Hero Design | Cell Stool Prototype In Progress
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Cell Stool Prototype In Progress

A few weeks ago I posted a few concept drawings, and over since then two of the drawings have begun to squeeze their way into reality as prototypes. In that post I mentioned that fabricating the four asymmetric lofts that make of the “cells” of the Cell Stool was going to be a fun. Here are some photos documenting the process to date.

First, let’s just recall what we are working towards. This first image is the concept drawing. Fabricating the lofts from plywood was the main challenge here.

The first step was to have the robot cut each layer of plywood for each of the our lofts. The holes will be used for alignment.

Once all the parts are cut, they are aligned, stacked and bonded. Here, in the lower right you can see the dowels used to align the pieces. With all the pieces together you can see (top) the rough shape of the four lofts.

Each of the four roughly assembled lofts are then individually cut by the robot. On the the upper left you can see the original piece, while on the upper right you can see it after the first “roughing” cut. The bottom left shows the robot working back and forth over the piece, shaping the loft. Finally, on the lower right image is of the completed loft.

Once that’s been done for each of the four lofts, they are ready for assembly. Here are two photos of final four lofts in their final placement.

I love the way these have come out. Now that I’ve seen it in real life, however, I’ve begun to rethink the legs. In the sketch I had some 2″ aluminium tube as for the legs, but now I think it would be more interesting to continue the “cell” shapes into the legs. I think about that one for a bit. I’ve also though of some ways I can strengthen the final joining of lofts, but I’ll have to save those changes for the next prototype.

Alan Rorie

Alan Rorie


Dr. Alan Rorie is a designer, artist and scientist whose work focuses on the intersection between science, art and education. Alan received a Ph.D in Neuroscience from Stanford University. He has also been fellow at The Exploratorium, and a researcher at the National Institute of Mental Health and New York University.

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