As I sit in my living room with my feet propped up on the table above, I'm reminded of how much I enjoyed this project. This Wave Table was my final project for a Furniture Design course at the University of Michigan. I had just returned to Ann Arbor, Michigan after living in Sydney, Australia for 6 months. I learned to surf while I was there and remember seeing waves with power like I had never before experienced (these were not the ones I was attempting to surf.) I told my professor I wanted to make a coffee table that looked fluid like a wave, using wood. Originally I imagined bending thin strips of wood, similar to work by Matthias Plessings, but opted for a stacked profile approach that was more intuitive to me. I made several cardboard mockups, sketches, and CAD designs, but don't think I fully convinced my professor I could pull it off.
I'm proud with the final outcome, enough so to hang onto it for almost 5 years. The curves of this table challenge the conventional use of plywood as a rigid material. Forty unique CNC milled profiles are fused with epoxy resin to achieve the illusion of sweeping bends. The Wave Table measures 18 inches high, 41 inches wide, and 29 inches long. It has two perfectly level surfaces for food, drinks, or feet, like any normal coffee table. The crest of the wave offers a storage area for magazines and other lounging necessities, while the middle floor of the wave can be used to drown folded blankets or pillows from a cluttered couch.
I slept through my scheduled time to use the Design School's CNC machine, after pulling an all-nighter prepping for my Aero Control Systems final exam. Given all the students vying for machine time to complete final projects, I didn't realize this would be my only opportunity to use it. I signed up for an Ann Arbor makerspace membership to have access to the tools needed to complete this project on time. This turned out to be a great experience, I was aware of the concept, but had never before used a makerspace. Since then I've sought out makerspaces and techshops in almost every city I've lived.
Technology Stack & Tools Involved:
CAD (SolidWorks and Rhino), CNC Routing