Rahim Akbar's CNC Machine, Huge Panels and Other Examples
Rahim uses his blackFoot 4'x8' machine to make much larger masterpieces. Check out his Islamic inspired panels that he installs all over the world.
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 middle east 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 of art.
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 to complete.
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 Granada 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 many of 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 area.
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 larger items.
Check out Rahim's wood gallery of all his amazing work:
Rahim's Wood Gallery