Instructables
Picture of Snaptastic Room Divider
The Snaptastic Room Divider is an attractive modular wall made up of an array of panels that are fit together with slotted connectors to make a large freestanding room divider.  It can be expanded or reduced to fit the space it's being used in.

It's always tempting to put up a project and only show the 'straight line' from concept to result-  Get these materials, do these steps and voilà a finshed project!  I don't know about you, but my path is usually a little more meandering.  I thought I'd share the design process and some of the mess-ups on the way because it's interesting.  

Step 1: Inspiration

Picture of Inspiration
sketch 2.jpg
sketch 1.jpg
I saw this picture of a cardboard room divider in a magazine a couple months ago and thought it was pretty cool.   Originally I was thinking that I would make my divider out of cardboard too.  I paged through a couple books on tiling and M.C. Escher for inspiration then moved on to Google to research various paper folding techniques.  

I was looking for some sort of modular interlocking design.  The paper folding patterns I found were very cool but a little too intense to imagine making in cardboard on a room sized scale.  I scaled back my ambitions and started sketching some ideas.  

I ended up with two designs that called to me.  One looked sort of like large dominoes and the other had a star design made out of the negative space where the pieces came together.  

Step 2: Refine the Design

Picture of Refine the Design
I made small cardboard models of the domino and star panels just to get a sense of what they would look like in 3D.  After sitting with them for a couple days the star design won out.  

I still needed to decide how many and what size the panels should be.  I knew I wanted the overall divider to be taller than me and at least 6' wide.  I wanted an odd number of panels vertically and ended up with 40 panels.

I drew it up more accurately on the computer and liked how it was looking.
 



 
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When I first built my CNC Router at home I couldn't get it going faster than 20some inches a minute either. I had acme screws and I used a computer power supply to power the stepper motors. I wasn't happy with that so I got a HobbyCNC 3 axis drive and a used Acopian power supply, of the correct voltage and amps, on ebay. The difference was amazing! I can rapid traverse at over 100 inches a minute and can cut as fast as the cutter can handle. As far as losing steps and cutting a part that doesn't resemble what you drew I found out that you have to tune your stepper motors properly. Trial and error motor tuning worked for me.
spike3579 (author)  superbowlxlv2 years ago
I just upgraded to a gecko G540 driver and it's a whole new world. Now my rapids are up to 75imp. The motors are running way smoother too. I'm still having some non-reproducible errors though.
Gecko drives are much better than HobbyCNC drives. I didn't know about Gecko when I built my machine and the HobbyCNC only cost me $35. I had to solder them though.
babyshelly2 years ago
I like home interior design and creative design and would like to make proper room divider to create more private space and showing my favorate taste. Your divider seems great.
spike3579 (author)  babyshelly2 years ago
Thanks.
Let me know if you have any questions.
Love to see pics of the finished product.
sunshiine2 years ago
Beautiful! Thanks for sharing.
Sunshiine
crowsfolly2 years ago
Holy cow this is GORGEOUS!! It reminds me of those Eames childrens playing cards that had slits in them so you could stack them together. Makes me wish I had a CNC!! Excellent 'able.
spike3579 (author)  crowsfolly2 years ago
Just checked out the Eames cards. They are cool. I like the images too. I can't wait to see what happens when more people have access to CNC machines. We've barely scratched the surface of the potential they offer.