Design a Chair or Download a Chair
Here at Dsgn Things, we're all about democratizing the process of designing and making things. Diatom Studio's (@DiatomStudio) Sketch Chair is an exceptional example of that democratization. Essentially, Sketch Chair is a software program that let's anyone quickly create a 3d sketch of furniture that can be 'printed' by assembling pieces cut out by a CNC mill. If you've ever wanted to design and make your own furniture, but aren't sure where to start, Sketch Chair is probably what you're been looking for.
Test out your designs without having to make prototypes
The great thing about the software is that it allows you to virtually test your designs against things like gravity and the weight of someone sitting in it. It seems to use a physics engine to pull this off, and it works pretty well. Iterative design (trial and error) processes can be great for creativity but can be expensive and time consuming if you have to use actual physical materials to test your designs. Using software like this means you can create as many iterations as you like without worrying about wasting materials. This means you can take more risks in the design process and may come up with designs you otherwise might not have attempted. With that said, you can still also use Sketch Chair to make miniature models that you could test in the real world too.
Once it passes your tests, send it off to get it manufactured
If the idea of using a CNC mill makes you a little hesitant, you don't need to worry about doing that part yourself. The idea is that you would send the 3d sketch off to an online fabrication service that would mill them for you and ship them to you when they've been made. So all you have to do at that point is assemble the pieces into the furniture you designed.
Some Assembly Required
Assembly of most of the things made seems pretty simple in that it's mostly just connecting the interlocking sections similar to those wooden dinosaur models. Remember those?
And It's Open Source
Also the open-source nature of the designs means they can be shared freely with other users. This means you can start from a clean slate, or you can modify an existing design that has been shared by another user.
Overall I think this is a very promising solution for producing low-cost custom furniture. I'll definitely be trying out the software on a project soon and can't wait to post updates on what I come up with! I don't know about you, but the idea of designing and assembling my own furniture like is pretty awesome!
Not quite sure if these were made using Sketch Chair, but it's definitely a similar manufacturing technique.
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