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CANDIDATE #: 1496 CENTRE #: 61953

Client Brief

Joining the Wooden Frame



Design Solution: Aluminium Frame


Understanding the Problem

Metal Frame Prototype


Problem Analysis

How will I gather my research?

Updated Design


Gantt Chart

Integrating the Electrical Components


What is already on the market?




Process Planning Sheet


What materials could I use for my product?



Measurements to consider in my design



Target Market Questionnaire 1


Orthographic Projections


Target Market Interviews


CAD Drawings


Target Market Questionnaire 2


Making the Aluminium Frame





Research Conclusions and Specification



How to incorporate a Charging System



Design Inspiration



Design Development





How would these designs look?


Final Product


Further Design Development


Product Evaluation


Evaluating the Design


Adaptations for Mass Manufacture


Prototype 1


BSI ISO 9000


Full Size Model




Client: Nicholas Whitney
Age: 21
Brief: I want a stylish bedside table with room to store all the items I want by my bedside. It must provide light and allow me to charge electronic devices within reach of my bed.

I interviewed the client about the issues he has with his bedside table.
The slats on the bottom
shelf of the table mean I
cant keep any small items on
it they just fall through

I have to run an extension cord across

the room so I can charge my electronic
devices that I use from bed and plug in
my bedside lamp. This leaves a mess
of cables that is unsightly and and
potentially dangerous

I need a lamp for the evening, but it

takes up a significant amount of the
table surface, leaving me with less
room for the items I want at arms

I keep my wallet, watch, loose change,

cufflinks, watch, iPhone, glasses,
headphones, reading books, alarm clock,
kindle, medication and a mug of tea on my
bedside table

The structure of the table is not very sturdy. It wobbles a lot

as the joints arent particularly strong

I keep small items like my watch, cufflinks and

change on my bedside table so I can find them easily
but it has no sides so they often fall off and get lost

I did a brainstorm to explore some of the different elements I would need to consider during the project.


In order to better understand the problem my client presented to me, I examined my own bedside table to see what problems it presented.
My table has no way of separating electronics
and liquids. This mug of tea could easily spill
over the wires below or the radio behind it.

Theres not enough room in my

bedside table to store electronic
devices whilst charging. I have to
either keep them on the floor (like
the laptop) or improvise (as with the

I keep valuables, like my watch, on my

bedside table so they are easy to find.
However, theres nothing to stop my watch
from getting lost if it falls off, or gets covered
by other items.

There is nothing to stop items from falling off

the back or sides of my bedside table. This
can be dangerous these books have fallen
in front of the door and I could trip over them
in the dark.

I have many wires on the floor which

are all tangled. They are all plugged
into an extension cord which runs to
a plug across the room.

The main issue I have is lack of surface space, as can be seen from these
images. My bed is against the wall so bedside storage will stick out into the
room. This means the area of the table has to be small. The second big issue is
the mess of wires. I like to charge all my electronic devices by my bedside as I
know where they are and can then use them in bed if I want to. However, there
isnt a plug located conveniently close, so I have to use an extension cord which
adds to the mess of wires. The lamp takes up most of the top surface of the
table which means everything else is balanced on the edges. A better design
would be one that integrated the lighting and charging wires this would free
up surface space for me to keep the other items.

These are issues that could arise in the design and manufacture of
my product.
Target Market
Age, Gender and Physical Capability
As the product is aimed at a large target market of both males and
females between the ages of 16-65, there could be a range of
physical capabilities to cater for. Different ages and genders may
prefer different aesthetics, so it could be difficult to design one
which is appealing to the majority of the target market.
Occupation, Income and Spending Habits
There will be a wide range of occupations, incomes and spending
habits amongst my target market. This means some customers will
have more disposable income than others, so may be prepared to
pay more for the product. It is more likely to be bought by those
whose occupations provide them with some disposable income,
though, as it is unlikely to be viewed as an essential. The higher
the price, the smaller the target market becomes, as fewer people
will be able to afford it. The choice of materials, manufacturing
process and scale of production will affect the price, which will
affect the target market.
Style and Tastes
As previously stated, there will be a variety of tastes within the
target market. The product needs to cater to the most common. For
this reason, garish colours and radical design may not be
appropriate. However, in trying to cater for a broad range of tastes, I
must be careful not to make the product too bland.
Shape and Form
To maximise space, rectangular shapes are more likely to be
suitable, especially if they are intended to store objects with a
regular shape. However, these present issues with sharp corners
the client may get out of bed in the dark and not see the sharp
edge, which could lead to injury. A more rounded, natural shape
may be safer for the user, and could be more appealing to the eye
than a geometric one. A rounded shape could be used to make
parts of the product easier to reach from the bed, making the
product more accessible.
As the product needs to appeal to a variety of tastes across the
target market, softer, natural colours would be more suitable than
bright, garish ones. However, these colours could appear boring. A
textured surface could make the table difficult to write on, so this
could limit the choice of materials.


Manufacturing Process


Scale of Production

If the product is large or bulky it could create a trip hazard,

especially if the customer moves round the room in the dark. Sharp
corners could cause injury.

The scale of production is determined by the target market,

manufacturing facilities and material choice. The scale of
production will decide the manufacturing processes used, the skills
required and the time needed. As the prototype will be made in the
school workshop, there will be limits on the size and method of

If electrical functions are to be included in the design, this could

lead to safety issues. Live wires or incorrectly wired parts are
dangerous as they could cause electrocution. Water/liquids must be
kept separate from electrical components also. Any wires on the
floor around the product are a trip hazard. Light bulbs can get
dangerously hot they must not be surrounded by flammable
materials such as paper or plastic. Overhang from nails/screws etc.
and rough wood can also cause injury.
Psychological Factors
The bedroom is often considered to be a comfortable relaxing place.
It is important that the product isnt too lively as this may not
encourage the user to feel calm and relaxed in their sleeping
environment. Some colours are particularly associated with
calmness and sleep.
There are possible problems relating to strength: the product might
not be able to withstand the weight of items place on/in it. It could
break when too many items are place on/in it, which would cause
further problems (e.g. sharp edges, trip hazards).
Size and Anthropometrics
The product needs to be accessible for the 5th -95th percentile. To
make it accessible for the 95th percentile, the product may be too
large for some consumers. Similarly, it could be too small for others.
Beds vary so much in height that it will be difficult to establish an
average bed height. Bed height will be needed to determine the
height of the table as it is best if the table is in line with the height
of the bed. Different clients will have different availability of space
in their bedrooms. It will also be hard to establish an average floor
space measurement. Inevitably, the size of design will not be
suitable for the whole of the target market.

