This is a wooden bench which was designed, modeled, and fabricated using digital manufacturing technologies.
/// The “Wedge-Tight” Bench was designed and built over the 2015-2016 school year at Laney College in Oakland, CA.
/// Design Challenge: To design a seat using a sheet of 3/4 inch plywood (4x8ft) that can be cut on the CNC router and requires no external fasteners or hardware (including glue and screws).
/// Interpretation: I designed this bench to fit in my front hallway and to be used by guests to remove and stow shoes when entering. In order to ensure long term durability without the use of fasteners the bench uses interlocking pieces with keyed mortise and tenon joints. The "keys" are little wedge shaped pieces of plywood that are hammered into the tenons to prevent them from pulling out.
/// Process: I initially designed the bench in Sketch-up during the Machine Tech. Spatial Reasoning class in fall 2015. Both a fully assembled model and one with all the parts laid out flat (for cutting) were made. In spring 2016 I was able to take the design off the computer and into real life during the Carpentry Digital Manufacturing. The first physical incarnation was a ~1/6th scale model using 1/8" MDF board cut on the laser cutter. After the model was successfully assembled I turned to the full size version. I imported the model into Fusion 360 to model the tool paths for the CNC router. After many hours of adjusting the final geometries the final program used 8 operations to cut all the outlines, holes, and rabbets. The cutting took a few hours of machine time and lots of hand sanding. After it was sanded and dry fit I added a dark stain to the wedge keys to add contrast to highlight their function. Finally the bench was coated with polyurethane to ensure a lifetime of service. The bench is very solid and lives in my front hallway.