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OpenDesk: Could This Open Source Micro-Factory Replace IKEA?

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File this under your ‘reasons to get a CNC machine in the near future’ if you don’t already have access to one. OpenDesk is the new open source furniture design resource from the team behind FabHub that aims to explore new models for open and collaborative design of digitally fabricated free modern furniture designs that can be made locally either by you or a local Maker.

OpenDesk

“By downloading, printing, purchasing or customising an OpenDesk, you’re helping to create a new way of buying products. One that’s more transparent, sustainable and flexible than current manufacturing models.”

“One that’s more transparent, sustainable, and flexible than current manufacturing models.” Three manufacturing buzzwords in one mission statement is pretty impressive, and it comes with no surprise that the backbone of OpenDesk also happens to be the founders of FabHub, a matchmaking website similar to CustomMade that aims to connect Makers to Digital Fabricators (rather than consumers to Makers). The open source furniture designs are free to download if you have your own means of manufacturing the patterns or can be purchased in “Sawn” form directly from OpenDesk in which case you would need to do the finishing work, flat-packed and ready to be assembled, or made by a locally-sourced maker:

Perhaps what’s most interesting about a business model like OpenDesk in an age of Makers is how it satisfies the entire spectrum from consumer to fabricator in one easy-to-manage process:

“OpenDesk is about local making. What’s available to you — what you can make and what you can have made — depends on where you are and how much you want to get involved in the making process.”

Sample Layout

7e1dd1fac6fbd4c4647426c7ea5c672de30b3963-desk.sheets.preview.130712

Currently Available Designs

cafe

Cafe

desk

Desk

edieset

Edie Set

meeting

Meeting

Think I might look into the Desk offering myself…

Hat tip to Butch Lively for the heads up

(Images via OpenDesk)

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About simon

Simon is a Brooklyn-based industrial designer and Managing Editor of EVD Media. When he finds the time to design, his focus is on helping startups develop branding and design solutions to realize their product design vision. In addition to his work at Nike and various other clients, he is the main reason anything gets done at EvD Media. He once wrestled an Alaskan alligator buzzard to the ground with his bare hands… to rescue Josh.

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  • David

    I have access to a CNC and have design and made some furniture for myself. Just materials can be 3-4 times the price of an Ikea piece made of decent materials.

    It makes sense for bespoke projects or just for the sake of doing something for yourself. But it ain’t cheap.

  • Nathan Allen

    Very true, Baltic birch is a high quality costly materiel plus its hard on machines and tools

  • Marcus

    Use the right tools and wear and tear is like any other material.
    The right tool for the right work is all that counts.

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