Traditional Japanese carpentry employs a variety of ancient techniques that allow wooden structures to be built without the use of any nails, screws, adhesives, or modern power tools. To the Western observer, that may seem far from structurally sound; however, there are many buildings constructed using traditional Japanese wood joinery methods that have stood for hundreds of years. One of the most difficult parts of the task is carving the complex wooden joints by hand so that they fit together perfectly like the pieces of a puzzle.
To make this ancient craft more accessible, a team of researchers from Tokyo University has developed an ingenious free 3D modeling software called Tsugite that allows users to create custom wooden joints that can be manufactured using a CNC milling machine. Tsugite is named after the Japanese word for joinery and is “an interactive system for designing and fabricating wood joints for frame structures.” Designed for both experienced 3D designers and newbies alike, it allows you to craft functional wooden structures such as chairs, tables, and other common household furniture in minutes. With no glue, nails, or power tools necessary, the final product can be easily assembled and disassembled, then later reused or recycled.
The 3D modeling software offers both manual editing and gallery mode. When using manual editing mode, the more experienced user can design their own custom joints while receiving real-time graphical feedback as to the soundness, feasibility, and structure of the joint. In gallery mode, the user simply views and selects from a variety of pre-calculated joints. The possibilities for exploration and innovation are endless, so you can be crafting your own unique wooden pieces in no time.
Researchers from Tokyo University have developed a free 3D modeling software that creates intricate wooden joints.
Called Tsugite after the Japanese word for joinery, it employs ancient Japanese joinery techniques to craft wooden structures without any nails or glue.
The designs created with the software can be manufactured with a CNC milling machine, which allows anyone to construct unique wooden designs in just minutes.