Modular ChaiR



Introduction: Modular ChaiR

This modular chaiR is a WIP project constructed using Autodesk Fusion 360.

The idea behind the project stemmed from the constraints that a college dorm room usually puts on the student: there is always not enough space.

This chaiR wishes to tackle this problem by allowing the student to first customize the chair to his ergonomics and then to the modify the chair with some simple tools integrated into the program via a plug-in. The student can then export the files to be laser cut for the fabrication of the chair.

This tutorial will go through the installation of the program necessary to modify the chair, an explanation of how to change the parameters to fit a person's body type, an explanation of how to add the modules and finally a tutorial on how to export the files to laser cut.

Step 1: Installation of the Programs

The chaiR is constructed using a 3D modeling program which is free for students and easy to pick up if you have some CAD experience.

If you don't have any CAD experience, Fusion 360 is a good starting point, as it is more driven towards makers rather than industrial applications.

If you are a student, or if you don't plan on commercializing the product, you can download Fusion 360 at the following link:

This page will probably be updated quite often, but at the time of this writing, in the top right part of the page there is a grey box titled "Free for students, enthusiasts, hobbyists, and startups," below which you can find a link to download the program for free (just don't sell the models you make with it).

Step 2: Accessing the File

The project files are available online at the following address:

Download the files in Fusion 360 Archive file format, and load them into Fusion 360.

Step 3: Parameters

Ergonomics in the workplace are extremely important. This chaiR was modeled to the specifications found in the book by Galen Cranz titled The Chair: Rethinking Culture, Body, and Design. You can purchase the book here.

You are able to change the parameters of the chaiR in two ways:

  1. Under the modify tab select the Change Parameters tool. The parameters of most interest are the ones that have been favorited.
  2. Download this add-in. Once the download is complete, in Fusion click on the file menu > add-ins > green plus > and then navigating to the .py file that you downloaded. This plugin is still WIP, thus is will not work as intended.

You will be able to modify the following parameters to fit the chair to your body:

  • Seat height
  • Seat angle
  • Back angle
  • Chair width
  • Back height
  • Thickness of material
  • ... and more

Step 4: Modules

The next step is to mod your chaiR.

On the bottom of the window in Fusion 360 you will see the timeline. The timeline captures all of the design steps that you take in the creation of the chair. It has also captured the design process that I used in order to design the CHAIR, thus you can go in and modify the chaiR as you wish.

However, some of the mods have already been created for you and you can toggle them by right clicking on their group and selecting Unsuppress Features. The following mods are available for now, but that will hopefully change in the future:

  • Arm rests
  • Rocker
  • Hanger
  • Side storage
  • Back storage

If you create a mod, please email me the files and I will add it to the collection!

Step 5: Fabrication

Once the chaiR is modified to fit your college dorm needs, you are ready to fabricate it.

This chaiR was designed to be laser cut. Ideally plywood or cardboard would be used, as these materials should be readily available at a university.

You can export the individual files by clicking on 3D print in the main menu, then importing the STLs into another program, such as AutoCAD to clean up the sketches for laser cutting.

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