## Introduction: Tiny Steps for My Cat

Before I dive into how I made these stairs for my cat, let me give you some background. One day, I was sitting on my couch doing normal teenager stuff (specifically, I was on pinterest) and I saw my cat having trouble jumping on the couch. At first, I ignored it because I thought he was having a senior moment on how to be a cat. However, he kept having this problem day after day. Then, he began to sleep on my bed which was very unusual since he slept on my parents' bed. I realized he slept on my bed for the fact it was the shortest distance from the ground compared to all the other beds in my house. At that point, enough was enough. I decided to help out my cat. Suddenly, an idea sparked. I would make him a stair case, but it would not be an ordinary staircase. The staircase has no glue, no tape, no string or any of that. The staircase is only held together by 3D printed parts I made myself.

Now, we can dive in.

## Supplies

What I needed and used...

• 2 7/32" x 23-3/4" x 23-3/4" Plywood
• Tape Measure
• Pencil
• T-Square
• 3D Printer
• Pro Series PLA (black) filament
• Jig Saw
• Circular Track Saw
• Hole Saw
• Japanese Saw
• Sandpaper
• Random Orbital Sander
• A Can Do Attitude
• And one grumpy, yet adorable, cat

## Step 1: Drawing Board-YAY!!

I created rough sketches on a notepad, just to get the brain started. Eventually, my amazing rough sketches (well...not that amazing) went into my engineering notebook.

Staircase Sketch: My sketch contained a basic outline with simple dimensions in inches. I figured out these dimensions by measuring a step in my entry way and the space around my bed. I had around 15 by 20 inches at the foot of my bed. The step at my front door is 5 inches tall and my cat can walk up this step easily. With that information, I decided to make the base 12 by 18 inches. The rise and tread of each step is 5 inches, but the last tread would be 8 inches instead of 5 inches. The reason for this was I wanted my cat to have enough room when he takes a step down the staircase. The overall height of the staircase would be 15 inches. I know I just said a lot so, in short, the stair case is 12 inches wide by 18 inches by 15 inches tall.

## Step 2: Fake It Until You Make It

My 3D printed part is similar to a clip. Imagine a double L sandwich shape. The top point of the L grabs onto a piece of wood while the lower right of the L grabs onto adjacent piece of wood. Once you look at it, it will make sense. Anyways, I used a 3D printing software called "MatterControl;" it contained only shapes, nothing advance. I used a cube and two semi-cylinders in order to build my part.

## Step 3: Printing Time Is Fun Time

I connected my computer to my 3D printer. I created a raft (a base) for my 3D part in order to ensure that the 3D part was secured. Then, the file of the 3D part was connected and ready to go. It took about 44 minutes to print one of the clips.

The 3D part worked on the first try. You could imagine how happy I was. I slid one of the edges onto the piece of plywood and it fit beautifully. Then, I slid the other edge on the corresponding piece of plywood and it was the same result. After a successful test, I went ahead and began to print three clips in one printing.

## Step 5: What to Do With the Wood?

I used the dimensions from my notebook to draw the boards on the plywood. It was very simple and easy. I used a T-square to keep the lines straight, a pencil to draw them out and ruler to measure out the correct dimensions. I began with drawing the sides of the staircase, and then, the steps.

## Step 6: Oooh! a SAW!!

During this step, I used a jig saw, a circular track saw, a hole saw and a Japanese saw. I started out with the jig saw in order to cut the sides of the staircase. After that was done, I continued to cut out the steps. As easy as that sounded, it wasn't and it was going to get more complicated.

Next, I used the circular track saw and orientated it to a 45 degree angle in order to get a 45 degree angle cut to match my clips. I cut the tread of the steps and perpendicular edge that the steps go along with of the staircase.

Then, I used a hole saw on the sides of the staircase to make handles. I stacked the sides together, clamped them and marked the place to cut 2 holes that were about a hand width apart. This, out all of the cutting, was the hardest part. The reason for this was the hole saw was dull and it required additional of force.

Finally, the Japanese saw. The Japanese pull saw is a manual saw that can only cut one way. I used this saw to cut out the area separating the 2 holes in order to make a handle so that an actual hand can fit through. It would have been awkward just to have 2 separate holes on the sides. Weird!

## Step 7: Sanding - Not the Beach Sand

This step required a random orbital sander and ordinary sandpaper. I used the random orbital sander to nicely smooth the sides and steps of the staircase. I only sanded the surfaces that were going to visible and presented; it didn't make sense for me to do the surfaces that weren't going to be shown. Then, I used the sandpaper to round and smooth the edges of the handles in order to make them comfortable when transporting it around the house.

## Step 8: Joining Forces

With the 20 clips and the individual parts of the staircase, I brought them together to join forces and defeat all evil. I was able to connect the sides of the staircase and the steps with the clips. All I had to do was secure the clips on the steps and connect them with the sides of the staircase. The clips were designed to be a friction fit.

## Step 9: I Hope My Cat Likes It

After a week of work, it was time. No project or build can be really complete without the client's approval. Let me just tell you, I was really nervous. My cat can be a real pain; it's either his way or no way. My hopes were so high and I wanted him to like it and use it. Fingers crossed!

## Step 10: UGH!!

The title kind of gives it away. I drew it, cut it, assembled it and he looks at it and walks away. Then, I placed by my bed and he walks right by it. This means I have to train him to use it and the only way that will happen is if I have treats, but not just any treats, it has to be his treats. Even though I completed the staircase, the project is not done until his "training" is complete. May the force be with me!