Product Development

Wood products manufacturers and industrial designers can access competitively-priced product development services from CAWP, which can include design, engineering, CAD drafting assistance, production process optimisation, prototype manufacturing, technology selection, costing studies, and market feasibility studies. These services are available to wood products companies of all kinds and in all locations. British Columbia-based manufacturers can receive support for these projects through the Wood First program.


Why do wood products manufacturers use our product development services?

  • Typically, to evaluate the feasibility of making a new product using equipment and/or skills that the company doesn’t currently have
  • To access the expertise of manufacturing and design specialists at affordable rates

Learn more about how CAWP can help

Previous clients

Here is a partial list of companies that CAWP has assisted through new product development and product improvement projects:

  • Anomaly Designs, Vancouver
  • 4139 Design, North Vancouver
  • Brash Ventures, Langley
  • Brisco Manufacturing, Brisco
  • Coast Eco Timber, Vancouver
  • Dynamic Architectural Windows and Doors, Abbotsford
  • Featureworx, Langley
  • Footprint Sustainable Homes, Vancouver
  • Golden Timber Frames, Invermere
  • Hamill Creek Timber Homes, Meadow Creek
  • Husby Forest Products, Delta
  • J&S Cabinet Doors, Surrey
  • Kalesnikoff Lumber Company, Thrums
  • Klahoose Nation, Cortes Island/Toba Inlet
  • Kootenay Innovative Wood, Castlegar
  • Kyahwood Forest Products, Moricetown
  • Makihara Wood Products, Vancouver
  • Matthieu LeBlanc Reclaimed Wood Creations, Vancouver
  • Moulding and Millwork (now Metrie), Maple Ridge
  • Mountainview Designs, Surrey
  • M&J Woodcraft, Delta
  • Oakmont Industries, Surrey
  • Progressive Kitchens, Abbotsford
  • Riverside Shingle Products, Nanaimo
  • Sauder Industries (Moulding and Millwork), Vancouver
  • Smallworks, Vancouver
  • Sorensen Homes, Bowen Island
  • STOR-X, Richmond
  • Structurlam, Penticton
  • Sunrise Kitchens, Surrey
  • Taan Forest Products, Queen Charlotte Islands
  • Tolko Industries, Vernon
  • Ulferts Kids Furniture, Richmond
  • Unison Windows, North Vancouver
  • Urthwurks, Richmond
  • VanAir Design, Vancouver
  • Vancity Cabinets, Surrey
  • Vintage Woodworks, Saanich
  • Yew Woodshop, Vancouver

CAWP Product Development Services – Some Recent Projects

  • Smallworks, a Vancouver company specialising in laneway housing and small dwellings, engaged CAWP to help develop an engineered room module that could be prefabricated and placed by crane on a construction site. The company had designed such a structure using a steel framework, but wished to create a wood-frame structure instead to increase its use of renewable materials and to lower the overall weight for ease of transportation and onsite installation. The project was managed by CAWP Technical Specialist Jason Chiu and involved work by UBC’s Timber Engineering & Applied Mechanics (TEAM) Research Group under the direction of Professor Frank Lam. Julian Wang, a trained architect and TEAM PhD candidate, performed the bulk of the design work, with technical supervision by Professor Lam. Smallworks is now prototyping the module and incorporating it into upcoming home designs.
  • An Alberta-based lumber/reman producer investigated the feasibility of buying specialized CNC milling equipment to produce timber-frame garden structures and storage structures. The project involved designing the structure, fabricating it on a Hundegger K2 Beam Processor, erecting it, redesigning to accommodate modifications, and manufacturing a second version. A co-op student was hired to liaise between the client and CAWP personnel, and carried out detailed costing studies and a market feasibility analysis.

A manufactured housing producer asked CAWP to design and prototype a new range of wooden windows for export markets. The project included product engineering and design, test manufacturing, and subsequent revisions of the product design based upon end-user feedback

Furniture and flooring companies have requested testing of various wood finishes and sanding methods to improve the surface quality and appearance of their products

Read about CAWP’s product development project with Husby Group

Read about CAWP and the projects carried out through the Business Innovation Partnership in this article from Branchlines magazine.     

Technical Capabilities at CAWP for New Product Development 

  • The Centre for Advanced Wood Processing has a 10,000 square foot manufacturing facility equipped with a full complement of state-of-the-art equipment for solid wood and panel processing. The equipment in the CAWP manufacturing lab includes everything from a portable sawmill and kilns through a full range of cutting, boring, veneering, edgebanding and sanding equipment to CNC technology
  • Two three-axis CNC routers, a five-axis CNC router, and a Hundegger ROBOT Drive CNC timber processing centre
  • Laser engraver with 48×36 cutting/engraving area
  • Advanced testing facilities for a wide range of product attributes, from structural strength to aesthetic (surface finish) properties
  • Access to an extremely wide range of expertise on wood properties, drying, finishing, manufacturing, wood composites and engineered wood products, industrial engineering and plant layout, CAD/CAM, tooling, quality management, business planning and industry/market trends
  • Links to the most current research on materials, processes and technologies relevant to the wood products industry
  • Connected to a network of researchers and technical experts across Canada and internationally
  • Students from the B.Sc. Wood Products Processing Program can be hired on co-op work terms to carry out aspects of product development projects. These can include overall project liaison between CAWP and the client company, design work, market analysis, manufacturing cost studies, cost/benefit or ROI analyses on new equipment, and other tasks. The benefit of this approach is that the client company’s regular employees do not have to put their normal job responsibilities on hold while the project is underway.

For a complete list of CAWP’s technical facilities and equipment please see our Facilities page.

To learn more about how CAWP can assist your company with its product development needs please contact Jason Chiu at 604-822-0082 or