Sketching in the early stage of the project allowed me to quickly explore mechanical solutions to the design problem. The sketches became input for the models that I made next.
The above series of models were handmade at half scale. This was large enough to assess the integrity of potential mechanical joints but small enough to be practical and fast to make. These models were assessed based on their efficiency of material usage and pragmatism in addressing the brief. The bottom right model was selected as the most promising option.
I used the half scale model as a reference for full size prototypes. The above series of prototypes were made from corrugated cardboard and tested with a real laptop in a working environment. The dimensions and proportions were adjusted to improve their ergonomic performance.
I tested the most complicated joinery in this project with real plywood and a bandsaw. This gave me a reference point for the CAD model and ultimately vector drawings for the laser cut parts. This particular joint allows the user to 'lock' the structure in place when it is being used and 'unlock' it for dismantling, transport and storage,
The above photos show the final design. It can be laser cut from a single sheet of plywood and assembled by a user with no need for extra mechanical fixings or glue. The left hand photo demonstrates the product supporting the correct, ergonomic office layout.