Instructables
Picture of P9L - Lounge Chair made with CNC Router
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CNC Furniture has been for a few years already but hasn't really taken off. I believe this is because designers haven't spend enough time designing with that technology in mind. Most of the CNC furniture I found online have the typical joinery exposed or have a rigid feel. I played around with the ShopBot Buddy (worktable 4' x 2') and made a family of chairs: Dining Chair, Stool and this Lounge Chair. Click on the links for each instructable.

CNC Routers have become affordable in the last couple of years and there are quite a lot of DIY CNC Routers out there. If you have a TechShop close by you can probably make it over there.

Design Concept: One of my favorite chair designs is Eames LCW molded plywood lounge chair. It's a design classic and the fine detailed surfacing work is incredible as well as comfortable. It has been a source of inspiration for quite a lot of my furniture and in this case while using a completely different technology I was able to resemble his masterpiece.

 
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Step 1: Materials

Picture of Materials
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Materials:

  • ¾ inch pre-finished maple plywood (2 sheets 4'x2')
  • Shopbot
  • ¼ inch End Mill
  • Table Router with round bit (optional)
  • Wood Clamps
  • Wood Glue

IMPORTANT: measure the thickness of your plywood! I purchased the 3/4 plywood in 0.75” thick (19.05 mm) but as you can see from the photo, it was 18.65 mm thick. This is really important to take note because the design has locking parts/pockets and we need to accommodate for a thinner/thicker material.

WastedBabies2 months ago

In the beginning of your instructable you said

"IMPORTANT: measure the thickness of your plywood! I purchased the 3/4 plywood in 0.75” thick (19.05 mm) but as you can see from the photo, it was 18.65 mm thick. This is really important to take note because the design has locking parts/pockets and we need to accommodate for a thinner/thicker material."

How do you accommodate for different thicknesses? I can not find where you covered this besides the beginning.

alepalan (author)  WastedBabies2 months ago

I accomodate it manually since I designed the chair. I don't know how to increase it if it is a thicker/thinner material.

Darn because the test piece I cut out looks like this:

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alepalan (author)  WastedBabies2 months ago

I don't know how are you making your toolpaths but my guess is that you are making the pockets wrong.

Hello, I wonder what the distance you have to put the perfect fit in the pieces that are fitted together?

If the plate has 18mm wood as should be the measure of the fit of the parts? 18.3mm?

Thank you!

alepalan (author)  felipe.aranega2 months ago

I don't know if I understand the question but let me try and answer. The perfect fit should be 0.1 mm between the 2 parts. It's wood so you can always make it pressure fit.

alepalan (author) 5 months ago

My pass depth was 0.26".

Awesome! One last question before I make it, what speed (ipm) did you run the cnc at for the cuts?

Thanks for this awesome chair design!

alepalan (author)  WastedBabies5 months ago

Thanks again! I don't remember...Someone had used the 1/4 inch End Mill and set up the speed and feed rate. Do you have the shopbot starter kit bits loaded? I remember there was a 1/4 inch end mill that you can try and use.

Darn... I only ask because I haven't cut much wood and the wood I have cut always ends up burning because I can't get the feed speed (or spindle speed) right. I don't have a shotbot, its my personal CNC that I'm still fairly inexperienced with.

WastedBabies5 months ago

What pass depth did you use for both the profile and pocket cuts?

cheather1 made it!5 months ago

Awesome Instructable! Chair came out looking great, even better its super comfortable.

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alepalan (author)  cheather15 months ago

Thanks for sending the photo! The chair looks awesome!! Great job!

vincent75205 months ago

brillant !!!

alepalan (author)  vincent75205 months ago

Thanks!

Actually I guess the same could be made using a hand operated router with plywood templates.

Then again, this would be for luddites such as me as a CNC router would make the cut a 100% fool proof.

Its brilliant anyway.

alepalan (author)  vincent75205 months ago

Yep, it can be done with a manual router, although I think it will be quite a lot of work...

It sure would be a revival of old hands techniques !!!

Then again, that's how modern furniture from the 1920's to the 80's was built !

asallons5 months ago

I'm loving this chair! Really want to make one for my halls and one of the other chairs. I like it as a budget DIY lounge chair wood.

alepalan (author)  asallons5 months ago

Awesome, please make them and post pictures here!

Lindie5 months ago

Very nice!

alepalan (author)  Lindie5 months ago

Thank you!

urant5 months ago

Really really nice!

Now I have something else to build :D

alepalan (author)  urant5 months ago

Thanks! :)

PoliticoBabe5 months ago

Beauty...

alepalan (author)  PoliticoBabe5 months ago

Thanks!

NyanRider5 months ago

i love the chair =D but when i open the .dwg file in autocad it shows only the holes (Or something like that... not sure...) is it normal or is something wrong?

just an update... it works... but the color of the background and the lines were the same... sorry :P

alepalan (author)  NyanRider5 months ago

Yeah...sorry about that. I always use a grayish background color for both Rhino and Autocad. I'm glad you like the chair and you figured it out!

kjlpdx5 months ago

even nicer if cut from 11 ply Baltic birch. [btw, it's dining, not dinning]

alepalan (author)  kjlpdx5 months ago

Thanks! Yes, I wasn't completely satisfied with the pre-finish plywood. I will be trying out different materials next! Fixed the typo!

bricobart5 months ago

Very interesting design, it's really one of the few 'modern' designs I find worth to give a try - favorited!

alepalan (author)  bricobart5 months ago

Thanks!

SGutshall5 months ago

Wow this is a beautiful chair! I'm thinking about adapting it for a laser cutter.

Awesome work!

alepalan (author)  SGutshall5 months ago

Thanks! Would love to see a laser cutting version of the chair, let me know how it goes!