About Opendesk — what is digital fabrication?

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.