Since the introduction of nails and handsaw by the ancient Egyptians around 3000 BC, the furniture industry has experienced significant changes. New furniture technologies have been developed especially in the last 50 years, not only in aesthetic appeal but also in materials, manufacturing methods and processes. Chief amongst these furniture technologies is computer programs which enable furniture designers to represent structural concepts and designs in forms which were previously considered impossible in manufacturing processes.
Furniture Making and Technological Possibilities
In today’s world of manufacturing, furniture and technology are intimately linked. Furniture producers can now express structural concepts and designs better due to advanced digital manufacturing techniques and other technologies, such as a fireplace powered by ethanol fuel. Internet access enables furniture makers and designers to rapidly share ideas resulting to new possibilities and improved furniture products. Take wood processing, for example, the advancement in wood processing technology has made it possible to utilize wood from boreal and temperate forests thus enabling supply of high-quality furniture materials to diverse market segments around the world.
Although the cost of wood has increased over the years, improved wood technology such as structural gluing techniques enables wood materials to effectively compete with other non-wood materials such as plastics, glass, and metals. With continued advanced technology, there is a possibility that the furniture industry is bound to experience further technological innovations and still remain competitive for years to come, especially due to its material quality, durability, and aesthetic appeal. However, this will largely depend on other complementary technologies in the wood sector such as wood recycling methods and low-impact logging techniques. On the flip side, there are established specialty furniture producing companies like www.ignisproducts.com who specialize in modern fireplace products and use high grade metallic and glass materials.
What’s New in Furniture Technology?
Although handcrafted pieces of furniture are still popular due to their prestige and luxurious feel, improved technology and automation of manufacturing processes has enabled mass production of high-quality furniture. It is now possible to produce large quantities of furniture in a short period of time and with reduced cost of human labour. Moreover, industrially produced pieces of furniture offer elaborate aesthetic finishes and are readily available. Also, it is possible to incorporate other non-wood materials such as metals (aluminium, steel), plastic or glass thus lowering the cost of the product as compared to solid wood.
While it may seem like there is reduced use of wood in everyday items (tool handles, industrial joinery…) still, there is considerable market share for application of wood in other sectors. Home fashion, for example, is one sector that greatly utilizes wood in exterior and interior décor. Wood furniture, interior furnishings, paneling, parquet and other types of floor coverings have continually improved, both in materials and techniques due to technological advancement. Homeowners can now choose technologically improved and less costly furniture from a wide selection of design styles for their home décor.