Complex shapes and intricate detail may be difficult to replicate
across lots of products. It may only be possible to create this detail
in a small number of materials. More complex forms may reduce
the number of extra components required, but will be difficult to
create in the school workshop. A product that has lots of
components that require assembly by hand will be very time
consuming and reduce the number of products that can be
produced in a given time. This may affect the scale of production.
Using standard components (e.g. screws, electrical sockets, and
wheels) will reduce costs and make quality control easier.
Joining Methods
Semi-permanent joints (e.g. nuts and bolts) are more expensive
than and not as durable as permanent ones (e.g. adhesives or
welding). However, semi-permanent joints allow parts to be
dismantled and replaced so the product can be fixed rather than
disposed of. If parts of the product are to be adjusted, they need to
be joined in a temporary way that is easy to fix and unfix.

There are few restrictions on materials that can be used in the
bedroom. Materials commonly used are wood, polymers and
metals. The product should have a long life span so the materials
must be able to cope. For this reason, it is not necessary to have
recyclable materials or those that decompose quickly.


Target Market

Why is the research required?

I need to understand the market my product should appeal to before the design
process. I will need to determine the age range, interests, tastes, occupation and
income. It is important to determine if there is a large enough target market who would
use the product.
I will also do more specific target market research to find out the items my clients need
by their bedside. The size, weight and contents of these items will determine the size,
shape and overall design of the product so this is crucial information.

How will I gather the information?

Newspaper and magazine articles about target market
Survey target market: age, gender, income level,
occupation, house size, tastes, lifestyle, hobbies and
interests, values, physical strength and mobility
IDEO method cards


Survey target market with questionnaire, photograph

their bedside tables


To better understand the problem and why it isnt solved by existing products, I need to
do some thorough market research. I will critically evaluate a range of available
products to analyse how they could be improved and which features I should
incorporate into my design.
Whilst there is likely to be a variety of tastes within my target market, it is important the
aesthetic is appealing to most of them. However, function should be at the forefront of
the design as it is most important that the problem is resolved.
It is important that the product can be used by a wide range of customers. I need to use
the 5th- 95th percentile of body measurements. Upper and lower body measurements
will be required because the product could be used both sitting and standing.

Online shops, product magazines (e.g. John Lewis,

Habitat, IKEA)
Product testing


Survey target market: use pictures and products

representing different design styles


Peoplesize database
Product testing (for grip, reach etc.)


I will research a variety of materials so I can pick the most suitable for my product. I
need to choose the material with the most appropriate properties for my product (e.g.
strength, water resistance). I also want to understand how materials can work together
and complement each other. The aesthetic of the materials need to be in tune with the
rest of the design and must be appealing to my target market.
Different materials can be manufactured in different ways. I need to find the most
appropriate and efficient way to manufacture my product. This will be determined by the
choice of material and requirements of the design (e.g. curves, 3D shapes). The choice
of process will affect my time plan.
I will research possible joining methods. As the product needs to bear weight, it is
especially important that it is joined well. There are both permanent and temporary
methods of joining materials. Any adjustable aspect of the product may need to be
temporarily joined, whereas most joints will need to be permanent for maximum
The product should not require much maintenance. However, my choice of material will
determine how the user should look after it.

Materials testing (e.g. tensile strength, water

permeability, load bearing)
Test material samples with my target market


Prototyping parts of my product, testing manufacturing

methods (e.g. CNC Router, CNC Laser, Jigsaw, Welding)


Prototyping and product testing


Materials testing (e.g. does it need cleaning etc?)



The impact the product will have on the environment will depend on the choice of
material and manufacturing process. I will also consider how the product could be
disposed of and how this will affect the environment. The Three Rs are a good place to
start evaluating environmental impact. However, the product isnt specifically intended
to be eco-friendly so these issues arent at the forefront of the design.

Research more eco-friendly processes and materials

books, online


Safety Standards

I will research the safety standards required by the British Standards Authority and the
EU for my product to ensure it complies with all regulations and is safe for the customer
to use.

BSI and EU webpages


Existing Products

Ergonomics and Anthropometrics


Manufacturing Process




I have planned my time by designing a Gant Chart. This should help me finish the project in time for the final deadline. I revised this Gantt Chart on 9th January to accommodate changes made during the design process.

Scheduled Lessons






Identify problem, create

brief, identify client, write
problem analysis and
research plan.
Target market
questionnaire and
interviews to assess tastes
and needs of client. Review
their bedside tables.
Research existing products:
analyse photos of bedside
tables and charging
Gather anthropometric data
to determine size of table.
Research possible charging
systems that could be
Summarise research
conclusions and write
specification that the
product must adhere to.











I interviewed a wide range of

bedside table users during
the half term holiday then
used this time (about six
hours) to write up the
feedback and draw
In this time, I wrote some
questionnaires and arranged to
interview people in my target
market. I couldnt interview enough
people at school, so had to wait till
the holidays to finish my target
market research.





I went back to my
research during the
design process to find
more inspiration.

I added to my research
conclusions, having done
more during the design
process. I went back and
adapted my specification

Design and develop

potential solutions
(orthographic, isometric,
pictorial etc.) that fit the
Prototype the chosen
design, make adaptations
(i.e. size, manufacturing
method) and test possible
Finalise working drawing
and plan manufacture
based on successful
Manufacture and finish
final product, documenting
process for portfolio.

Scheduled Lessons















Time (hours)

Identify problem, create

brief, identify client, write
problem analysis and
research plan.

Target market
questionnaire and
interviews to assess tastes
and needs of client. Review
their bedside tables.
Research existing products:
analyse photos of bedside
tables and charging

Gather anthropometric data

to determine size of table.
Research possible charging
systems that could be
Summarise research
conclusions and write
specification that the
product must adhere to.


Design and develop

potential solutions
(orthographic, isometric,
pictorial etc.) that fit the
Prototype the chosen
design, make adaptations
(i.e. size, manufacturing
method) and test possible
Finalise working drawing
and plan manufacture
based on successful


Manufacture and finish

final product, documenting
process for portfolio.


1 hour
2 hours
2 hours +
Extra time spent





I wanted to look at existing bedside tables to gauge what is already available to consumers and what is missing or could be improved upon. These designs were the most innovative and striking to me.

This edge prevents items from

falling over the back of the table

Lamp incorporated into the table. Wiring

could also be minimised by including USB
plugs in the table

Cantilever table this gives more

room under surface. Could be adapted
so that table can be pulled over bed

Wasted space under

arch, especially under
narrow apex as it is a
difficult shape to fill

Books can be placed on overhang table

has to be carefully balanced so it doesnt
topple over. Books cant be reached from
bed as they are on opposite side

Lots of empty space that could

be used for storage

Useful book arch to keep open page. I

could incorporate smaller version into
my design

Open ended so it can be pulled over

the bed and used as a lap table
Cork table surface is
heatproof hot mugs
can be placed on table
without causing damage

There isnt much

space for storage.
Also, the lack of
sides means the
storage isnt
particularly secure
and could easily fall

Green is a garish colour and

may not appeal to the majority
of customers or fit in the style of
their homes

Pulls right up and over the bed

for ease of use

The opening for the table is at the

front, making it difficult to access from
bed. However, the design allows for the
table to be angled in any direction

Cubby hole hasnt got specific spaces for

certain items so can hold anything.
However, the round space reduces
storage area so the table cant hold as
many items as a square object

Holes to separate
different charging
wires to avoid
tangles and

Book basket
large bowl storage
area to store a
variety of items. No
specific storage
areas so not easily to
find things quickly as
all items are on top
of each other

Groove to stand
electrical items in
Sturdy square base to
support the top-heavy

Table can be used in multiple ways to accommodate different preferences.

