From the Design office to the numerical control phase, from TopSolid’Wood to TopSolid’WoodCam, Fourniture fixes the preliminary computer work before producing its out-of-the-ordinary furniture in its unique 1600 m² workshop...
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Missler Software/Fourniture: furniture from Pierre Paulin, Sylvain Dubuisson...
Partners since 2006, Missler Software and Fourniture have strongly established themselves in the wood industry. With TopSolid’Wood and TopSolid’WoodCam software, the real and the virtual become inseparable incompatibilities... At Ivry-sur-Seine, near Paris, Fourniture and its 17 artisan cabinetmakers turn the dreams of architect- designers into reality: Sylvain Dubuisson, Pierre Paulin... and Mobilier national. From the Design office to the numerical control phase, from TopSolid’Wood to TopSolid’WoodCam, Fourniture fixes the preliminary computer work before producing its out-of-the-ordinary furniture in its unique 1600 m² workshop...
Fourniture: Cabinet-making and Missler Software...
"We make top-of-the-range furniture... We occasionally fit out apartments...We also do demonstration stands for various boutiques... in Galeries Lafayette and all over Europe, the Cartier boutiques on rue de la Paix in Paris, in London, in Japan…" says Bruno Guillon, manager of the "Fourniture" company.
A new generation of artisan cabinetmakers uses the computer technology of the TopSolid’Wood and TopSolid’WoodCam software from Missler Software in manufacturing. Fourniture's slogan is "You imagine it….we make it!" ...Whether the cabinet making workshop produces only unique furniture in a traditional manner, or in a limited production run, their rigour has already attracted top architects and contemporary designers. From the designers Sylvain Dubuisson and Pierre Paulin, to Nespresso tasting counters, apartments with top-of-the-range furnishings to the Ministry of Culture and the Mobilier national research workshop, with the "TopSolid’Wood / Fourniture" philosophy, they have found the demanding response to their projects. The furniture of Mobilier national comes from this 1600 m² workshop in Ivry-sur-Seine, where highly-qualified cabinetmakers, all of graduates from the renowned Boulle Art School, cultivate this traditional know-how for modern computing and materials: wood, glass and metal... "There are two groups of designers. Those in the virtual world, and those who resist, making tables and chairs. Resistance is corporeality. It is clearly more and more to do with resistance, since the virtual is more and more a possibility", explains Sylvain Dubuisson, an architect-designer distributed through "Fourniture".
Giving meaning to the practical, interfering between the company and the designer, Fourniture's sub-contracting structure, "Créative Agent Consultants", allows optimisation of commercial value, one of the essential factors for profitability and in adapting to the new set-up of markets in the industrial sector. It identifies problems, presents the designer, follows up contracts with Fourniture, and drafts and presents estimates. "Creative Agent Consultants" is present in all the phases of existence of the product, be it of the product itself (design), its launch (media event), its immediate environment (stand, POS advertising) or indirect environment (shop interior architecture, licensing) or of its image, related to the image of the "TopSolid’Wood Fourniture" brand...
In the wood sector, problems of product design, research and development vary greatly depending on the areas of activity... TopSolid’Wood and TopSolid’WoodCam effectively solve problems such as these that Fourniture faces.
Fourniture: Design office and TopSolid’Wood...
Modelled on the Parasolid exact modeller and based on all the functions of the TopSolid’Design standard CAD software, TopSolid’Wood is a modelling software that is particularly suited to Fourniture. But it is also an industrial CAD software that serves a number of functions specifically dedicated to secondary transformation trades and their sub-contractors. While it is now essential to quickly define the products that are to be manufactured, in no event should this acceleration impinge on the design, documentary and production quality. "Capitalising on know-how and enhancing your own library by creating new components allows the power of the design office to gradually increase!" explains Nicolas Mohy, design manager in the Fourniture design office. With the "components library" and its machining resources, TopSolid’Wood allows optimised management of assemblies, exchange of data with partner designers, photorealistic images, and above all a direct link with the workshop...
These functions, components and processes directly transferred into the TopSolid’Wood software give the operator excellent productivity and design that is suited to the production tool... With precise personalisation of the industry functions of the TopSolid software, the Fourniture design office precisely and effectively adapts the various manufacturing processes that follow the design phase. With the TopSolid’Wood 2008 version, there are no more limits on complex geometries! The new ergonomics for the panel unit allow multi-component assembly in a single operation, interchangeability of shaping tools, grooving, rebating in assembly and even more attractive projection... A number of hatching patterns are delivered, for example solid wood (along the grain and across the grain), blockboard, counterveneer, particleboard and MDF also has an broken-out view in 2 directions. With 2 ½ D machining export, the new interface allows geometry of parts to be exported in "tagged" DXF format to most machining software packages (BiesseWorks (1), MasterWorks, NCHops, etc.)
