Parametric Kerf Bending: Manufacturing Double Curvature Surfaces for Wooden Furniture Design

  • Mara CaponeEmail author
  • Emanuela Lanzara
Part of the Lecture Notes in Civil Engineering book series (LNCE, volume 24)


Geometric understanding allows us to solve many problems in manufacturing complex surfaces and geometric rules can lead the project from theory to practice (Pottmann in Architectural geometry. Kindle edn, 2015). Digital fabrication technologies are evolving and becoming more and more widespread. Knowledge of fabrication methods available and parametric design tools, based on geometry, are changing the designer way to think. Advances in this field promote experimental use of new materials but also innovative use of traditional materials, such as wood. Our research in the field of non-developable surfaces fabrication move from “paneling” to “kerfing”, or “kerf bending”. This subtractive manufacturing technique consists in transforming a rigid material in a flexible one and the problem to solve is how to cut the flat shape to obtain the 3D design surface. This is a quite simple question to solve for a developable surface, but it is a very complex problems for a double curvature surface manufacturing. The aims of our research are: analyzing the relationship between the curvature of surfaces and kerfing techniques; testing different ways to optimize the design of cutting patterns to bend a rigid materials; testing different ways to manufacture 3D surface from 2D panel. We are manufacturing some prototypes that are made up of pieces of developable helicoid and hyperbolic paraboloid.


Parametric kerfing Flexible wood Digital fabrication Wooden furniture design Wooden complex surface 


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of Naples Federico II (UNINA)NaplesItaly

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