An appealing side table assembled from flat parts.
Step 1: Design.
I began by drawing by sketching the table on paper. I then started exploring the geometries in Rhinoceros, a versatile 3D modeling software for industrial design. I compared dimensions of standard bedside tables and came up with a 18" radius top and 22" height for the legs. The rest of the design worked around optimizing the flat parts for easy slotting assembly. Check out the .stl file below.
Step 2: Lasercut Mockup
When I was happy with this design I exported my drawing from Rhino to Illustrator. I then prepared the file for lasercutting on an Epilog Fusion laser. This small scale-model uses 1/8" basswood. The mockup is helpful to see the idea from the 3D modeling software to physical space and allows for evaluating the design.
Step 3: Bring Into VCarve.
After a minor edit, I was happy with the design and imported the illustrator to Vcarve 7.5 to prepare for ShopBot CNC milling. I am using a 1/4" downcut router bit. In VCarve, I created toolpaths for profiling (cutting) and filleting specific for this tool. I used 2' x 4' x 3/4" birch ply as the material for this table prototype. The sheet is secured down on a Shopbot CNC machine. After exporting Gcode from VCarve, I started the machine.
Step 4: Saw, Sand and Assemble.
After cutting on the machine, I separated the parts, sanded the edges and tabs, and assembled the table. Due to the rounded router bit on the CNC mill, I used a 1/8" chisel to handcut several of the corners of the model to create tight-fitting slots.
Step 5: Prepare for Painting.
Almost the last step of the process is the paint the parts. I used blue painters tape to mask off the edges and mini rollers to apply the paint. Any combinations of colors could work. My aim is to highlight the X shape on the table top. I used an orange accent color and white base
Step 6: The Final Result.
The table is the first in a prototype series of CNC furniture. The design is self-stabilizing without the use of hardware. Simple to assemble and disassemble, it is cute little piece for the home.