Apr 20, 2019 | Updated: 02:21 PM EDT

Furniture can Now Be Downloaded and Printed, Thanks to Opendesk

Apr 12, 2019 10:12 PM EDT

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Opendesk Furniture
(Photo : The Guardian)
Screenshot taken from video "OpenDesk: a revolution in furniture design"

It seems like anything can be done online nowadays, including getting your furniture! Now, this is not your typical online electronic catalog where you click on your choice of item and somebody comes over to deliver. No. This is something more innovative than that.

Open-source furniture is increasingly getting more popular as another option when it comes to getting furniture for your house, although CNC machines are essential to this method.

Opendesk is one of the most sought-after open-source furniture platforms on the web with over 30 pieces of furniture that buyers can choose from. The process entails downloading the design and sending it to a CNC machine, much like a PDF file to a printer. The cutting machine will be able to cut the pieces with precision, and lastly will be assembled according to the instructions that come with each design. If the buyer does not have a CNC machine, the project can still be downloaded and brought to a FabLab or to a joiner that the website recommends.

Open Source was initially a term used to identify the 1990 movement for software developers who provided source code for use, modification, and redistribution of anybody who needs the resource. The system promoted a collective and collaborative model of various works publicized by their respective authors. Think of it as something like WordPress and Blogger, two well-known platforms for blogging that cater to authors with various niches.

Following this trend, and enforced by the trend of Do-It-Yourself (DIY), open-source furniture has emerged as the option to go with. The system has successfully connected designers, customers, and local producers. It has made the cost of procuring furniture lower as export and import costs were cut, together with logistics and distribution costs. The system has also contributed to a boosted local economy as the furniture can be manufactured at most in the locality where it will be used. This meets the goal of the Open Source Movement, which is to "Share Globally and Produce Locally."

The Opendesk platform gives the designer the freedom to choose whether his furniture design would be available as a free pattern or a pay-to-download pattern. The platform has also partnered up with woodworkers around the world. If a customer chooses to have an Opendesk-recommended woodworker, the amount paid will cover the fees of the designer, platform, and of course, the carpenter.

The system is still not yet perfect. There is a lot to work on including some production hindrances like a high cost for some projects, and lack of experience with CNC machines for some woodworker. Nevertheless, it has improved the local economy, provided a way to create with reduced environmental impact, and improved humanity's capability to collaborate.

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