This is a really cool idea:
Bolefloor technology combines wood scanning systems, tailor-made CAD/CAM developments and innovative optimization algorithms for placement software developed by a Finnish engineering automation company and three software companies in cooperation with the Institute of Cybernetics at Tallinn University of Technology. Bolefloor scanners’ natural-edge visual identification technology evaluates “imperfections” such as knots and sapwood near the edges or ends so that floors are both beautiful and durable. Our process manages and tracks each board from its raw-lumber stage through final installation.
Caveats include A) Bolefloor does not seem to actually be for sale yet, B) no information seems to be available about how much it will cost, and C) the high design/luxury marketing elements suggest any functional claims to improved economy will be negated by elitist pricing.
Even given all that, the floors are lovely, and the concept—we’re going to use computers to cut trees more efficiently and beautifully—deserves a nod. Here’s looking forward to the hobby CNC community’s homebrew version. [via Boing Boing]