Wooden Ribbed Chair

Introduction: Wooden Ribbed Chair

The purpose of this inscrutable is to show the viewers and

designers how to create and design a scale model of their own furniture piece by using a laser cutter. Laser Cutters are incredible devices that allow the designer to create models precisely, efficiently and rather quick (depending on the design). There are numerous amounts of materials to be cut with a laser cutter however for our sake I believe 3mm birch ply wood is a great start.


1. Cad Program (I will be using Rhino 5) Sketch Up, Adobe Illustrator or Corel Draw are great alternatives as this tutorial does not exceed into the third dimension.

2. Laser Cutter

3. 3mm Birch ply wood

4. Three 48” long wooden dowels at .125” in diameter

NOTE* Experience with Laser Cutting and Cad programs is HIGHLY recommended.

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Step 1: Find Inspiration Online or Somewhere in the World in Which You Would Want to Recreate or Reference From.


Choosing what to build is a crucial first step to designing any object. Knowing any idea or path to get you started is the biggest step. You can always make adjustments later on. Designing flat objects and patterns are much easier to create as they drawn/created on two dimensions. Very similar to drawing in your sketch book. Puzzles, engraved maps, silhouettes, game boards can be found using these similar techniques. In CAD (computer aided design) programs working in 3D adds a level of difficulty since the object protrudes off the surface allowing the design to create more realistic forms.

Step 2: Create a Simple Sketch

1. Simplify your design in to basic geometric shapes and lines.

2. Specify all the separate components of the chair.

3. Determine which elements will be in tension and which parts will be in compression.

Tip: Drawing in colored pencils will allow the designer to organize which components will be in tension (red) or compression (blue).

4. Place components in tension near compression components to allow for balancing out the overall structural capability of the piece/object.

NOTE: placing tension near compression's allows the piece to hold its self together properly.

Step 3: Create Components in CAD or Design Program

1. Determine the maximum dimensions desired for the project.

*NOTE: Not the design created here is a scale model of 1:5 so the maximum allowance distance is 6.5”x 5”. For this particular model the furniture piece can be cut from a 3mm sheet of Birch ply wood at the dimensions of 7”x 6” to allow for clearance when cutting.

*NOTE: For this project I did .125” holes for the .125” wooden dowels to slide in with a tight secure fit.

2. The individual elements are to be drawn when using the CAD or designer program.

3. For this scale model I had the two side panels of the chair spaced at 3 inches apart.

4. Cut the wooden dowels at three inch increments then slide into the holes of the chairs panels with wood glue at each end, wipe off reaming wood glue with wet towel.

*NOTE: Make sure the holes align so the wooden dowel is not kicked at angle.

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    2 Discussions


    5 years ago

    Funky design. I've been thinking about making something like this and you've saved me the bother of having to plan. Cheers!


    5 years ago on Introduction

    This is a really neat design! Thanks for sharing your chair with this community.

    I hope we see more great projects from you soon. :)