The Problem: The NuVu tables take up a lot of space in the studio while not adding any extra storage to the space.
The Solution: The Connecting Desk Storage Unit is a storage-packed standing workspace that connects to tables.
Detailed Solution: The Connecting Desk Storage Unit connects to four sliding tables that can be configured in any way that suits the users. In total, the workspace can seat up to eight people with one large cubby, and well as one small one per person. The Connecting Desk Storage Unit can also be used as a standing desk for working on projects when the tables are not attached.
The tables at NuVu are fairly compact, but they still tend to take up too much space in the small studio that we work in. While students are working at the tables, they usually put their bag, lunch, and coat on the floor, causing people to trip over the items strewn across the floor. We set out to create a great storage option that would also conserve space, and act as a workspace as well.
We created three different designs for the Connecting Desk Storage Unit, or Spine, but later switched to just finishing two of them. One of the final two spines is a box with holes cut into it, and the other is a grid-like frame with rotating drawers inserted into the spaces in the grid. The two spines are designed to be the core of a NuVu workspace with tables that slide into the spine, and extra attachments on top of the spine for added functionality. While creating the Connecting Desk Storage Units, we ran into problems related to scaling down from full scale to small scale models, but eventually we were able to create full one-fourth scale models of the spines that will later be created in full scale.
A spine is a necessary part of every object whether that is in a human, car, or building. Without the spine, things would collapse and become unstable. In our table we worked on creating the spine of the workspace table. For this, our process was quite large. To start, our group split up into making three separate but efficient spine tables. The main idea was that many other smaller tables would branch off of this middle table, and the people sitting at the table would be able to
Envelope with Pockets
One of the first ideas to jump out were circular storage compartments under pressure plates that when released would pop out of the table and be able to store small tools like glue guns. A created working 3D printed model of this device was installed along the middle row of the table. The next feature was replaceable and movable storage. This shelving unit could be arranged in any way as long as the total perimeter stayed the same shape and size. The notching allowed the bottom shelves to be deeper than the top shelves giving the circular storage compartments room. Next our table had a row of power outlets as well as USB outlets for Arduinos. Finally our table had movable wheels on the bottom so that it would be able to be transported easily.
The second iteration for the enveloping table was an one-eigth scale fully notched thin wooden table featuring many different useful functions. One was a series of eight compartments that were able to fold and unfold neatly on the tap of the table allowing storage of laptops and notebooks underneath. Another feature was a garbage bin that will be placed at each end of the table. A third feature was lots of large shelving underneath for big backpacks and big bags. Hooks would be placed on the sides as well to put coats and jackets on. In the middle of the front side was also a rail where other group’s tables would slide into. The rail features a hook lock, which keeps the tables, locked when stationary and movable when transporting. Finally extension chord outlets would be placed in a row down the middle of the top piece. This great iteration really stressed functionality as well as efficient space use, unlike almost all tables.
The final iteration was a one-quarter scale fully notched thick wooden table using the same design as the previous iteration. There was only one major difference was the top shelving. On the second iteration little handles were installed in the compartments to lift up the cover. On this iteration the handles disappeared and instead to lift up the compartments it would have to be done from above and not below. The notching mistakes were fixed between models and the final was more finished with sanding and was also much heavier as thick wood was introduced instead of thin wood.
Frame With Infill
The first iteration of the frame spine was a one-eighth scale model of the desk made out of thin wood. For this iteration we only created the frame of the spine, without the rotating drawers that went inside of it. The spine was six feet long in full scale, and there was enough storage space for four people to each store their bag, laptop, and notebook. We decided that there was not enough storage space for all of everyone sitting at the workstation to get a cubby in this model, o we decided that for the next iteration we would need to add more storage space to the spine.
The second iteration of the frame spine was still only a one-eighth scale model, but it was lengthened so to nine feet in full scale. We created a basic 3d model of this iteration in full scale, and then scaled it down to edit each part of the laser cut model. For this iteration we not only made the frame, but also all of the shelves and rotating drawers. This model of the spine had large and small cubbies for eight people. In addition to the cubbies the spine also housed four deep rotating drawers, and four shallow ones for tools and other small objects. The deep rotating drawers were intended for storing parts of projects, but after getting feedback it was determined that people did not want to drop objects into a bucket, and would rather put them onto shelves.
The Third and final iteration of the frame spine is slightly smaller than the last version. In full scale, the new spine is 105 inches long instead of 108. Instead of creating a one-eighth scale model again, this iteration is a one-fourth scale model so that it can show more detail. Along with the model, we also have a complete detailed 3d model to show the scale of the spine wit a person working on it. Although we do have all of the pieces to create the wood model, we were unable to assemble the spine due to time constraints. While creating this iteration we worked to fine tune the design of the spine. In the past, the cubbies were slightly wider than the areas that the rotating drawers fit into. In order to make all of the distances the same and keep the perfect grid design of the frame we made the rotating drawers slightly larger. In addition to making the rotating drawers larger, we also added hand holes to make the drawers easier to rotate out. The deep drawers are now multi-purpose as well. While most people felt that the deep buckets were not a great place to store projects, they did find them to be great trash bins. Now students will be able to put a trash bag over the edge of the drawers and then use some of them to put trash in.
The first iteration of the detail was made to test if an outer rail holding the tables to the spine would work better than a rail on the inside of the spine. The model was made out of wood and used a simple rail system to allow the tables to slide on the side of the spine.
The second iteration was made to test if an inner rail holding the tables would work better than a rail on the outside. After making these model we decided that a rail on the inside of the spine would work better than one on the outside of the spine. A rail on the inside of the spine will allow us to make the table more compact and be less bulky.
The final iteration was made to complete the design of the storage on the final table. The storage box was a inward facing drawer that spins on a axis to face the user. The drawer had two compartments that were made to store objects such as models and backpacks.