November 28, 2018

Digital Fabrication Meets Festival of Trees

Digital Fabrication Meets Festival of Trees

For the 11th year in a row, GWWO employees spread holiday cheer by constructing an elaborate gingerbread house for Kennedy Krieger Institute's Festival of Trees

The annual event benefits the Kennedy Krieger Institute in Baltimore and features over 700 uniquely decorated holiday trees, wreaths, and gingerbread houses created by members of the local community. This year, employees decided to build a gingerbread replica of the Eiffel Tower and used digital fabrication to help with the creation.

Digital fabrication is a type of manufacturing process where a computer controls the machine that is used. One of the most common forms of digital fabrication, and the type that we used, was CNC milling where a rotary cutting tool cuts shapes out of wooden sheets—or in this case, gingerbread sheets. As such, we programmed our digital designs (below) into a computer which then operated the machine that carved out the physical designs. 

The video below shows the digital fabrication at work, a process that took a total of 6 hours.

After the gingerbread pieces were modeled, the structure was assembled and decorated with frosting, candy, and fondant figurines, including Christmas trees, presents, wreaths, snowmen, and elves. Cameos were also made by the minions from Despicable Me, the trolls from Trolls, Spongebob, and many others. Last but not least, we had the Natty Boh guy proposing to the Utz girl in front of the tower—a famous “true love story” and symbol of Baltimore. Our design earned us the 1st Place ribbon for "Most Imaginative Theme!" We look forward to seeing what next year brings!