Picture of P9L - Lounge Chair made with CNC Router

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 this chair.

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.

Step 1: Materials

Picture of 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.

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FabLabO26 days ago

We just started making this in FabLab Odemis in Izmir, Turkey. I've been obsessing over these chairs since forever, so THANK YOU SO MUCH!

alepalan (author)  FabLabO25 days ago

You're welcome! Really glad you're making the chairs, please Add Images! I'd love to see them!

How can I get the cnc file?

sweeezn9 months ago

Excellent design, thanks!

alepalan (author)  sweeezn9 months ago

Great Work!! Really nice to see these made! Did you make them at Techshop? I see the logo in the back!

sweeezn alepalan9 months ago
I sure did! I was able to fit all four of these guys on the ShopBot Alpha. In case anyone is thinking of doing the same, add tabs if you're doing a whole sheet. I had some near disasters before doing that...
alepalan (author)  sweeezn8 months ago

Nice! The tabs thing is actually true. I think it is better but a little more work afterwards.

cheather1 made it!1 year ago

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


Great work!

alepalan (author)  cheather11 year ago

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

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)  WastedBabies1 year 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:

alepalan (author)  WastedBabies1 year 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.aranega1 year 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) 1 year 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)  WastedBabies1 year 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.

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

brillant !!!

alepalan (author)  vincent75201 year ago


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)  vincent75201 year 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 !

asallons1 year 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)  asallons1 year ago

Awesome, please make them and post pictures here!

Lindie1 year ago

Very nice!

alepalan (author)  Lindie1 year ago

Thank you!

urant1 year ago

Really really nice!

Now I have something else to build :D

alepalan (author)  urant1 year ago

Thanks! :)


alepalan (author)  PoliticoBabe1 year ago


NyanRider1 year 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)  NyanRider1 year 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!

kjlpdx1 year ago

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

alepalan (author)  kjlpdx1 year ago

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

bricobart1 year ago

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

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