Hello, my name is Jason. I live at a place called Cal Farley’s Boys Ranch and have been here for nine years. It is a place for children kindergarten to twelfth grade where they stay and get to visit their families at the holidays. We live here and go to school here and everything. I have a job out here where I work as a 3D fabricator. I use everything from Makerbot 3D printers to Shopbot wood cutters to even can crushers and hydroponics systems. We decided that for my senior year in high school, it would be really cool if I could win a contest of some sort in this field for a good college résumé.
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Step 1: Inspiration and Drawing
Before I even started this project, I was looking for different ways to make furniture that required no additional hardware in order to be stable and able to support itself. To begin this project, I went through and looked at some different general use tables and desks. When I had gotten a good idea of how different components worked, I went to the trusty pencil and graph paper and drew up how I wanted the legs, vault floor, and locks to look.
Step 2: Design and Print
After the paper draw up, I went and designed each of the faces on a 3D rendering program called Autodesk 123D Design. I drew up the design and extended the pieces to the correct thickness. After I got through this stage and made sure that there were no overlaps, I sent the drawings to a program called makerware to 3D print a 10% scale of the table on our Makerbot Replicator 2.
Step 3: Realizing an Error
After seeing that it fit well, I realized that the dimensions of the table would result in me having to purchase seven sheets of wood for just a single table. From this, I made the decision to make it a little bit shorter. The table is now a more comfortable design for either sitting or standing positions. It is now able to be cut out from only 3 sheets of wood. This is if you are using an 8x4x3/4 in wood. I used the Shopbot machinery and software for this particular cut.
Step 4: Get the Supports
Next is the assembly. This will require 2 people, but three people are optimal for assembly.
For assembly, you will first wedge two of the sides together and slide the locking hook into its slot in both of them, however you will only lock in one of them for now until you have the vault floor in. You will need wedges in order to lock these in. I have found that cheap wooden doorstops work amazingly for this purpose.
Step 5: Place the Floor
Next you will place the vault floor inside of these two walls. You will still want one person holding the vault wall up in order to support the weight of it. After you have the vault floor supported in its slots, you will lock the other corner of the hook into place. You will then need to slide on a third wall and lock it down completely with the hooks.
Step 6: Final Wall and Lockdown
Now you just need to slide in the remaining corner hooks to slide on the final wall in order to finish the self-supportive system. After you have gotten all of those locked into place, you will have four vault walls and the tabletop with a hole in the center of it. With the walls, it is easiest to assemble them locked together before attempting to slide them into the vault area. However, they should slide in relatively effortlessly. From there, the table is complete unless you have the top on. When you have the top on, you can fill it with whatever you want. I used a 3D printed pen holder that I designed to fill it. Both a picture of the complete table and the penholder are below.
Step 7: Sources That Helped
The main things that I looked at for ideas on this project were geekchic.com, where I got the idea of a hidden vault floor, and a book called ply designs, which gave me the inspiration for no hardware furniture.