Introduction: The Napparatus
Since the dawn of society, mankind has been trying to solve one mystery: how do you make workers more productive. We have the solution: naps at work!
It turns out that if you provide people with amenities that make them want to stay at work (espresso machines, snacks, pingpong tables, video game consoles, ball pits, dog parks, nap structures, etc.), they'll stay way longer than they would if you just give them a desk, a computer, and yell at them when they don't perform according to your expectations. Talk about bang for your buck!
As soon as we figure this out, we at the Instructables Design Studio went right to work making the Napparatus.
Step 1: Design
The first step, of course, is always design. The big idea was to make a place for taking naps that wouldn't sacrifice priceless floor space in the building. The obvious answer to that was to make the "bed" on a raised platform so that you could still walk under it. The space already had a couch and a coffee table, so the structure would need to accommodate those.
A solid platform wouldn't do because of a fire sprinkler above that space- never obstruct a fire sprinkler! This is where the idea of a cargo net came from- water will have no trouble getting through a net with 2" Ø openings.
For the structure, we decided to go with aluminum box section with aluminum gussets. This makes it lightweight; a grand total of 289 LB for the entire structure. Being in a seismic zone, it's a bad idea to add significant weight to any building that wasn't factored in when the building was designed.
We went with 3"X3"X.125" and 1/4" plate for the gussets, which is serious overkill! You could put a tank on top of this thing and it wouldn't budge. We had a few reasons for this:
- We didn't want the facilities personnel to worry about it not being string enough.
- The net is hung from the beams on the top of the structure, meaning they need depth in the horizontal direction to keep them from bending when the net is pulled tight from weight.
- We sacrificed the efficiency of designing the structure with multiple types of members so that we could get a consistent aesthetic and simplify the kit of parts.
Any time you're designing something specific to a space, you've got to measure the space it's going in before you do anything else. The space for it had a 7'-3" X 11' footprint, so we went with a 7' X 10' footprint to prevent the structure from touching the walls. We made the structure 7'-2 1/2" tall to give us ample clearance to walk underneath.
For the full kit of parts, see page 3 of the PDF in this step.
*Quantities are based on package sizes and aren't necessarily accurate. If you plan to build this project, look carefully at the shop drawings to avoid wasting money!
Cargo Net Cost: $300
Total Cost of Project: $2,500
- 3X3 6061 Aluminum Box Section Tube: 492 LF. Locally sourced.
- 1/4" 6061 Aluminum Plate: 4'X8' Total. Locally sourced.
- Cargo Net: 6'X9' 2 inch sq. mesh black 4.75 mm knotless HTTP cord- 1/4” sewn rope border. Custom made by Incord.
- 11mm Safety Rope: 165'.
- Paracord: 100'.
- Type 18-8 Stainless Steel Nylon-Insert Locknut 1/2"-13 Thread Size, 3/4"Wide, 19/32". QTY: 190.
- Galvanized Steel Eyebolt with Nut and with Shoulderfor Lifting, 1/2"-13 Thread Size, 1-1/2" Thread Length. QTY: 64.
- Grade 8 Steel Flanged Hex Head Cap Screw 1/2"-13 Thread, 4" Long. QTY: 130.
- Nylon Self-Retaining Washer 1/2" Screw Size, 0.468" ID,1.125" OD. QTY: 200.
FILES IN THIS STEP
- The PDF file is a full set of shop drawings. It includes a full list of hardware, aluminum member cut list, hole drilling locations, and an assembly diagram for the shelf brackets (which we never finished).
- The DWG file is a gusset layout for waterjet cutting. All the gussets fit on a 4'X8' sheet. These could be plasma cut or CNC cut as well, or I guess you could hand-cut them if you don't have anything else to do for a few weeks.
- The F3D file is the Fusion 360 file I used to design the piece. Fusion is free for life for students, hobbyists, and enthusiasts. If you don't already have it, download the free trial version, click on the day counter, and select the appropriate license and you're in business. It's a truly awesome design program, and it's the only one I really use anymore after 13 years of using other programs.