But, these ends are thin and sharp and could cause injury. When used
horizontally it takes up a large amount of floor space, which may not be
suitable for some customer.

The table
height can be
adjusted for
the bed height
This wooden handle
can be used to lift and
move the table,
however, it could get
in the way e.g. it
would stop you from
placing a glass of
water on this part of
the table

The light is incorporated into

the table. This may not be
ideal for reading though as
it shines upwards and may
not be bright enough to
illuminate the book

The table only requires

plugging in once. This reduces
the number of electrical cables
and, therefore, trip hazards

This table isnt very

substantial so only a
couple of items could
be put safely on there

Conclusion: The designs that can be used in multiple ways are particularly clever. Maybe I could consider a way to make my table multifunctional. I think its particularly important to have a large surface area to keep things that need to
be immediately accessible. I like the way table no. 9 also functions as a light, and I like the use of bucket storage in table no. 8 this angle would be easily accessible from bed. However, all the tables lack something to prevent items
from falling off. This seems to be a concern of my target market, so it is important that I incorporate this in my design.
Sources: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10.


Manufacturing the product in the school workshop means there are limits on the size and
availability of materials. It is difficult to know what materials are suitable without having
designed my product, but these are the advantages and disadvantages of the materials that
could be suitable for manufacturing a bedside table. When designing my product, I should
keep these in mind.



Flexiply is made from 3 piles of birch: a very thin cross grain central ply and two thicker exterior
plies that have been tenderised. This means it can be bent into curved shapes that would not
usually be achievable with wood. However, these shapes need to be held in place with a frame
of some sort, otherwise they can spring out of position. This frame may obstruct other features
of the design.

Acrylic (PMMA)


PMMA is a low cost thermoplastic. Its thermoplastic properties make it useful for prototyping
as a piece can be heated and remoulded if its not formed correctly. Acrylic cant be too near
heat (i.e. from a light bulb) as it could melt and release harmful fumes. Acrylic is self-finishing
and both transparent and translucent acrylic is available, as well as a variety of colours. PMMA
should be used for additional features in the table (i.e. drawers), rather than the main

Flexible MDF has grooves cut into one side, so the material can bend perpendicular to the
direction of the grooves. It is more rigid than flexible plywood, but cannot bend as tightly. FlexiMDF also needs a frame to hold it in place.

HIPS is a low cost polymer that is easy to vacuum form. This makes it ideal for making trays
and containers to hold items within the product. It comes in a variety of colours and is food
safe. Its smooth shiny surface is easy to clean, so it could be used for a table surface that may
get dirty.

Veneers are thin layers of wood that can be rolled and bent or applied as a decorative coating
to a surface. Using a veneer would be an inexpensive way of achieving a more luxurious,
attractive finish on my product. For example, MDF could be covered with an oak veneer to give
the impression of a solid oak product. Veneers can be cut with a laser, or even scissors. They
can be joined to another surface with an adhesive, such as PVA, and a vacuum press. Paperbacked veneers wont split when bent round a curved surface. Layers of veneer can also be
built up to create a strong structure.

Woods and Man-Made Board



Ash is a hardwood with an attractive light-brown, creamy colour. Layers can be steam bent and
joined together with adhesive to create curved shapes.

Pine is an inexpensive soft wood. It is light in colour, easy to cut with various saws and
machines well. It is ideal for making prototypes as the finish is not quite as attractive as more
expensive woods. However, using pine restricts the design to regular shapes as it comes in flat
stock forms (e.g. planks and boards). Pine could be stained, painted or left natural to finish. It
can be joined as other woods, using knock-down fittings (e.g. Dovetail, Mortise and Tenon etc.),
temporary mechanical fixings (e.g. nails, screws, bolts etc.), and adhesives (e.g. PVA).
Manufactured Boards
Manufactured boards, such as MDF or Plywood, are fibres of wood joined together with
adhesive to form composite materials. They have similar properties to wood, but are a
cheaper, more stable alternative. This, as well as their regular shape, makes them ideal for
making rectangular furniture. It is easy to join them; knock-down fittings, temporary
mechanical fixings and adhesives can be used. However, their rigid form limits the design of
the product. It is difficult to create curved or intricate shapes from manufactured boards. The
finish on manufactured boards is not usually attractive, but they can be painted or covered
with a veneer.

Mild Steel
Mild Steel is a tough, ductile metal with good tensile strength. As it will corrode if exposed to
water, it needs to be finished with a protective coating. Steel can be welded and brazed in the
school workshop, or joined together with screws and other temporary mechanical fixings. It
would be suitable for making a frame to secure a flexible man-made board, however it would
make the product considerably heavier.
Aluminium is lighter than mild steel so would be more suitable for a metal base frame for the
product. However, welding aluminium is difficult and expensive, therefore may not be possible
in the school workshop.



The average measurements of my target market will be needed to design my product to ensure it can be used by customers across the target market. I will use the 5th-95th percentile of British Adults to gauge the
maximum and minimum sizes needed.
These sketches demonstrate that there are some positions the client will use the bedside table in which their reach is limited. It is important the table is designed so that items the client can pick things up easily
from these positions.

The Minimum Table Size

All measurements obtained from PeopleSizePro 2000

The width (434mm) is determined from the horizontal

grip reach of the 5th percentile. 434mm is two thirds of
this minimum horizontal grip reach, ensuring that even
the customers with the shortest arms can reach at least
the centre of the bedside table from bed.
The depth (649mm) of the table is the full horizontal grip
reach of the 5th percentile. This means that, when
standing in front of the table, users with the smallest
arms can still pick up items from the back of the table.

This is the minimum opening size. The measurements are all from the
95th percentile as a result, even those customers with the largest
hands would be able to access an opening of this size. The diagonal
measurement is the minimum square access, the height is the
maximum hand depth and the width is the maximum hand span. The
width could be reduced, as the user may not need to access the
opening with their hand spread open.

The height of the table (911mm) is the wrist height

(standing) of the 95th percentile. This means the table
isnt too far down for the tallest customers to use. There
is such a variation in bed height that an average height
is difficult to find. If the tallest customers can use the
table whilst standing, the table should be an appropriate
height for most beds. However, for this reason it may be
a good idea to make the table adjustable.
These measurements form the minimum table size. If the
table is at least this size, customers from the 5th to 95th
percentiles should be able to use it easily from both
standing and lying down in bed.


