BCF: Better CNC Factory

Manufacturing company

Fiction Factory



Jesse Howard


Technology Provider




Fiction Factory builds custom interiors for B2B global and local brands of different sectors such as footwear and fashion, food and beverage, and arts and culture, among others.

With building custom interiors, Fiction Factory has a wood waste stream of which 70% comes from digital CNC router production. This wood waste is unused material that will be burned as recycling companies classify this waste as low quality. In the Netherlands, there is an average of 30% of wood waste within interior building companies (research by CBM). The current workflow and technologies used in the industry lack flexibility and are not adapted to highly-customized and one-off projects such as those that Fiction Factory deals with every day.

In this experiment, Fiction Factory will be working with artist Jesse Howard (The Netherlands), and technical partner IAAC (Spain).

Jesse Howard is a designer, researcher, and educator based in Amsterdam. His work focuses on reimagining everyday objects in response to new forms of digital fabrication, distributed development, and DIY communities. 

IAAC, The Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia, is a centre for research, education, production and outreach, with the mission of envisioning the future habitat of our society and building it in the present.


This project proposes to develop a new solution at the intersection of design and technology that can help the manufacturing sector to be more competitive and, at the same time, reduce waste in an innovative way. 

The technology provider IAAC will bring to the project its unique expertise in automated wood waste recycling and combine it with the artist Jesse Howard’s expertise in systemic design for digital fabrication. Thus, two main outputs will result and will allow the creation of new business opportunities. 

Expected impact

The project will demonstrate a successful deployment of this new Lean-Agile production system with an improvement in productivity of 10% and a waste reduction of 30% through 2 small scale pilot projects (products) and 1 large pilot project (architecture). The developed solution will also allow Better Factory optimize project planning and management.

Creating a Better CNC Factory will definitely avoid those loses on wasted material by increasing the efficiency and scaling up production, so the profit will add up. Preventing 30% of the wood waste from being burned will also prevent 28.396 kg of stored CO2 being set free per year.

Moreover, the new methodology of pre-identifying CNC waste and proposed technologies, provide a new framework for designers and producers in which not only is material waste minimized, but a new typology of waste-specific object design and manufacturing emerges.

Research showed that reprocessing of secondary wood material into new wood material will make a growth of 5 million jobs by 2030. With all the previous, the potential value of waste-use – economic, environmental and social – is expected to influence additional parties in the manufacturing sector.


Pre-Experiment Video - Before

Post-Experiment Video - After

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