Fusion 360 is free for students and hobbyists, and there's a ton of educational support on it. If you want to learn to 3D model the kind of work I do, I think this is the best choice on the market. Click the links below to sign up:
Step 2: Fabrication
Alex Crease (AKA Printeraction) was interning for us while we were building this project, and he did a great job cutting aluminum tube and drilling holes in them. He's a real pro! Randofo did a lot of work with these too.
This job was done mostly by Paige Russel and Madeleine Douglas (our second intern). Paige manned (womanned?) the waterjet, MikaelaHolmes did the de-burring, Maddie cleaned off the markings with acetone and got the stubborn bits with a flapper wheel. Paige did most of the painting- we went with bright yellow Rustoleum for the gussets to match the blue walls in the space.
We got the cargo net custom made by Incord for less than $300 so that we wouldn't have to cut anything and worry about structural integrity. The mesh break test for this net is rated for 719lbf (3.2 kN) and the dynamic drop test is rated at 12,075 ft-lb (16373 N-m). So yeah, there's no way we could possibly break this net. We used 11mm safety rope to tie the net to the eye-bolts on the structure, which is rated at 23.4 kN with a figure-8 knot.
Step 3: Assembly
Joekevdv was also interning while we were building this beast, and she did a lot of the assembly work. The first step for assembly was to add all the eye-bolts for the net attachment. We used 1/2"Ø galvanized eye-bolts with nylon washers and nylon cored locknuts to put these together. Very beefy!
With the eye-bolts installed, we started assembling the frame. We did this in the standard construction way- frame up a wall on the floor, tilt it up, connect it to the next wall, repeat... We used 1/2"Ø galvanized steel hex nuts, nylon washers, and nylon cored locknuts to attach the gussets to the tubes. We got an off-the-shelf ladder from McMaster Carr that we could remove if need be.
With the structure finished, we started lacing up the cargo net. We did this by zip-tying the net into place from a few of the eye-bolts, then lacing the safety rope through the outer ring of holes on the cargo net. We used a trucker's hitch not to tie the ends of the safety rope together. This is kind of like tuning a guitar- you tighten, then let it stretch, then tighten it again until it's settled.
We also ended up adding an extra level of redundancy. We got some paracord and tied back the inner loops of the net to the eye-bolts. That way, if somehow the knot came undone, the net wouldn't fall because it would be held back by the climbing ropes. This had the added benefit of making the net even tighter as well.
Step 4: Getting in Trouble
PERMISSION OR FORGIVENESS?
At Instructables, we tend to follow the ethos of ask forgiveness, not permission. Turns out this doesn't always work so well in a corporate environment.
After building the structure, the facilities department brought down the hammer because they were concerned about safety. From their point of view, there were too many opportunities for people to get hurt on the structure and they weren't convinced that the structure was sound- apparently my opinion doesn't hold the same weight as a licensed structural engineer- go figure!
Shout out to Mikeasaurus for having lots of awkward conversations with Facilities!
Facilities met us half-way and said that if we got a structural engineer to sign off on it, that we'd be able to keep it in the building. A local architect / structural engineer, David Spurgeon, was kind enough to take a look at the structure pro bono and give us some advice.
He was with me on everything and agreed on its general safety and over-engineeredness. The only problem from his point of view was that there was no guardrail and that the ladder was removable. If someone got drunk at a holiday party and did something stupid up there, they could fall off and get seriously hurt- fair enough.
The images in this step have all the info an engineer would need to make the call about the structure. The 3D model shows a proposal for a new guardrail structure to be added to the top. After a bit of back-and-forth, it became clear that adding a guardrail would put us over the edge on the budget- we'd already spent $2500, not to mention everyone's time.
Step 5: Fun While It Lasted
Alas, we ended up having to take it down, but it was thoroughly enjoyed while it was up. On the bright side, Eric and Christy's kids got to keep it! We cut it down by about half in the 10' dimension so it would fit in their space. Lucky kids!