Last time we looked at Opendesk, they were nestled amongst freshly cut timbers and the warm glow of computer screens, a new site with a few pieces of furniture you could download and make or have made locally. Since then, well, let’s just say they’ve grown. The founders of FabHub have constructed a site that include over 30 designs and a wider selection of digital makers as part of the Open Makers manifesto. Along with all of that, they’ve just introduced a look at the future of digital craftsmanship.

With all the designs available through Opendesk, there was one problem. You have a locally manufactured, custom-made piece of furniture, but a fixed sized; All the cut sizes, but no custom dimensions. What if you need that meeting table a foot wider or a tad taller? That makes too much sense, right? Well, it does to Opendesk as well which is why they have provided a look at what you’ll be able to do with each piece of furniture you source on the website.

“The form you see embedded on this page communicates a simple choice document describing the customer’s customisations or maker’s material specifications to a server hosting the Opendesk API. The server controls and queues these requests, then posts new requests to an endpoint in our API. A cloud based server that is running the Opendesk CAD workflow monitors this endpoint and as a request is posted, triggers the Opendesk export process. This process loads the requested design in to Autodesk Inventor and sets the parameters in the model before converting the 3D model in to 2D drawings ready for making. When the drawing generation process is finished, the output is emailed to the person who originally requested it.”


Josh is founder and editor at, founder at Aimsift Inc., and co-founder of EvD Media. He is involved in engineering, design, visualization, the technology making it happen, and the content developed around it. He is a SolidWorks Certified Professional and excels at falling awkwardly.