Simple Software Creates Complex Wooden Joints – An interactive system to design and fabricate structurally sound wood joints

, ,

Cut near-impossible joints with free software by the Japanese team called Tsugite (the Japanese word for joinery) – their research allows you to design your own system or choose pre-calculated combos, excerpt from their website and presentation details (and link to download and try) below:

Tsugite: Interactive Design and Fabrication of Wood Joints

Maria Larsson, Hironori Yoshida, Nobuyuki Umetani, and Takeo Igarashi
The University of Tokyo
Presented at UIST October 20-23, 2020

Tsugite Title Image


We present Tsugite — an interactive system for designing and fabricating wood joints for frame structures. To design and manually craft such joints is difficult and time consuming. Our system facilitates the creation of custom joints by a modeling interface combined with computer numerical control (CNC) fabrication. The design space is a 3D grid of voxels that enables efficient geometrical analysis and combinatorial search. The interface has two modes: manual editing and gallery. In the manual editing mode, the user edits a joint while receiving real-time graphical feedback and suggestions provided based on performance metrics including slidability, fabricability, and durability with regard to the direction of fiber. In the gallery mode, the user views and selects feasible joints that have been pre-calculated. When a joint design is finalized, it can be manufactured with a 3-axis CNC milling machine using a specialized path planning algorithm that ensures joint assemblability by corner rounding. This system was evaluated via a user study and by designing and fabricating joint samples and functional furniture.



Maria Larsson, Hironori Yoshida, Nobuyuki Umetani, and Takeo Igarashi. 2020. Tsugite: Interactive Design and Fabrication of Wood Joints. In Proceedings of the 32nd Annual ACM Symposium on User Interface Software and Technology (UIST ’20). Association for Computing Machinery, Virtual Event, USA.

Paper – high quality 📄 (4.9 MB)
Paper – low quality 📄 (2.4 MB)
ACM Link 🔗


Long presentation (15 min) and short presentation (5 min).


Download executable: Tsugite 1.0.0 ⬇ (Windows 10)
Source code: Github 🔗

(Free for personal use and non-commercial research conducted within non-commercial organizations)


Simple software that creates complex wooden joints, press relaease from The University of Tokyo, 21 Oct 2020

Updating the art of joinery for the 21st century by Maria Larsson, ACM UIST Blog, 10 Oct 2020

Fabricating joints with Handibot by Keisuke Inoue, Digital Fabrication Association, 5 Oct 2020 (Japanese only)

Instagram @tsugite2020


Click to open high-quality figure.

Privacy Preference Center