5-axis arbor – 五軸庵 –


There’s a construction method for making structures without any nails and glues in Japanese wooden architecture. The nodes of the wooden structures have complex male and female joints. Some joints can be made by skillful carpenters. We were inspired by the traditional fabrication technique and have implemented the same technique using steel.

We have applied a multi-axis laser cutting machine, Mazak 400 Mk2, to cut steel pipes for building a new architectural space. The laser machine can cut grooves on any curved pipe, and can shape skews on cut edges. So we can generate complex male and female joints for steel pipes. The pipes connect to each other without any welds and bolts. We invented the Hook joint and Finger joint.

We have constructed a few 1 by 1 mock-up’s of steel arbor, Japanese tea ceremony houses. It is the most important phase to create a critical 3D file for cutting and simulating pipe connections in a sequential order.
The machine contains many axes, however we have given the machine the name 5-axis laser for simplicity and to make it more easily remembered.