To understand the problems that affect other clients in my target market, I conducted a simple questionnaire on potential clients. I raised some of the general issues that I had with my own bedside table to see if
they affected others as well.

Age Range
(16-25, 26
45, 46+)

What items do you like to keep by your


Do you have any problems storing these or

accessing them from bed?

Is there a plug close enough to your bed to

charge a phone (or similar)?

Double/Single bed? Is there more than one

area for bedside storage?



Alarm clock, Kindle, lamp, phone, laptop,

fine jewellery in a container, tissues, water

Plug sockets are on the other side of my

bed from the bedside table electronic
devices have to go on the floor.

Double only room for one piece of

furniture as there is a wardrobe and a



Headphones (always tangled), phone

charger, water bottle, tissues, iPad,



Books, lamp, glasses, water bottle, nail kit


Books, mug, phone, lamp, post-it notes,

pen, chewing gum, pills, water glass

There is a plug next to my bed, but no

standard charger reaches all the way to my
bed e.g. I cant use my iPad whilst its
charging from my bed.
Yes not on the side of my bedside table
so I need an extension cord for my lamp. I
tend to leave charging devices on my
window sill.
No its on the other side of the room so I
cant use my phone while its charging.

Single my bed is against the wall so I can

only have one table. It actually has to go
behind my bed, which makes it more
difficult to access.
Single only one side for my bedside table
and there isnt much space. It has to fit
between other bedroom furniture.



My reading book, magazines, iPad

(charging), headphones, medication, hot
water bottle, clock radio, reading lamp

Yes not enough sockets!

Double bed room for furniture both sides.



Yes, but I only use it for a lamp and

landline phone. I charge my mobile in the



Kindle, Lamp, Water glass, mug, ceramic

dish (containing cufflinks, keys, spare
change and watch), glasses, landline
iPad, Laptop, iPhone (and chargers for all!),
water glass, candle, moisturiser, clock
radio, magazines, pens, jewellery, make-up
remover, small light

I often knock over my water, which can

damage other items on the table or
surrounding area. Nothing is covered so it
all gets very dusty.
My bedside table is very small because of
the space available so I have to put things
on the floor around it. The drawers are
difficult to access when Im in bed.
Water sometimes spills on books if I knock
it over in the night. I often knock my
glasses off the table when I reach for my
My table is behind my bed so it is very
uncomfortable to access when lying down.
Often knock over mug of tea onto books.
Cant reach lamp switch from the bed,
which is really annoying. I always have to
charge my iPad on the floor as there isnt
enough room for it to sit on the table. Wires
from clock radio, chargers and lamp always
get tangled up.
My glasses always end up on the floor. This
is difficult in the morning when I need them
to see!
I cant store all my electronic devices whilst
theyre charging. I have to put them under
my bed. There are drawers lower down
which I cant open from bed. Shelves would
be more suitable here. The drawers also
restrict the height of the items I can store.



Books, pad of paper, glasses, paracetamol,

mug, alarm clock, mobile phone, laptop

No. I live in a Victorian apartment building

and the plug is on the other side of the
room. I have an extension lead taped to the
floor, but this only has three plug sockets.
This means I can only have a lamp and two
things charging. Also, I like to work on my
iPad in bed, but it cant reach the bed
whilst charging.

I share a double bed, but there is a

wardrobe on my side and a door the other
so there is limited space available for the
bedside furniture.
Double angled walls each side which
restrict the shape and size of the product.
Currently, I have a narrow but tall bedside



Phone, Laptop, Xbox controller, Apple TV

remote (which is ridiculously small), light,
wallet, bank cards, loose change, lighter,
cufflinks, deodorant

My main problem is that things fall off the

far side. I can reach everything until it falls
on the floor.
Not enough space on the surface. I leave it
on my bedside table so I can find it quickly.
I dont want to put it in drawers or shelves.

No. I leave my devices charging on the

other side of the room. Only one plug
socket close by which I use for my lamp.

Single there are two possible places for

beside storage, but both are very limited.

I have a double bed against the wall so

there is only one bedside table.
Single bed, room both sides.



I interviewed some potential clients about the problems they faced with their bedside tables. I asked them to talk generally about their bedside table, so as to not bias their answers with my own questions.

The biggest problem is the lack of

storage under the table. Its a waste
of space, which would actually be
really useful to have available.

My table has a small surface area so

I cant put many items on the top
where I can reach them. Things often
fall off over the side because there are
no sides. The drawers are too shallow
to store much. I can only put little bits
of jewellery and pens and pencils in it.
I really love the silver paint and the
ribbon drawer pulls, though.

The table hasnt got enough capacity to

hold everything I want. The biggest issue
for me is the tangle of wires, though. I
have an extension cord that runs across
the room and then I plug my laptop, iPad
and iPhone into charge. I end up putting
these devices on the floor while theyre
charging as theres nowhere in the

I cant reach my table from

bed. My bed goes against the
wall, and I couldnt find a
table that was small enough.

I need a table that helps me be more

organised! I have wires everywhere,
little trinkets, a clock, tissues,
jewellery, lettersits ridiculous.

The drawers in my bedside table are

far too low down to reach from bed, so
I dont use them. The shelf in the
middle is really useful for storing
books, but is also a little low down to
reach comfortably. I only really need
my lamp, an alarm clock, a telephone
and a water glass. I could keep books
under my bed if need be.

I dont like my bedside table. I only

have a small space available and this
was the only table I could find that fit.
The surface area is too small to really
put anything on it. This means I leave
all my wires etc. on the floor behind
the table. The door is impractical as it
blocks off the area behind where I
leave devices charging.

As you can see, there is not enough

room in my bedside table. I have to
keep all my books on the floor
(although I dont really need these!). I
like to keep some toiletries, tissues, a
mug, my lamp, some precious photos
and jewellery by my bedside. We live in
an old house with few plugs, so I have
to run an extension lead under the
bed which I then attach other plugs to



I conducted another questionnaire on 32 more people to gain answers to some of my more specific questions that I need to understand before designing my product.

Which table is most appealing to you?

Table 1 is my favourite as I like traditional antique

furniture. It matches the style of my bedroom too.
I like the curvaceous shape and the colour of the wood
of table 4. It makes me want to touch it!
Urgh! Table 3 is too bright. I would not want garish
colours in my bedroom.
Table 6 looks like it belongs in a kitchen. I prefer
calmer colours and materials in my bedroom.
I dont like modern furniture. Its too harsh. I would only
consider buying Tables 1 or 5. I probably wouldnt even
buy those.

I dont really like it [no. 6]. The material looks hard and
plastic I prefer natural materials, like wood.

Customers thoughts on tables

I like it [no. 4] because the wood has a soft,
warm feel I think that suits a bedroom.

