Science GalleryThe University of Tokyo


Tsugite: Interactive design and fabrication of wood joints

Tsugite is an interactive system created by the Igarashi Laboratory in the Department of Information Science, School of Science, The University of Tokyo, for designing and fabricating wood joints for frame structures. Designing and manually crafting such joints is difficult and time-consuming. Therefore, this system facilitates the creation of custom joints by a modeling interface combined with computer numerical control (CNC) fabrication. The design space is a 3D grid of voxels that enables efficient geometrical analysis and combinatorial search. The interface has two modes: manual editing and gallery. In the manual editing mode, the user edits a joint while receiving real-time graphical feedback and suggestions based on performance metrics including slidability, fabricability, and durability with regard to the direction of fiber. In the gallery mode, the user views and selects feasible joints that have been pre-calculated. When a joint design is finalized, it can be manufactured with a 3-axis CNC milling machine using a specialized path planning algorithm that ensures joint assemblability by corner rounding. This system was evaluated via a user study and by designing and fabricating joint samples and functional furniture.

Responsibility for wording of the article

Takeo Igarashi, Professor, Information Science [2022]