Rahim Akbar's CNC Machine, Huge Panels and Other Examples
I knew customers and users would be making things larger than the machine's routing
area, and Rahim has made a great example of this. Rahim's panels are first routed
with his blackFoot CNC Machine, one half panel at a time. Additionally, the designs
also expressive of his cultural background, which is the most exciting aspect of
using the machine. He is heavily influenced by art work from the midleast and receives
some of his inspiration from research include
this site. Rahim makes these panels for newly built homes and condominiums.
He told me every design will be unique. This, in my opinion, is what defines works
His cultural inspirations include various resources and places. Before he purchased
and started using the machine, he created a hand made panel that is hung above his
dining room table, embellished with indirect lighting above. This was influenced
by an actual 13th Century Palace ceiling from Syria. The project took him months
Not anymore. Now with the machine, he can complete the panels for his new collection
at 8 feet square within one week, including the staining and coating. The new panels
are also influenced by his culture, but it doesn't stop there. As the worldly person
he is, he is also influenced by the Victorian era and French styles.
A living room panel, produced on the blackFoot, is titled Alhumbra and the design
is inspired from Islamic art work from Garnada and Alhumbra in Spain. That was his
first attempt at using the CNC Machine. He keeps this in his living room, but I
think it would look really nice in mine!!
There are twelve panels made for a contractor to be installed on the ceiling of
many Victorian styled homes. He told me that his first job, the machine has already
paid for itself. The ceiling panels all have various influences. The themes include
Moorish, Victorian and traditional ornate. The top of this page shows manyof the
panels standing against his house. This image also shows a good indication of scale
with Rahim standing in the foreground.
I must say that when he came to me with his vision, I was floored when viewing pictures
of the architecture he loves so much. This was architecture that was build by great
craftsmen. As an architect, I have found that architectural embellishments and real
craftsmanship is disappearing. Now we have machines, and expressive craftsmanship
can ensue even with a modest budget. Rahim is one that will keep this alive, or
help to revive a lost art.
He is getting started on some furniture. The first piece is a rocking chair and
is designed as a kit of parts and contains a joinery that requires no glue or fasteners.
The style is based on French Boutique Designer's plans.
As always, I try to see notable aspects of revisions and building methods of the
machines built by the users of this site. First, rahim constructed a great torsion
box for his table. This structure is extremely sturdy and will not budge no matter
how much human force is exerted on the frame of this table and bed. The structure
below is built to store 4'x8' sheet material. Rahim mainly stores plywood in this
The structure for this is extremely simple and very inexpensive. Standard framing
2"x4" stock is used for the beams and legs. He simply has the torsion box laying
and fastened on top of this frame. The frame also has a few more members to enhance
the rigidity, but also serves as shelving for drawers, and the second shelf for
the sheet material. There is a final under table storage area that Rahim stores