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//* {CNC Facility} ::
{2008.06.24 ~ Independent Studies, Work : Professor Lisa Iwamoto}

Setting up the CNC Facility :: University of California @ Berkeley
Professors Lisa Iwamoto and Mark Anderson in the College of Environmental Design at Berkeley did a great thing and bought a series of desperately needed digital fabrication tools in 2003 and 2004, however the resonsibility of setting up, maintaining, and operating these tools was and is left largely to the graduate students. A preliminary installation of the CNC router had been made, but for whatever and lots of reasons it had been kept locked up and inaccessible to student use largely since its arrival, without the necessary infrastructure, tools, support, knowledge of use, nor policy for safe and continual use/operation.

Incorporating this valuable tool into the curriculum at the CED and getting access for students and faculty alike has been the focus and goals of two semesters of three-credit independent studies I have undertaken under faculty sponsor Professor Lisa Iwamoto. Professor Dana Buntrock and Shop Assisant Paul Morrison also obtained a grant to create a position to help compensate me for all the infrastructural and organizational improvements that were necessary to open the tool to student use. The work entailed building the infrastructure for ventilation, providing proper dust collection at the head of the machine, research and development in the use + operation of the machine, buying new software by which to run it, creating a material samples library, building tool libraries, building the school’s CAD/CAM website, creating online tutorials, training faculty and attendants etc... The work is on-going, however the machine now has several trained technicians, the physical resources have been improved, and several courses now employ the facility for student projects.

The project would not have been possible without the continual dedication and persistence of many individuals. Special thanks and credit for their various contributions should be extended to the following:: Paul Morrison ~ Shop Supervisor, Ben Golder + Chris Lesnett ~ new lab technicians, Steve Murray and Guy Vinson ~ Computing, Julio Reyes ~ CAD/CAM lab coordinator, Chris Williams ~ Management Services Officer, Dana Buntrock ~ Associate Professor of Architecture, Lisa Iwamoto ~ Associate Professor of Architecture, Ronald Rael ~ Assistant Professor of Architecture, Kerry ~ Electrician, and Joseph ~ the Machinist.