I’ve condensed the title a bit but the premise is drywall prefabrication. As mentioned in a previous post, a pair of like-minded programs from Auburn University set out to improve the messy, inefficient process of drywall installation.

Professors Paul Holley and Shea Tillman started with a Leica C10 scanner as a means to scan a framed wall just before hanging drywall sheets to understand where to cut the sheets for penetrations once hung.

Holder was fortunate enough to get to help out with the first phase as a proof of concept back in 2012.

This eventually turned into a bigger project for the Industrial Design program at Auburn. A select group of students, with the help of Leica’s 3D Disto and some hands-on education, set out to improve this process with different product solutions that drywallers could bring to the field.

One stand out project example was a short throw projector that could project an image of the cuts needed right there on site.

Another project focused on a portable CNC machine that would make the cuts right there and could be wheeled around the building.

Really impressive work all around and I’m amazed at the creativity of the students. Here’s to hoping one of the ideas takes off and we see drywallers rolling around with a CNC machine in a couple years. Almost makes me want to go back to school. Almost.

Zack Creach is a senior engineer for Holder Construction in Atlanta.