Nicolas Mohy, Fourniture design manager, clarifies "the advantages of manufacturing with the same software for a high productivity design office and unlimited creativity. Designs made to be manufactured!"...From the modelling stage onwards, the industry functions of TopSolid’Wood take into account machining problems on the 3D model, and create their own components in order to reuse them at any time and make projects a reality in 3D.
3D modelling by material removal and assembly processes by components of the TopSolid’Wood industry functions: turning, sawing, grooving, profiling, eccentric, screwing, edge banding... allow the designer modelling leeway with multiple working methods. If only because the edge and laminate fitting assistant is no small thing when it comes to making top-of-the-range furniture..."The advantage lies in recovering the maximum number of elements that we have conceived, that we have drawn in the Design office. When I drill a hole in a panel, it is very easy to do this on the machine afterwards, and to recover the information. For example, there is a TopSolid’Wood function: "drill". You can use the configurable part of TopSolid’Wood, that is to say: you draw a piece of furniture, and you can make it bigger in every direction, by changing the height for example... The furniture is transformed, while remaining consistent...", says Nicolas Mohy. The configuration and associativity of TopSolid’Wood allow work to be capitalised upon. Even for a specific design, it is often essential to refer to standard elements, and with the TopSolid’Wood 2008 version, project management is even more efficient: the properties configurator attributes or modifies the information of the different parts contained in a document, depending on the assembly level.
From TopSolid’Wood to TopSolid’WoodCam, from design to manufacture, from CAD/CAM to CAM...
After the design office phase driven by the TopSolid’Wood software, for the numerical control phase, it is the turn of TopSolid’WoodCam. TopSolid’WoodCam is an integrated CAD/CAM solution for the secondary wood transformation industry which generates the program of the numerical control machine from the drawing of the part produced in CAD. It automatically produces the ISO codes, through a post-processor, to machine the parts designed using TopSolid’Wood by numerical control. It is a true numerical chain, allowing errors to be avoided, which means gaining a considerable amount of time between the design office and the workshop. By themselves, the TopSolid’Wood and TopSolid’WoodCam software packages consistently manage all the technical data. Since the CAM part (Computer Aided Manufacturing) of TopSolid (TopSolid’WoodCam) is an integral part of the TopSolid’Design and TopSolid’Wood CAD, "CAD must be mastered before using the TopSolid’WoodCam part", specifies Nicolas Mohy.
TopSolid’WoodCam means recognition in CAM of the operations performed on the parts in CAD (calibration, grooving, rebating, etc.).
TopSolid’WoodCam means the automatic creation of tools in the CAM database in relation to their definition in the CAD.
TopSolid’WoodCam means correlation between the materials of the CAD and the CAM tools database, for automatic adjustment.
TopSolid’WoodCam means total associativity between the materials defined in the CAD and the CAM tools database, for automatic and precise adjustment of the cutting conditions between the CAD defined model and the CAM preparation. With TopSolid’WoodCam, any modification in the design can be passed on automatically, through to the generation of ISO programs...
TopSolid’WoodCam means positioning of the 3D design model combining the design and the machining preparation.
All the toolpaths are calculated taking the geometry of the model to be produced into account, as well as its aim predefined by TopSolid’Wood and the design phase. Any modification in the design is replayed on the machining stage, without having to reconsider all the machine's working hypotheses (positioning of the part, identification of operations, choice of tools, etc.) The generation of new ISO blocks following a modification is extremely fast, even instant! "Working in a 3D environment with the geometry of the machine allows exact simulation of what will really happen in manufacturing. This simulation means I avoid having to anticipate any risk of programming errors...", says Nicolas Mohy. TopSolid’WoodCam allows a considerable amount of time to be gained with automatic analysis for the machining of assembly parts designed by TopSolid’Wood. It is very realistic preparation for machining which, in addition to the ease of use, increases the quality of the manufacturing.
Fourniture and Missler Software: woods from elsewhere...
In furniture making the recurring question "which wood should be used?" is often discussed. "With maple, for example, the difficulty is that it is light, it's white and all the small defects that can be hidden in darker woods show up. Which is difficult", explains Bruno Guillon, manager of Fourniture.