I love the simplicity of it [no. 2]. I dont want

clutter in my room and this table caters for my
needs whilst being very plain. Its still stylish,

I wouldnt buy the brighter coloured furniture for my

bedroom. I think table 2 is too angular. I like the colour
and material of 4, but not the shape. Table 1 and 5 are
too fancy for me.
For me, table 5 is a classic, inoffensive piece of
furniture. Tables 2, 4 and 6 are a bit more interesting,
though. I would be more inclined to buy them as they are
a bit different special even.
Table 3 doesnt appeal to me at all. Its far too lively for
where I sleep. It would be fun in another room Im sure.


How many electronic devices do you use

from bed?

Are you concerned by a product's impact

on the environment?

What electronic devices do you use from bed?


Mobile phone




Yes - but it's not a priority


2 or 3


Yes - I will not buy a harmful product

Would you like a table with discrete

lighting to indicate what particular
functions are in the dark?


Do you use your bedside table for long

term storage or to keep items readily
accessible (i.e. on the top)?

Which items do you like to be readily accessible and stored long


Readily accessible

Long term storage






Electronic Devices


No - it would keep me awake

Toiletries (e.g. deoderant, perfume)

Personal Items (e.g. watch, glasses)

Yes, but would want to be able to turn this feature off

How much would you be willing to pay

for a bedside table?

Less than 50

50 - 100

100 - 200


Long term storage

Keep items readily accessible

Would you be willing to pay more for

table that includes electronic features
(e.g. in-built charger sockets)





Conclusion: Whilst people will always like different design styles, the general
consensus is that garish colours and harsh materials are not wanted in a
bedroom. Most people use 2 or 3 electronic devices in bed, with the most
popular being the mobile phone, tablet and laptop. Therefore, the product must
have room to store these items. The majority of people said that they didnt
prioritise the products impact on the environment when choosing furniture.
People were enthusiastic about the idea of having lighting so the different parts
of the table could be seen in the dark, but they wanted to be able to have the
option of switching it off. Interestingly, most people said they used their bedside
table to keep items readily accessible. But, when asked how they wanted the
most popular bedside items stored, there was a split between long term storage
and easy accessibility. People wanted to store books and toiletries, but have
easy access to personal items, such as watches and glasses, and their
electronic devices. It is important I bear this in mind when designing storage
spaces in the table. Finally, most people were prepared to pay between 50 and
100 for a bedside table, but were willing to pay more if it included electronic
features, such as sockets.



From my research I have learnt that my product needs to maximise the space beside or behind a bed. Many
people have a limited area, but still want to store lots of items. I also found that many people have large
knots of wires by their beds. Old houses, especially, dont have conveniently located plug sockets, which
means that you have to run an extension cord over to the bed if you want to use your devices while theyre
charging. This creates mess but can also be hazardous it is easy to trip over them. People often said their
drawers were too low down and they couldnt be reached from bed. This is inconvenient and some said they
dont even use them as a result. A common issue was that when someone reaches across the table, they
would knock other items off it, meaning they had to get out of bed and pick them up. The preferred aesthetic
was clean, simple and natural as clients felt this was most suitable for a bedroom environment. Very few
opted for bright colours, with many feeling they were too lively for a sleepy atmosphere. Clients were
concerned about sharp edges that could be knocked into at night when they cant easily be seen. Many
agreed that soft lighting would be effective for indicating different components of the table so they can be
accessed in limited/no light, although some did suggest that they would want to have the option to turn off
this feature. Most people said they used 2 to 3 electronic devices in bed; the most popular were the mobile
phone, tablet and laptop. Some clients said they were concerned about the environmental impact of their
product, but very few said this was something they prioritised. Interestingly, most people said they used their
bedside table to keep things they would need to find easily i.e. their phone, watch, glasses rather than
for storage. Therefore, I may not need to incorporate much space to store bulky items, but it is important
there is a large surface area to keep important things readily accessible.


The product should have a calm, neutral aesthetic which appeals to a wide
range of customers and is appropriate for a bedroom environment.


The product is for customers who want to organise their bedside

It should be designed for use in both double or single bedrooms and for a
variety of bed heights
The 5th 95th percentile of customer sizes should be considered. This means
it can be used by the majority of the target market.



In conclusion, my product should:

1. Aid the use of electronic devices

Organise wires
Enable their use from bed whilst they are charging
Provide a safe place to store devices whilst charging
Ensure they can be found and picked up easily

2. Be easily accessible
The product needs to be adjustable or of a suitable height for a variety of beds and clients
Items should not fall off/out easily
Electronic components need to be close enough to bed; clients may want to use charging
devices whilst lying down
Other features (e.g. light, storage) must be easy to use from a variety of positions (i.e.
standing, lying down, sitting in bed)
The product should have a large surface area so important items (i.e. a mobile phone) can be
picked up quickly
Provide light so the table and the items it stores can be used in the dark



Materials and

3. Have an attractive aesthetic

The table should have a calm, natural aesthetic, which clients believed most suited to a
bedroom environment
Must fit in a variety of homes with different interior styles; must appeal to customers across
the target market

4. Organise bedside items

Provide a safe place for small items that would be easily lost
Keep items separate (i.e. water away from electronics, small and delicate things away from
large, bulky ones)
Make the clients things easy to find quickly

Materials used in manufacture should be recyclable so that the waste can be

Environmental concerns do not need to be at the forefront of the design as
my target market research showed this is not a significant concern for many
The product should be designed with a long lifespan to outweigh some of the
environmental impacts of the materials used
All electrical components must comply with British and EU safety standards.
There should be no exposed or misconnected wires so the consumer is not at
risk when they use the product. There must be a clear on/off switch so the
customer can break the circuit easily if need be
Components in the product must be joined together well if the product were
to fall apart it could cause injury
The product is likely to be used in limited/no light. Sharp corners should be
limited and carefully placed to minimise injury
The table should be at least 434 x 911 x 649 mm (W x H x D) so it can be
used by the 5th 95th percentile
Any opening should be at least 238 x 68 mm (W X H)
The table must be small enough to manufacture in the workshop
The product should store items the customer likes to have by their bedside
The product should charge electronic devices and store them whilst charging
It should have an attractive aesthetic that appeals to a wide range of
The product needs to be easily accessible from bed; items should not fall off
easily; it should be reachable from a variety of bed height; charging elements
should be usable from bed position; it should provide open storage that
enables the user to access important items quickly
The product must allow mass manufacture
Materials used in electrical components must be electrical insulators and
comply with all British and EU standards
The materials used should not be corroded when exposed to water - liquids
are likely to be placed on/in the product
Materials must be stable
The table has to be strong enough to hold all the items the client needs (e.g.
piles of books, laptop)
I must be able to manufacture the product in the school workshop
The plan of manufacture should make use of available machines and
equipment to avoid additional costs


One of the main features of my product is an integrated charging system for the clients electronic devices. My target market research shows that the most popular devices to keep by the bedside are phones (iPhones and other
smartphones), tablets (iPad, Kindle Fire, Samsung Galaxy) and laptops (of varying sizes, most commonly 13-15). There are many different ways to store these whilst charging and I wanted to analyse some existing products to see
what charging systems work and how they could be improved.

