At the beginning of the industrial revolution, the need for precision, repetition, and efficiency gave rise to the exploration of semi-automated machining. The lathe, upright mill, and various other machines were invented to fulfill these demands.

Industrial Turning Machines

Production Floor Powered by River and Belt Drive System

Upright (Bridgeport) Mill Patent Drawing

The first ‘turning machine with a metal frame’ was invented in 1751. Within the design/engineering industry, the process to further refine, automate, and explore new methods of bringing efficiency to a complex and chaotic process has remained paramount. Richard Kegg, in collaboration with MIT, developed the first CNC milling machine: the Cincinnati Milacron Hydrotel. Five years later, in 1958, he filed a patent for a “Motor Controlled Apparatus for Positioning Machine Tool” marking the introduction of the technology into the industry.

Motor Controlled Apparatus for Positioning Machine Tool

Automated Production Line Assembling, Welding, and Fastening the Modern Auto Frame and Components


As the technology becomes more accessible and the methods more approachable, the use of Building Information Modeling and Parametric Modeling in general has created a new branch of fabrication in architecture and design. Geometry can take a non-euclidean form driven by forces, light, and even complex mathematical principles of physics. Complex form, that would have once been too time consuming or cost prohibitive, are now achievable through accessible means.


Wind Analysis on Form of Shelter

Rifling Inside of Howitzer 90mm Barrel


Currently, the digital fabrication field itself is growing and developing into different divergent paths of study, from the integration of robotics in the building process to lightweight 3D Printed Structure, that can only be achieved through additive manufacturing.

6-Axis Robotic Arm with 3D Printing Module

Zaha Hadid Architects - 520 W. 28th Street

MVRDV, the Imprint

The possibilities are endless, and the future of digital fabrication looks very exciting!

Joseph Redwing Miranda, Designer

Joseph Redwing Miranda, Designer

Joe MirandaHelen Zouvelekis