Introduction: Tiny Bedside Table

About: Royal Academy of Arts The Hague - Master Industrial Design

To test how Slicer for Fusion 360 works I dowloaded the software and started playing with it. I then decided to use this tools to make a small bedside table for my bedroom by laser cutting the pieces form a sheet of wood, to put a small reading lamp on the top and some small things inside like my phone and my charger. I have a very small bedroom in the apartment I rent here in the Netherlands so the space I have for adding pieces of furniture is very limited. I calculated the exact length in between my bed the wall and the radiator and then the height of the bed and started modeling the bedside table.

Step 1: Model Making

I started from Fusion 360, which I never used before so my modelling skills were pretty limited. I set the measurements I calculated and decided to make a simple block to further model and detail using the slicing software directly. Fusion 360 turned out to be pretty intuitive and simple to use even for beginners, and (best part) free for students. Here's the link where you can download it.

Step 2: Slicing

From Fusion 360, by clicking on the printing options, you can automatically export the model into Slicer (pretty handy). Once in Slicer, I started playing with the software to see the possible slicing options and ended up with a bookcase-like structure. I then altered the high of the planes and deleted some to make it extremely light and requiring as little material as possible. Too little, as you will see later, for the table to actually function and be stable. This also because of my little knowledge about physics. Once I was satisfied with the result (or at least I thought I was) I decided to use 3 cm thick plywood and set the material thickness into the software. After that, I exported the different sheets to my laptop for laser cutting the pieces in a single sheet.

Step 3: Preparing for Laser Cutting

To prepare the file for laser cutting, I put all the different sheets into one Illustrator file. The laser cutter I used in KABK wood workshop has specific settings and sizes which I had to adjust my file to, but all laser cutter are different. For the one I used, the file size had to be 50x80 cm, size of the laser cutter. The lines had to be 0,01 thick and the colours had to be different from the part I actually wanted to cut (the red ones) and the ones to be kiss-cut only (engraved - the blue, for the assembly numbers). After all the settings were correct I sent the file to the school laptop for laser cutting.

Step 4: Laser Cutting

Laser cutting was fast and intuitive. All I had to do was set the material settings (type of wood, thickness) and start it. The power of the laser was a bit too weak though and did not cut all the way through, so I helped myself with a chisel and a hammer. It took 20 minutes to cut it and 30 min to fully get it out and sand all the pieces.

Step 5: Assembling

Once I had all the pieces I assembled them according to the numbers on them. As I said before and as you can see in the pictures here, the table did not quite work out and was pretty unstable.

Step 6: Final Result

In order to fix the table, I cut two small 0.5 cm pieces of soft wood out of the scarps that I had and hammered them diagonally on the back to make it stop moving. It worked! Here you can see the final result :)