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Concept to Completion: Building a WikiHouse in One Month

CNC & Machining Woodworking
Concept to Completion: Building a WikiHouse in One Month


I’m excited to see SketchUp‘s booth for Maker Faire New York! The challenge they set for themselves: design and build a WikiHouse in just over a month, which will serve as their World Maker Faire New York booth.

Working with Alastair Parvin and Nick Ierodiaconou of WikiHouse, they forked one of the latest WikiHouse design standards to create custom exhibit. Then the design was iterated a number of times until they had an “as-built” model, from which they prepared cutting sheets. At this point, they required the services of a CNC whiz.

The conceptual evolution of the SketchUp WikiHouse.
The conceptual evolution of the SketchUp WikiHouse.

SketchUp Marketing Manager Mark Harrison writes:

Kicking off the project, it was quickly evident that between the SketchUppers and the WikiHouse’rs, there were more than enough architects to go around. Aside from the reality that no one on the team had a CNC router in his garage, we knew we’d need a project partner with tons of CNC experience — and one who wouldn’t laugh off the idea of hammering together a thousand cut pieces in the middle of Maker Faire.

Enter our friend Bill Young over at ShopBot Tools. We’d been itching to do a project with Bill since he caught us spreading saw dust all over Maker Faire Bay Area earlier this year. Bill’s practical experience with wood selection, tolerances, and project planning are nicely measured by his ability to engrave anything (onto anything) while generally believing that most things are possible. With the right mix of optimism and practicality, we started trading SKP’s back and forth, hashing out the trade-offs in various design concepts.

Tomorrow they begin the two-day construction of the house, on-site at Maker Faire New York. Bertier Luyt, of Le FabShop in France, who is also involved in the project, writes, “The SketchUp WikiHouse is a very ambitious project to build in two days, but we’re well-prepared and equipped, and very motivated.”

Keep tabs on the progress of the SketchUp/WikiHouse build here.

12 thoughts on “Concept to Completion: Building a WikiHouse in One Month

  1. Goli Mohammadi says:

    So awesome! Can’t wait to check it out!

  2. OyiaBrown says:

    Reblogged this on Oyia Brown.

  3. Henry says:

    K’nex house.

    LOVE IT.

  4. Paul Bertram (@paulbertram) says:

    This idea has great potential. Has anyone done any engineering simulations or testing of snow loads, earthquakes or hurricanes?

  5. Alan Dove says:

    Add plumbing fixtures and invite a building inspector over, and it’ll take a year.

  6. John Pombrio says:

    I aw this at the Maker Faire in NY this last weekend. I was amazed at how well the building was built and the clever use of different connection joints. I saw so few screws that one box was probably all that was needed! All the furniture was made the same meticulous care with the benches and chairs able to quickly be joined together. Well done!

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