How it Works
OpenDesk uses digital fabrication to connect you directly with designers and makers.

Digital fabrication is a type of manufacturing process where the machine used is controlled by a computer.

The most common forms of digital fabrication are:

  • CNC Machining: where, typically, shapes are cut out of wooden sheets — this is the main technology used by OpenDesk products at the moment
  • 3D Printing: where objects are built up out of layers of metal or plastic
  • Laser Cutting: where materials like metal are burnt or melted by a laser beam

There are a huge range of digital fabrication techniques. The important aspect that unifies them is that the machines can reliably be programmed to make consistent products from digital designs.

This means that an OpenDesk design can be downloaded and made, reliably and repeatably, all over the world, without a maker needing to have specialist equipment.

There are still some finishing steps required — which will vary from product to product — after the raw parts come off the fabrication machine. For more technical information, check out our Maker Forum, and documentation website

OpenDesks are downloadable as digital designs »
the designs are cut out of sheets of wood using a CNC machine »
the cut wood is finished, with parts, ready to assemble »
and the parts are assembled to build the finished product.
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