Bedside Table

Made by ksr

The goal of this project was to make a functional bedside table that works with unique constraints of my living situation- notably, that there is no floorspace for a table to stand.

Created: October 23rd, 2018

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Intention

For me, a bedside table was a natural choice for this project. In my apartment, there is not enough space for a free-standing bedside table. Consequently, I end up storing my phone, earbuds, glasses, and other items on the floor under my bed. This makes them difficult to reach, and I have long been searching for a solution to this inconvenience.  

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Inspiration

For my final iteration, I took inspiration from the chairs in the lounge outside Skibo Café in the Cohon Center. I sometimes sit here when eating a meal, doing my homework, or both, and I find the mobility of the desk surface to be very convenient. I wanted to replicate something like this for my table. 

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Process

My initial sketches for the bedside table resembled an airline tray table (or as I jokingly called it, a toilet seat). It consisted of a surface that was connected by wire in three places to a disposable command hook that would be placed on the wall. The surface had a hinge that allowed it to be folded up when not in use. Upon consulting the instructor and considering the structural integrity, I ultimately shelved this design. 

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The hardware I used for this project were a Rabbit Lasercutter and the NVBots 3D printer. The software used was Audodesk Fusion for Computer Aided Design (CAD) and a slicer program. Materials included 6mm birch plywood, 3mm red acrylic, grey-colored polylactic acid (PVA), and a 6-inch long 0.5" diameter steel dowel. 

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For the support structure, I used Autodesk to make a 3D hollow box. I then used a slicing software that recreated the box using 2D images, which I then lasercut into plywood. I then carefully assembled these pieces to make the 3D shape. This support sits on and around my bedpost. The tabletop was lasercut from acrylic. Additionally, there is a 3D-printed piece which I created in Autodesk, with two lofted components that neatly hold my earbuds. This piece fits on top of the steel dowel that I used to connect the tabletop to the base. 

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The table in it's final position at my bedside
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Unexpected Challenges

One thing that I did not consider very much but was crucial to the project was the system that fastened the table top to the base. I initially considered making an acrylic or wooden dowel. I started to make lasercuts with these materials but quickly realized it would be difficult to make a sturdy system that is also mobile. I ended up using a steel dowel that my roommate had left over from an engineering project. I was lucky that it was the exact size I needed. 

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Final Notes

Overall, I was very satisfied with the final product. It is useful and solves a unique problem that lends itself to a custom-made solution. If I were to start this project again, I would take some more pointers from the laptop holder in-class project. Specifically, I would make my project in one piece in CAD, since I almost made an error due to inconsistent measurements between files. Below are some additional renderings and pictures of my project. 

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The tabletop component, with it's final color and on an interesting background, in Autodesk.
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The base component, rendered with a wood finish, though not yet sliced.
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A close-up rendering of the lofted areas of the 3D-printed component. The valley in between the two lofts is meant to hold a set of earbuds, and the wire wraps around the cylindrical base.
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The tabletop from a different angle on a different background. Note that the edges are rounded. This was inspired by the filleting from the laptop holder in-class project.
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Size reference with keys. Note the exposed steel dowel. The 3D printed component fit over the roughly 3" of exposed dowel.
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Table on the farside of my bed. It is sturdy and convenient to move around.
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A close-up look at the base. I used laser-cut cardboard to make a collar around the nub of the steel dowel so that it doesn't contact the bedpost.
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A close-up view of the structure that holds the tabletop to the base
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Here is a link to my final project presentation: 

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The goal of this project was to make a functional bedside table that works with unique constraints of my living situation- notably, that there is no floorspace for a table to stand.