Computer-aided manufacturing (CAM), in which computer-aided design (CAD) and computer numerically controlled (CNC) machining are integrated for the production of parts, became a viable option for the woodworking industry in the 1980s. To determine if using computer-based technologies in wood products design and manufacturing can streamline the many phases of production, a survey was conducted in 2006. Sixty-three percent of survey respondents indicated they use CAD. Even in the very small woodworking companies, CAD use was not uncommon, with 46 percent of them using CAD technology. Web sites and Web-based sales were being used by 41 percent of the survey respondents. Forty-one percent also used CNC machining. A much higher percentage of the large companies used CNC, considering that of all companies with 50 or more employees, 93 percent used CNC machining. CAM was the only other computer technology utilized by more than 20 percent of the respondents.

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Author notes

The authors are, respectively, Research Forest Products Technologist, USDA Forest Serv., Northern Research Sta., Forestry Sci. Lab., Princeton, West Virginia (jwiedenbeck@fs.fed.us); and Co-owner, Beeken Parsons Inc., Shelburne, Vermont (jparsons@beekenparsons.com). This paper was received for publication in July 2009. Article no. 10664.