This suite of Furniture was inspired by Wonga 2.0 and it’s need for simple, cheap furniture that could be transported easily (flat packed) and then assembled and disassembled intuitively (knockdown).
To meet these requirements I created five parametric models of furniture.
These pieces of furniture could be laser, plasma or CNC Router cut out of standard plywood sheets. I wanted to be able to “print” different versions of furniture at different sizes and with different materials.
To make the furniture knockdown, it needed some Japanese key joins, this required a level of accuracy that meant that each piece of furniture would need to match exactly to it’s piece of ply. Plywood, is rarely exactly the thickness it is specified I have had 4mm pieces that were 3.1mm and 4.8mm. When making friction joined furniture this discrepancy multiplies and usually means the furniture won’t assemble correctly, if at all. So being able to adjust the thickness of the material easily without having to re-draw and re-calculate the whole design was essential. To see some more examples of joins i have made click here.
The potential of this design system, is the possibility to create bespoke furniture quickly and cheaply. For example if you look at the table, a parametric table dimensions could defined by an exact empty space in someones home or office. 1210x654mm, no problem! Say the user is tall and is sick of low tables, or a user wants to use the table standing up… no problem! If the user wants a temporary table and want to use cheap low grade non- structural ply, or a more permanent (and expensive) custom made Italian laminate or cherry wood veneer.. no problem either. These and many other variations can be added to the model which automatically updates the cutting files ready for fabrication. No additional input by the designer is required.
Prototypes and scale?
The flexibility of the parametric design system is exhibited in the first prototypes I created. These were laser cut out of 3.6mm plywood. I needed to test the accuracy of the parameteric relationships within the models so I took the design to an extreme, I made them really, really small. It is important to note that these aren’t scaled down versions of a large table they are the actual table just with small dimensions inputs as parameters. So for example instead of inputting the standard-ish table dimensions of 900mm x 1800mm i inputed 80mm x 150mm. Instead of 20mm ply I used was 3.6mm.
The prototypes were a success. The next stage of this research is to further aesthetically develop the models and then ‘Print’ fullsize versions using the CNC router and some sheets of 1200 x 2400 plywood.