1. This system has wiring built into the light wooden box. The wire goes through the
back of the box into the wall. The phone can be plugged into the charger head at the
end of the plank, as pictured. The gap is just large enough to hold the phone in
position. It is only suitable for the Apple iPhone 5, and not adaptable to other models.
However, I do like the way the wires are concealed it makes the product feel clean
and organised.

3. This is a multi-device charging station. The customer uses their own wires and
places them in the bottom box (pictured). They can pull the plugs through the
gaps to charge their devices. This means they can charge any product. The
shape allows for multiple devices of different sizes to be charged at once. As the
devices are kept vertically, more of them can be contained in a small area. The
layered storage system means that all the devices can be seen from the front,
which makes it easy to grab the one you are looking for.

2. This product is designed to keep the wire in place, which prevents it from getting tangled. The space for
the phone is perfectly fitted so it will stay in place when the product is held upright. There is also a hole at
the back so the customer can use the camera whilst the phone is charging. It is specifically designed for
one product, the Apple iPhone 6+, so the customer would require different products to charge different

4. IKEAs induction charging system requires a special case for your phone. When you place
your phone on the cross, an electric current is induced and the phone charges. This is very easy
for the user; they dont have to fiddle around with wires. However, you have to buy both the
charging base and case these are expensive, especially when compared with the price of a
normal plug/USB charger. Furthermore, the induction cases are only available for phones, and
only some models are catered for.

Conclusion: the most accessible charging system for consumers is one that enables the use of their own charging cables. This means they can charge any of their electronic devices without purchasing any additional equipment.
Although the IKEA system that doesnt require plugs is very convenient, the extra cost and the fact that it is restricted to a few devices makes it unsuitable for my bedside table. It is most important my charging system separates and
organises the wires (like no. 2 and 3) and keeps the products easily accessible whilst theyre charging (such as in no. 3). Furthermore, the user must be able to charge any of their devices the product must cater for a variety of cable
and device sizes. Simple USB sockets for the cables and a stand for at least the 3 most popular devices would be a good solution. There could be a cavity to hide the cables and division to keep them separate so they dont tangle.
Sources: 1. 2. 3. 4.


Dieter Rams

Dieter Rams Low Table Program 010 has sleek lines and gentle curves that make the simple design seem
very sophisticated. The table is a modular system it can be telescoped out to provide a higher and lower
surface. The tables can be completely separated or used together; the gap between them is effective storage
for magazines etc. as shown above. I like the idea of having a higher and lower shelf in my design and features
that serve multiple purposes. The matte finish on the aluminium gives the table a bright sheen but not a harsh
shine. This makes the metal appealing to have in a domestic environment. The matte surface also draws the
user in, making them want to touch the table. The space between and under the tables ensure it is delicate
and does not obtrude on the room. I would like my design to have this elegance, so leaving open space could
be a way to achieve this aesthetic.

The Braun SK5 Record Player, also designed by Dieter Rams, is made from both metal and wood. I love the
contrast of these two materials. The wood is warm and natural and the metal, sharp and cold by comparison.
Dieter Rams made the lid transparent so the workings of the record player could be seen when it wasnt being
used. I like the idea of being able to see through parts of my design. In a similar way to the space under the table
nest (left), transparent elements help to make the table feel more a part of the room. Furthermore, a transparent
shelf can also serve function as well as add to the aesthetic. It will be helpful for the user to be able to see items
stored on the shelf through the table. If I were to remove the metal casing of the record player, a simple table
shape appears that I could use for my design (above). To emulate the minimalist style of Dieter Rams, I could have
wooden legs and glass (or acrylic) shelves between them. I think this could be a very elegant design.
Philippe Starck

George Nelson

I like the dark wood George Nelson used for his coffee table. I would
like to use a dark hardwood, such as mahogany, to replicate this midcentury modern style. I also like Nelsons use of concealed elements.
The draws are hidden in the sides of the table as well as a table
extension (in white). I could conceal the charging system in my table
so it is not obvious at first glance.

Nelsons platform bench is true to his idea of honest design. The

clean, rectilinear lines and polished chrome legs would look very
industrial, but the wooden top softens the appearance. The bench
is designed to have multiple uses too: a bench, low table or the
foundation for his Basic Cabinet Series. I could design a table that
can be used in several ways, perhaps from different sides. This
would make the product available to a wider range of customers as
they could adapt it to fit their bedrooms.

1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6.

Philippe Starcks Ghost

Buster Table is an
innovative take on a
traditional shape. The
polycarbonate looks
fresh and modern but
also serves the practical
purpose of enabling the
user to find their items
easily. The simple shape
actually has several
storage areas: the top
shelf, the middle cube
and under the table. I
would like my table to
have a simple shape
whilst still providing good
storage space for the
user. Simple shapes suit
the clean, modern
aesthetic I would like to achieve in my design. I believe a simple design will appeal to the
widest range of customers as it is more likely to suit their homes. I also like the idea of
reimagining a traditional table with new materials. Perhaps I could design a table that
uses old materials in new, innovative ways, or is manufactured in a creative way.

This is my first attempt at a design solution, based on my specification.

Fold-away reading
light so the user can
have more focused
light to read in bed

Frosted acrylic box with lighting inside lighting effect

will be calm and yellowy. Wiring concealed within for
USB charging sockets, located on the inside wall of the
top shelf
All the parts could be cut
on a CNC laser for
precision, then the front
and back curved pieces
could be steam bent

USB Sockets

Table with reading lamp extended

The body of the table

would be made from
plywood painted white
with a high gloss finish

Light folded away

Different size shelves for variety of

items that the user might want to store

Although this design fulfils the function points on the specification, there is a lot of
wasted space and therefore wasted material. Despite being aesthetically pleasing, the
light box at the end will be largely empty and makes the table unnecessarily bulky.
Furthermore, the shape of the table would be difficult to manufacture. The back would
have to be steam bent and then the curved edges of the shelves cut to match the curve,
which is likely to be a little irregular. For these reasons, this design is not suitable for
further development and manufacture.

Areas routed on table

surface for the user to
place smaller items.
Sides prevent them
from falling off or
getting lost

Table top


Although my first design fulfilled the function points on my specification, it was very bulky with a lot of wasted space and material. I wanted to design something that used space more efficiently so I listed the most
popular bedside table items in order of importance the more important the item, the easier it should be to reach from bed. I then developed a design based on this principle.

Cup holder cut into front face.

