Traditional Knowledge on Modern Milling Robots

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Schwarzmann, W. (2020). Traditional Knowledge on Modern Milling Robots. Paper presented at the Anthropologic – Architecture and Fabrication in the cognitive age – International Online Conference on Education and Research in Computer Aided Architectural Design in Europe, Berlin, Germany.

Publication type

Paper in Conference Proceedings


The profession of a carpenter is changing significantly. Over the last 20-30 years, CNC-joinery machines became ready to penetrate the market and lead to a significant optimization of daily processes in these firms. In this case study, we take a closer look at the working techniques of a carpenter in the Bregenzerwald. This skilled craftsman found a way, of how to translate his expert knowledge on to a CNC-joinery machine. Instead of only following modern, simplified construction methods, he tried to revive historic methods and developed a way to translate his expertise. By scaling up on a technological basis, he was able to reintroduce the so-called 'Dovetail joint' and by that managed to erect the first proof of concept, a single-family house. This research shows, how a new integrated robot enables a way of manufacturing, that otherwise might not be affordable anymore. Benefits of this approach can be seen on a variety of economic and ecologic aspects. As mentioned by the carpenter, these results are encouraging, but for him, the real advantage is the increased empowerment to skill, craft and knowledge typical for his profession.


Organizational Units

  • Institute of Architecture and Planning
  • Sustainable Planning and Construction

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