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Flat-pack Side Table Design

Design Concept

The table design has a unique joinery approach that allows flat-packing and easy assembly by hand without extra tools. The joinery allows for self-locking mechanism that holds the parts together, considering the weight and forces acting on each joint.

The joinery method is further applied to other products in the Power To Make's product line (example: coat stand in the image below)

This side table was also designed to make full use of Power To Make’s CNC expertise. It reduces production cost and maximizes material efficiency because all parts can be made from a single piece of plywood.

This design was exhibited at Australian International Furniture Fair 2016 under Power To Make Trademarks

Project Timeline: 12 weeks

User Assembly Guide Booklet

Development Process

It was a highly iterative and hands-on process where real prototypes were rapidly produced and evaluated. For each iterations, I tried to solved problems in terms of

  • Interlocking joinery : different ways of locking parts together

  • Produceable by CNC techniques considering technical constraints

  • Aesthetics & ergonomics : proportions / thicknesses / chamfers

  • Structural integrity : that the table can support required weight and tension on joints.

  • Material Efficiency : optimizing wood usage such that the pieces are produced from a single piece of plywood

Testing table proportions / different types of coffee table - side table

Testing joinery pieces

Creating prototypes

Putting the final piece together with my mentor David and hyperactive Merlin.

A scalable technique

Alongside with the coffee table, this joinery technique was interesting and my mentor also developed a coat hanger using the technique from my coffee table design.


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