We are proud to announce that our friends at Shopbot of Durham, North Carolina have partnered with NCFS to expand learning opportunities for our students. Together we are developing a series of classes from beginner to advanced, to help students learn and master digital fabrication. Our classes are being designed in a manner that is inclusive of any equipment. This means that people who might own a machine from another CNC company can learn to master their tools in the same way that Shopbot owners can.
We are starting at the ground floor with a class offered quarterly that introduces the software, the machines, and the ways they can be used. The new class is called Introduction to Digital Fabrication: CAD, CAM, & CNC Basics and we invite you to sign up by clicking here:
So what is CNC? Let’s start with what the key acronyms mean:
- CNC stands for Computer Numerical Control
This is the general phrase that describes how we control a machine with a computer.
- CAD stands for Computer Aided Design
This is the software we use to draw and visualize the objects we want to make.
- CAM stands for Computer Aided Manufacturing
This is the system that allows the cutting machine and the computer work together.
It really isn’t that complicated, so don’t be intimidated. Think of it as a more accurate and efficient tool like a hand plow compared to a tractor, both are systems for doing the same work. You are still doing all of the work and you are still in total control of the outcomes. The real thing to understand is that a mechanized or automated system is less prone to error and inefficiencies than handwork. That means you can get more done in less time with a higher rate of success and predictable outcomes.
The ideas are still yours and the fit and finish are still your responsibility – you can just make things more complex and in less time because the machine does the heavy lifting for you. CNC doesn’t replace anything and it doesn’t do anything for you. You are in total control of what you make using CNC. That means you have to think up the things you want to make and you have to tell the machine how to make it. The added benefit is that the CNC machine will fabricate your objects as many times as you want in a fraction of the time you can by hand. In other words, if you want to make super complex one-of-a-kind art objects or you want to start a garage business that can actually produce high quality objects quickly – CNC is (or should be) your thing and through our new partnership with Shopbot, the North Carolina Furniture School is the place to learn it.
If you find that digital fabrication really is your thing and you want to purchase a machine, we will work with you to get the very best deals and support with Shopbot. We look forward to seeing you in class!