Introduction: The T-shelf in Paper (second Try)

About: An engineer, seamstress, cook, coder, and overall maker. Spent a summer at Instructables; got a degree in E: Neural Engineering at Olin College; made a microcontroller (; now thinking about climate c…

I was inspired by the T-shelves by J1 Studio- beautiful modal furniture that looks great and is held together by zip ties.

This is really take two- I did a paper prototype of this yesterday ( But after messing around with my little triangles-and-squares glued together model, I had to admit to myself that something was structurally wrong with my model. So I went back to the website and, with the help of my friends, realized how it was really supposed to be done! It's not tiny squares and triangles; it's bigger triangles with slots to fit them together!

I've really been enjoying working with the easy geometric shapes, so I thought I'd make a step-by-step so you could play along.

Step 1: Cut Out Triangles and Slots

I used a Silhouette Cameo CNC paper cutter, but you could easily do the same with a sharp blade and a measuring tool.

Above is the design I used to cut- it makes 32 triangles, though I only used 19 in the shelf design I built. Basically, it's a triangle with two slots that go halfway through between the midpoint of each leg and the center of the hypotenuse.

Step 2: Build!

It's pretty easy- just slot pieces together! If you're looking for inspiration, go to J1 Studio's gallery page.

Use tacky glue to bind the edges (in the wood version, these are held together with zip ties).

Step 3: Finished!

Congratulations, you now have a small shelf! Or maybe not that small if you cut this out of cardboard or something. And it's much more structurally sound than my other prototype.

It works, so look for a full-sized wood version soon!

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