Depth holds it in place and
prevents it from spilling
Ledge on front face to stand
devices whilst charging

Shelf for smaller items (e.g. book,

alarm clock, phone) with an open
side so its easily accessible from

A curved front
face would be
better, allowing
more items to
be stored on
the shelves

Larger shelf to store books,

magazines etc. which take up
more space and tend to be
stored more permanently

Metal would probably be the best material to achieve this crisp shape. Folds could be made in a long piece of sheet metal to get the
overall shape and strong shelves could be welded on the inside. However, it would be difficult to work with a piece of metal this size in
the school workshop. The main problem with the design is that it would be difficult to conceal the wiring within the sides of the table as
they would be made with one sheet of metal. The wiring would have to be hidden on the inside of the table, but this would look
unattractive and could be loosened when taking things on and off the shelves. The shelves are open at the sides so it could be difficult
for the user to access items placed in the middle of the shelves. The opaque front face is not very aesthetically pleasing its just a cold,
hard block of colour. The harsh appearance also doesnt suit the calm bedroom environment.
However, I like the concept of having a top shelf for smaller items that the user wants to access readily and a separate bottom shelf to
store bulkier items more permanently. I also like the idea of having a glass/mug holder; if I am to incorporate electrical elements into the
table, it is important that they do not come into contact with liquid. A glass/mug holder will prevent a cup accidentally being knocked over
in the dark and keep the user safe from electrical hazards. These are ideas I could incorporate into a new design.


I pinned card and foam board together to make models of my first two table designs. I then imposed them onto images of a bed side to see how they might look if I were to make them.

As can be seen, this curved table would stick out into the room and take up too much space. The design
of the table means that much of this is wasted space anyway. The far edge of the table would be hard too
reach from bed only the narrow end would be easily accessible. Furthermore, it does not look
aesthetically appealing with plain, opaque edges. It looks bulky and obtrusive in the space.

Design 1

Design 2

This second design has more open space, which makes it appear less obtrusive when viewed from the
side. However, from the front it is still a solid wall of material which is not very interesting to look at. This
table would be easier to access from bed with the height top shelf and the side opening. There is no
wasted space in the table the whole area can be used for storage. Although the curved edge at the top
limits the height of items that can be stored on the top shelf, I think the items the user is likely to store
there will be smaller (i.e. kindle, glasses, water glass) so this should not be a problem. The main issue
with this table is that it will be difficult to integrate wiring and lighting given the thinness of the structure.


I went back to drawing, trying to design a product that had room to hide wires, was more aesthetically appealing and could be manufactured in the school workshop.

Storage space for small

valuable items with high sides
to prevent things falling off

Clear sheets of PMMA to replicate glass,

cut on CNC laser and slotted into wood
USB charging sockets
located on the side so they
can be easily accessible
from bed




Storage shelf for charging

electronic items



LED strips will be behind the end

of the shelves in the groove. The
light will shine through the edge
of the shelf so it has a glow

Bottom shelf for larger items, such as

books and magazines
Stained plywood frame, cut on CNC
laser. Two halves joined together with
channel routed through the middle for
wires to run through

Lighting and Charging


The shape is likely to be too large to cut on a laser and there would also
be a considerable amount of waste from the large piece removed from
the centre. Therefore, it would be better to cut 3 individual pieces then
join together with a knock down fittings. It may be difficult to achieve a
smooth, streamline finish I will need to prototype these.

I would need to find a way to run the wires to both sides of the design so
the light strips can be installed on either side of the table.

It is imperative the shelves are very strong so they can withstand the
weight of items placed on them. With this design, only a small surface
area of each shelf is attached to the wooden frame. To make the
shelves more stable, the wooden frame may need to be made deeper so
a larger area of the shelf can be joined to the wood. Making the wooden
frame deeper will also provide a wider base on the floor, which should
make the table more stable.

I will also need to find a way to join the wood to the PMMA.

A USB socket will be incorporated into the side of the product, as

indicated. The depth of this will determine the thickness of the wooden



I decided to make a scaled down prototype of the table design to test the structure and proportions of the table.

I cut drew the shapes for the wooden frame and acrylic
shelves of the size on AutoCAD before cutting them on the

Then, I glued the plywood together with PVA before clamping

the pieces to dry overnight.

I assembled the scaled down table frame. It collapsed with a

very small amount of pressure.

SETTINGS (Plywood): Power 80%, Speed 5.5%, PPI 1000, ZAxis 4.10mm
SETTINGS (Acrylic): Power 70%, Speed 7%, PPI 1000, Z-Axis

The reinforcements helped to stabilise the table as it created a more rigid frame.
However, I dont think plywood would be strong enough on its own. The moist glue
warped the wood slightly in the middle, making it difficult to hold the shelves in place.
I need to research ways to strengthen the frame so that the back can support the top
shelves without anything holding it from below.
Furthermore, this prototype showed that I need to adjust the measurements of the
table. The photo (right) shows that the height is out of proportion with the width and
depth of the table it doesnt reflect the design I sketched. I either need to increase
the width or decrease the height to improve the proportions, whilst still keeping the
anthropometric data in mind.
Finally, whilst constructing the prototype, I realised that my plan to integrate the wiring
wouldnt work. Whilst it would be easy to route a channel for the wire along the
straight parts, it would be difficult to take it round the tight corners. I need to develop
a way to carry the wire through the table that avoids tight bends which could tear the
wire and cause a serious electrical hazard.

The table needs reinforcement across the back and front (as sketched) both to stop it falling over and to
carry wires over to the other side. Adding two back edges in plywood would conceal a wire going across to
the other leg, and an aluminium rod at the front would make the table more stable whilst doubling as a
book hanger. I cut these pieces of the size in plywood and glued them to the design.








Materials and

The aesthetic of the product is simple and inoffensive but still has a strong
sense of design. The large pieces of clear acrylic mean the table is not
overbearing as its surroundings can be seen through the table.
The product takes anthropometric data from the 5th-95th percentile into
account so can be accessed by a wide variety of users
Two tables can be bought so the product can be used from either side of a
double bed
The table is not adjustable so may not be suitable for all bed heights or be
easy to use for everyone whilst standing
The frame could be split into several rectangles, which can be cut back to
back so as to avoid too much wastage
The table can be joined together permanently (i.e. knock-down fittings,
adhesives, nails) so that it lasts longer
The floating frame may need to be strengthened if it is to last for a long time
the current design may be weak at the back
The corners can be rounded off so they are not so sharp they could cause
The two sides of the table arent joined together very securely; they are just
linked by the shelves this could be dangerous as the table could fall apart,
dropping everything in it
This design doesnt include a proper electrical plan this will need to be
drawn up to evaluate how safe the electronic components are
The table is bigger than the minimum sizes gained from the anthropometric
The legs are too big to manufacture in one piece (i.e. too big for the laser
cutters palette)
The product has two levels of storage: the top for small items that need to be
kept safe or readily accessible, and a lower shelf for larger, bulkier items
The table has a USB charging port on the outside of the right leg. Its located
so the user can easily plug in a cable from bed
The narrow shelf at the front can be used to place electronic devices whilst
The design is attractive whilst simple, so it should appeal to a variety of
customers with different tastes
The tray at the back of the table has high sides to prevent small items from
falling onto the floor
The table is very open; it is easy to reach items from a variety of angles and
positions so the user can get them quickly. The transparent shelves are
designed to help the user locate items with quickly
The table has a fixed height this may be too high for some beds and too low
for others
The table is suitable for manufacture in the school workshop, but also has
potential to be developed for mass or batch manufacture
The materials (PMMA and Wood) can be cleaned with a damp cloth
The strength of the table will come from the structure; the materials have the
potential to be strong enough to support the items placed on the shelves

