This work is a collaboration between Ayber Gülfer and Jordi Portell and describes the design and fabrication process for a laser cutted plywood bench for the Digital Fabrication Tools class.

We wanted our bench to be a node to articulate a sequence, so we bended the box.

Plywood furniture fabrication using model ribbing techniques and laser cutting.

Idea and model

We wanted to design a bench that could be able to articulate a system of different benches and get out from the straight arrangement giving more flexibility, so we curved our element. We had two different strategies to do this:

  • 1. cutting the bench in diagonal at the sides preserving the given bounding box.
  • 2. bending the bounding box itself.
  • We worked in two models following this two strategies and, at the end, we choose the one that we liked the most. This blog entry presents the design following the second strategy and the fabrication process of the design we chose (first strategy). We used Rhino and Grasshopper as modelling and ribbing tools and a laser cutter to fabricate the parts.

    Bounding box resulting from revolving the contours forming an angle of approx. 30º.

    Modelling the seat and considering to have a floor lamp integrated

    Extracting the floor lamp volume from the model with inner shell.

    Setting the planes to make transversal cuts determines the ribs separation.

    Transversal cutting planes (ribs) from intersection curves.

    Ribs in the longitudinal direction. Some pieces had to be cut in order to be assemblable.

    Both x and y rib systems together and ready for intersection.

    Final result for the design strategy 2 (bending the box).


    We choose the model produced following strategy 1. not for the strategy itself but because of the more elegant asymmetrical design and better level of development.

    Final result for strategy 1. Cutting edges in diagonal preserving the original bounding box.

    Backside of the bench selected for fabrication. Some ribs were divided before fabrication.

    Cutting with the big laser cutter at IaaC.

    Assembling the numbered pieces.

    View 1.

    View 2.

    View 3.

    View 4.