The magic of robots
This is where the CNC machines get involved. CNC stands for 'Computer Numerical Control' In essence, a very complex program is run on a piece of lumber resulting in a pattern, design, or series of cuts made in the surface.
Contrary to popular belief, this is one of the most challenging aspects of what we create. Any given sculptural design requires the work of a number of people. First, the artist creates a drawing of the sculpt that is refined and purposed for 3d modeling. A technical lead then extrudes the drawing and models it in 3d using very complex software to keep the model within the specifications of the CNC machine and cutting tools. This step typically requires multiple revisions as the model is test cut into wood a number of times in order to perfect the design. Once the model reaches production quality it is then milled on a specifically cut piece of material by a CNC operator. A simple 3d sculpt can take 2 to 3 hours of run time. Larger sculptural work can run up to 10 to 12 hours per piece. At the time of this writing we have over 20 dedicated CNC machines working around the clock making awesome gaming gear.
Sculpting is also where a great number of errors occur. CNCs have many moving parts, require constant maintenance, and a watchful eye. Different species of wood possess unique characteristics that need to be accounted for on the CNC.