Design & Engineering

Natural Shelters are designed using industry leading 3D CAD software. Once the design is agreed with the client, a 3D computer model of the complete shelter created with all its parts. These components are then digitally manufactured.  

The use of timber and CNC machining means that there is no need for expensive tooling or its set up.

Digitally Manufactured with Precision

Once a standard order or bespoke design is agreed the CAD data is sent directly to the computer controlled machinery to produce shelters that are efficient in their use of materials and functionality. Shelters' are machined to exacting tolerances of <0.1mm. 

This video shows a multi-tool CNC machine being driven with speed and accuracy by a 3DCAD datafile. The machine in the video is a variant of the CNC machine used to manufacture Natural Shelters. It demonstrates the sophisticated level of digital manufacturing in the wood industry and how CAD data directly drives efficient production. The combination of our advanced renewable resource (timber) material knowledge and CNC production puts Natural Shelter at the forefront of advanced manufacturing.

CAD Development & Finite Element Analysis (FEA)

Our designers experience in product development and CAD enables quick and efficient outputs to take place, such as:

  • Refining the aesthetics of the design to meet a client's needs
  • Modelling the stress and forces within the shelter structures
  • Creating bespoke configurations and design variations of standard shelters
  • Producing a Bill of Materials (BOM) for accurate costing and stock control
  • Issuing all fabrication drawings to suppliers to use in their own digital production, such as high-speed CNC wood machining centres, laser and water cutting machines, CNC sheet-metal punching and folding machines.

To ensure compliance all Natural Shelters are evaluated in-house using FEA software. Results are then reviewed and signed off by a structural engineer as required. This rigorous design process ensures that all shelters are fit for purpose for many years to come. 

Finite Element Analysis is undertaken using CAD to test snow and wind loads oa cantilever shelter.

Finite Element Analysis is undertaken using CAD to test snow and wind loads oa cantilever shelter.

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Agile Design & Manufacturing Removes the Need for Costly Tooling and Shortens Lead Times

As industrail designers our knowledge of digital manufacturing enables Natural Shelters to be developed with no tooling costs. In additon to the CNC manufacturing of Accoya components we use processes such as laser cutting, milling, casting, metal fabrication and lathes for custom shelter builds. Our agile design approach enables bespoke shelter designs to be realised on demand for clients at very competitive cost. 

We carry this approach through all our design and development work. To date, we have never had to commission any tools to manufacture bespoke components. If you require a unique shelter feature or design, we can design it for you at a low entry cost and at speed.