Magical Custom playhouses made with Carveco/ArtCAM
What once started as an idea to create the best playhouse ever seen for Tyson Leavitt’s children, has now exploded into a class-leading, creative business…
It all began when Tyson decided to show his children’s brand-new playhouse at a local home and garden show in Lethbridge in Alberta, Canada. The playhouse received such interest from both parents and children alike, that Tyson decided to close his landscaping business and set-up Charmed Playhouses. Since then, they have received substantial media interest for their whimsical designs and now work with clients around the world. They take their customer’s ideas and translate them into stunning custom dog houses and playhouses for the whole family to enjoy.
It wasn’t until demand grew for these hand-built playhouses, that Tyson invested in much needed CNC machines and software. This is when he discovered ArtCAM® Pro, the artistic Computer-Aided Design and Manufacturing Software (CADCAM) now known as Carveco. This was five years ago, and Tyson has never looked back.
“You can get really great carpenters but the time it takes them to do something in comparison to ArtCAM (Carveco) is night and day. The precision, ease of use and detail that could be accomplished just doesn’t compare. It is also really fun to use and highly intuitive.
I looked around quite a bit for the right CNC software, but I was not confident in anything else I found. So, I was really frustrated when ArtCAM was closed down. When Carveco came out, I knew it was what I wanted to use. They really took care of us and helped with whatever we needed, but because I had already been using ArtCAM, I didn’t need any support in getting it up and running with my designs.”
The Charmed Playhouses team use Carveco in each and every playhouse design, from the door frames, intricate roof systems with layered and interlocking parts, decorative textures as well as interior designs with headboards and side tables; anything which requires a decorative finish.
Since moving over to Carveco, yet another of their phenomenal playhouses piqued the interest of the media, their two-storey wizard house to entertain a couples grandchildren. The incredible bay windows, window mullions, the brick and stone effects, as well as the bridge and its intricate details were all made with the software.
However, out of this and all the other playhouses created, Tyson’s favourite piece is their dark and mysterious Rumpelstiltskin house, especially the intricate fireplace that was created inside it with Carveco, as well as the details on the railing and crown mouldings. This playhouse design would have taken 10 to 20 times longer if it would have been hand-crafted rather than CNC machined. Something that would not have been viable for his business.
Since Charmed playhouses opened for business back in 2015, they have gone from building incredible custom playhouses around the world to opening their first resort with cottages to rent. This has proven so popular that they have now built even more cottages for their resort and plan to add another 10 cottages next year, as well as Geppetto’s workshop for their store front. Their vision, however, doesn’t stop there. They plan to open resorts across North America, “We want our whimsical Charmed resorts everywhere”.
“With any software you usually expect to come across glitches, but when it comes to ArtCAM/Carveco, there haven’t been any. It just hasn’t been a problem for us. As we grew, I also gave our designer some basic training and she has been able to run with it. It tells you how great the program is, to be able to do that.
We are tickled pink because we have a great product with great support that allows us to build what we need. Carveco is at the heart of our production.”