Introduction: Slotted Bed

A simple bed frame assembled from box joints and slots.

Step 1: Design Your Bed in Rhino

This bed frame is intended to fit a full-size mattress. Rather than having slats stretch across the frame, I wanted to try making a different supporting structure. Starting with the dimensions for most standard full-size mattresses, I divided the dimensional length of the mattress into four equal parts, and the dimensional width of the mattress into three equal parts. I then added a frame for support that overlaps the perimeter of the mattress by 2 inches all around. Using this formula, this bedframe can be altered to fit a mattress of any size.

The design is created so that all pieces can be hand-fit without the use of screws or glues. The bed is 12" off the floor, and a system of interlocking slots at 6" slots divide the bed into 12 quadrants for support. The frame of the bed is joined with 1" box joints for the outer legs. From the 3D model, I generated drawing shapes for cutting on the CNC.

Step 2: Fabricate Your Parts on the CNC

Using the Shopbot Alpha, the parts for the bed are cut from two sheets of 4' x 8' x 3/4" plywood. All the cuts are made using a 1/4" downcut endmill for the Shopbot. After cutting the files on the CNC, I hand sanded the edges of the pieces, and made fine adjustments with the chisel to ensure a snug fit for all the parts.

Step 3: Assemble the Bed, Starting With the Center Slots

Laying out all the pieces of the bed, I started the assembly with the center slots. Carefully insert the five pieces that interlock and hold up the center of the bed.

Step 4: Add Exterior Perimeter

Then, attach the perimeter using the butterfly joints.

Step 5: Finish by Adding Box Joint Leg Pieces

The last part of the assembly is to slot in the outside legs, which connect to each other using box joints at the corners and mortise and tenon slots to connect to the centers. For tight fits, tap with a mallet so that pieces lie flat.

Step 6: Now, Add Your Mattress

The bed is complete! It takes about 15 minutes to assemble, and 8 to disassemble. It's lightweight and all parts can be taken apart and transported in a sedan car. For long-term stability, use wood glue and clamp all the pieces together to fully adhere the piece. Add a full-size mattress and use.