Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Origami Table

Mixing memories of childhood origami with drier "folded plate" structural ideas, has been a rich vein of inquiry for me recently.  So much is happening with prefabrication and panelization right now. It feels like a good time to be riffing on this.

A while back I did a series of chairs on the Shopbot. Following the 3B chair, I wanted to attempt the more ambitious task of a table.  From a structural standpoint, the chair was relatively easy but the challenges of taking a thin "paper-like" material and making a table was more daunting.

What follows are some excerpts from the design and fabrication process.  There are also a few shots of the final outcome.  I wound up designing about nine different tables before making the one we see here.  We even partially built one of the previous designs before giving up on it as too "floppy".  In fact, this new table is made up of facets from the previous design.  This way of working is easy with hinges and something that makes up for the heavy computer time that is really required to pull off this sort of fabrication process.

The reality is that this way of putting things together is relatively new and there is a lifetime of work with this tectonic. I'd like to see how this might inform some other objects for a bit. In short, while there are still refinements, it felt like a good time to post the results of the work and see what comes of it.  A big thank you to my two amazing sons Jesse and Niles for their help. I also wanted to thank Steve, at Arrow Glass, for supplying the tempered glass top.