At the beginning of the semester we had a representative come in to teach a software seminar for Dietrich's AG, which the the main program we're using. The purpose of it is primarily for timber frame and post and beam structures with an emphasis on custom wood joinery. The program also provides a ton of information from the digital model for the purpose of fabrication, and has the ability to directly produce code for CNC machines.
At the end of the course we will be constructing a small stick-frame structure using 2x4s or 2x6s. We have been experimenting with the software to see what we can do so we can begin designing our class project. Our goal is to create some type of outdoor pavilion using custom joints instead of screws and plates to hold the structure together.
This is a recent project by Kengo Kuma which is a good source of inspiration as it uses the same strategy of custom wood joints and stick construction that we would be trying to do (at a much smaller scale).