Watch our Design Build Workshop Video!

Images from the November 2019 Design-Build Workshop hosted at the Emmerson laboratory. Participants joined us from as far away as the UK and Montreal. We were lucky to have an amazingly talented, diverse and enthusiastic group!

The prefabrication and rapid construction advantages of mass timber buildings are made possible by digital design and manufacturing technologies that represent new skills sets for many mass timber manufacturing companies. Hosted and organized by the TallWood Design Institute, the Mass Timber Design-Build Workshop is a small-group three-day intensive workshop dedicated to exploring and experiencing these methods and technologies through an extensive and highly interactive timber building project, spanning design through construction. Participants work in teams to develop a design for a mass timber structure that will be translated into the CAD software environment, brought into a CAM program and then fabricated using a 5-axis Computer Numerical Controlled machine (CNC), with the process culminating in assembly of a full structure. The workshop's are held biannually at Oregon State University (Corvallis campus), at the College of Forestry’s recently completed A.A. “Red” Emmerson Advanced Wood Products Laboratory, a state-of-the-art facility dedicated to mass timber fabrication and testing.  The course will be taught by expert practitioners in timber design, engineering and fabrication.

Who Should Attend?

  • Technical and management personnel from mass timber manufacturing companies
  • Architects, engineers, construction professionals or students who are interested in better understanding the mass timber manufacturing process

Learning Outcomes:

  • Participants will gain practical experience and insight into the capabilities of modern manufacturing equipment and the role such equipment plays in mass timber design and construction. The role of parametric design and advanced CNC fabrication will be explored first-hand to highlight the range of current capabilities and state-of-the-art.
  • Participants will learn important considerations and processes in translating CAD drawings (Rhino or Revit) into industry-standard CAD software (Cadwork) and finally into machine-ready files in order to better inform modeling procedures and interaction between professions.
  • Participants will fabricate and erect their own assemblies, reifying theory through hands on application. 
  • Participants will learn common mistakes and pitfalls in the process from industry experts, as well as finding optimal approaches to designing and modeling for fabrication.

Technologies Used:

  • Cadwork computer-aided-design software
  • MasterCAM and DDX computer-aided-manufacturing software
  • Biesse Uniteam UT 9 5-axis CNC processing center
  • US Crane

Typical agenda:

  • Design - Day 1Topics: Integrating project planning, BIM, parametric design, design for fabrication --  Small teams produce designs for a small pavilion structure incorporating various mass timber products and connections
  • Fabricate - Day 2 -Topics: Translating drawings for fabrication, sequencing and shipping, limitations and issues, case studies and lessons learned -- Create CAD drawings, bring into CAM environment and fabricate components. Stage components for assembly.
  • Build - Day 3 Topics: Mass timber construction, BIM -- Assemble the structure, review and analyze the project to identify ways to optimize it. Photo-document and celebrate!


595.00 USD

Note: Cost covers materials, breakfast and lunch, equipment use, instructors and guest speakers, and technical support. Cost does not cover transportation to Corvallis, or hotels. 


In order to keep the Mass Timber Design/Build Workshop as hands-on as possible, we limit the number of spaces available to a total of 12. Please email outreach coordinator Evan Schmidt ( ) to inquire about availability.