Pierre Paulin's tables and chairs, inspired by 19th century Austrian furniture, have an amaranth and sycamore veneer. "With Fourniture and Mobilier national, I work on wooden furniture, I learn to use wood in the best conditions for its sturdiness despite the rather complex forms that I risk giving it. This work with wood techniques with the Fourniture and Mobilier national team is combined with sophisticated discussion about the past, be it Chinese, Italian..." says Pierre Paulin.
Eric Benqué makes solid Burmese teak chairs, Mansonia drawers, a bar with a varnished stained oak veneer. Sylvain Dubuisson makes a desk with a sold amaranth base, another desk with a flame mahogany veneer, not to mention a television cabinet with a Norwegian birch veneer...Sylvain Dubuisson loves Fourniture's computer techniques. It is present during the various design phases of a designer object, from the initials drawings to the choice of materials: drawings, mock-ups, production in the workshop... "The objects must not only be comprehended from an aesthetic angle, nor from use, but from the intelligibility angle. Pointlessness is a duty, to give life back a little quality... I really don't like this French nature – the divide between industrial design and design that comes out of architecture or interior design... Nowadays designers are able to negotiate with the wood industry... There is a special feature of industrial thinking that TopSolid is able to translate!"
Véronique Aubrée fits a curved dressing screen with a pine oak veneer for a Paris apartment...
Design Studio Kompa designs Wenge-stained mahogany furniture and backlit shelves for Nespresso...
"Overall with TopSolid we save time, even if the computing part has been extended. We invest more time in computing and less in production. There is a part of the work in the workshop, of the cabinetmakers, of the craftsmen, which has been absorbed between the design and the machining", concludes Bruno Gaillon.
Interview with Nicolas Mohy, fourniture design manager
Nicolas Mohy, the Fourniture design manager, explains the benefits of TopSolid’Wood and TopSolid’WoodCam software for the Design office phase before the manufacturing workshop. According to Nicolas Mohy, the use of Missler Software programs since 2006, after Autocad, has led to extensive changes in manufacturing work in the workshop, with considerable time gains...
LBI: What is the manufacturing process for a piece of furniture, from the design to the time it leaves the workshop?
Nicolas Mohy: "The architect comes to see us and submits plans to us. In relation to this project, it always starts with an estimate submitted to invitation to tender by "Créative Agent Consultants". If "Fourniture" is chosen, I make a start on design work using TopSolid’Wood... After we have received the architect's sketches, we integrate the data at Design office level, and I redraw all the plans using TopSolid’Wood. We redo them following the designer's ideas, applying technical solutions. After preliminary design on the computer, we make them comply with the architect again. Sometimes this is sent to the architect, if we have strayed a little from what was requested. More time is spent on the plans than when we design in 2D, more succinctly. On the other hand, although it takes longer for me in the Design office, using TopSolid’Wood we save a lot of time during manufacturing."
LBI: What are the advantages of TopSolid’Wood?
N.M.: "Our previous software was Autocad, and we have been using TopSolid for two years. TopSolid is particularly suitable for making furniture. The advantage lies in recovering the maximum number of elements that we have conceived, designed, drawn. I know that when I drill a hole in a panel, it is very easy to carry out the operation on the machine afterwards, and to recover the information... For example, there is a function called "drill". Afterwards, the software proposes the reference phase... It will then propose control points. It will position them and then, all that is in dialogue with the software... You can use the configurable part, that is to say: you draw a piece of furniture, and you can make it bigger in every direction, by changing the height for example, the width. The furniture is transformed, while remaining consistent."
LBI: What is the transition between TopSolid’Wood Design office, TopSolid’WoodCam numerical control and manufacturing workshop?
N.M.: "TopSolid’WoodCam is another person... There is the numerical control machine, with someone who does the programming, still using TopSolid’WoodCam, and then, once the parts have gone through the machine, they are recovered by the cabinetmakers. TopSolid’Wood is for creating the drawings, and TopSolid’WoodCam is manufacturing, that is, it translates the drawing into a language that the machine can understand. When you draw a rectangle in TopSolid’Wood, a shelf for example, you may decide to include small grooves in it... so, that makes a drawing. With TopSolid’WoodCam, the drawing is analyzed and the machine will cut the piece of wood and create the small grooves. TopSolid’Wood and TopSolid’WoodCam are the same software target, but they are two different worlds."
LBI: How frequently are there updates with Missler Software?
N.M.: "With Missler Software, there are updates every year which we can choose to make or not."