures” which can be opened and modified using Google Sketchup. The plans’ building components are designed to be milled from 18mm sheets of plywood, and the resulting pieces can be fitted together like a giant puzzle. They’re even labeled during fabrication, making it perhaps a bit more like building a prefabricated piece of furniture.

In addition to marking pieces for easy assembly, the CNC will even cut a wooden mallet that can be used to ensure a tight fight between panels. The finished skeleton — when assembled properly on a solid footing — is ready to clad, glaze, wire, plumb, and finish. WikiHouse assures that you won’t need any power tools to assemble your creation.

WikiHouse has been hammered by traffic, so while you wait for the site to return you can download Google Sketchup and the WikiHouse plug-in. That CNC machine will set you back a pretty penny, but why not split it with some friends? Once WikiHouse is rolling, you can take turns churning out sheds, pergolas, and garages with each other.



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