Client feedback: I prefer the third table I think the wood is more suitable for a bedroom. Metal would be
very harsh. I especially like the use of clear acrylic. It means I would be able to see through the table and
locate an item quickly. I keep things on my bedside table because they are important and I need to access
them easily, so this feature is very useful. The most important features for me are the lighting and USB
charging system these really set the table apart from others on the market. I really like the location of
the charging feature as I would be able to use it whilst sitting in bed, but I am worried I would knock a
glass of water/mug of tea onto it, which could be dangerous? Also, would it be okay to place a hot mug
onto acrylic? Maybe you could add a cork coaster so the table top doesnt get damaged? I really like the
idea of having subtle lighting incorporated into the table. This will help to create a calm, warm atmosphere
in my room as well as reducing the number of wires around the table.

The table reflects most features of the specification. However, there are a few things that could be
improved in the design. As it is very difficult to make the table adjustable and include the wiring for the
electronic features at the same time, I need to test the height of the table and decide whether its more
important to access it easily from bed or standing. This will determine the size of the table if it is mainly
going to be used from bed it will be the average bed height, rather than the wrist height of the 95th
percentile. I can ask my client about this decision and conduct some more target market research, as well
as carry out some testing with prototypes and different beds.
The two sides of the table may need to have another link between them, other than just the shelves. This
will strengthen the structure of the table and make it less likely to fall apart, thus making it safer. I also
need a detailed plan for how I intend to incorporate the electronic elements of the table, showing the
layout of the circuit, including the lights and USB charging port. Furthermore, I need to plan how to join
the frame as it is too large to cut in one piece.
I will continue to develop this design. My client likes the overall idea and I think, with some improvements,
the design will fulfil the specification and my clients brief.



I made a to-scale prototype of the bedside table using foam board sandwiched between corroflute to give an idea of the thickness of the wood, as well as the overall size of the table.

The height of these bars of the frame is

100mm. I think this is slightly too chunky and
would like to reduce it to 80-90mm, depending
on stock sizes of wood and the thickness of the
shelves which will be slotted into these parts.

The floating back to the

table is still very unstable as
it has no support underneath.
Whilst wood would be more
rigid than foam and
corroflute, once the weight of
the shelves and their
contents are added, the back
will be under a lot of strain
and could break.
This aluminium rod will
actually be screwed into
the frame on both sides,
rather than sit across the
front. It will be easier to
screw it in rather than
bond it to the wood.

I joined the pieces together with double-sided and masking tape. The corroflute taped across the front represents the aluminium rod
that will be used to brace the front of the table together.
I reduced the measurements so the proportions of the table look more similar to the original design. I realised that the table didnt need
to be high enough for the 95th percentile to use when standing (1000mm) because this makes it incredibly difficult for any user to
access it from bed; it is too high up. I found an average bed + mattress height using a variety of sources beds from John Lewis, IKEA
and my target market interviewees which was 557.5mm. Therefore, I reduced the height of the table to 550mm. I spoke to my client
about the change in height. He said that he preferred this lower height as it was more suitable for the level of his bed.
Next, I need to find a way to strengthen the frame so the back doesnt collapse under a load. It may be possible to do this through the
joints in the frame as they will be able to absorb some of the force.



I wont be able to cut one continuous table leg on the laser cutter due to the size of the palette. I will need join several pieces together to construct each side of the table. Additionally, I need to find a way of
strengthening the frame as the back of the table has no supports and could fall apart when a load is applied. Natural timbers will always continue to move, expanding and contracting across the grain with changes in
temperature and humidity. I need ensure the joints in the table are designed so that the loading on the table will push the joints together, rather than pull them apart, to make them effective.

Corner Plate

I could use a corner plate to

fix to top and bottom back
corners. The metal plate
would strengthen the
structure of the table as it
would bear some of the
force placed on the wood.
However, this would leave a
visible bracket, nut and
bolts, which would be seen
through the transparent
shelf and ruin the
streamline appearance of
the product.

Mortise and Tenon Corner

This method of joining
requires a corner pillar
that meets with two
sides, so is not suitable
for my design.

The most discrete, streamline join

seems to be a mitre joint. This involves
gluing two pieces on a 45 diagonal.
Whilst it has a large gluing area, it is
not very strong as the end grain tends
to absorb the adhesive used. The
frame of the table would need further
reinforcement so that the back didnt
collapse under any weight applied.

Corner Bridle
Both the Corner Bridle and the
Dowell Joint would make it difficult
to run cables through the wood as
the channel for wires would have to
be interrupted or even blocked
entirely. Furthermore, the end of
the Corner Bridle would be visible
at the edge of the frame, which is
not very attractive.

Dowel Joint


Dovetail joints are the strongest box corner joints because of their large
gluing area and the assembly; Dovetails can only be assembled in one
direction so can only be pulled apart this way. This joint would be the
most the suitable for my design. It is the strongest and although it will
be visible on the outside edges, it is the most attractive shape.
Through Dovetail

There are several reasons a simple wooden frame with knock down fittings would not be suitable for my design.
The cantilever-like shape of the product means the top rear corners will have to withstand a lot of force to hold
the shelf and anything placed on it. Knock down fittings will not be able to take enough force. They also create
very visible seams, which do not blend into the aesthetic of my design. For this reason, nails and temporary
fixtures (like wood screws) can also be ruled out as a potential joining method. Adhesives would be a discrete
way of joining the wooden frame, however, the effectiveness of them depends on the direction of the woods
grain. At the end grain, the liquid adhesive just sinks down into the wood so doesnt provide a very firm joint.
The corners join the end of two pieces of wood, so adhesives would not create a strong enough bond. Therefore,
the best solution would be to create and internal frame, most likely from a metal, that will provide enough
strength, then face the frame in natural timbers with mitre joints (as drawn above). These joints arent
particularly strong, but will not be required to take any force if there is a metal frame beneath them.


Using a metal frame allows me to strengthen the table without compromising the effortless aesthetic of the wooden frame.
A channel is made with a CNC router on the
inside of the timber to accommodate the
electrical wires for the USB port and lighting.
These wires are attached to the metal frame.


Natural timbers cut with mitre

joints are used to clad the
frame. These overlap by 5mm
on either side of the frame to
create a subtle overhang. This
helps to give the appearance of
a streamline continuous frame,
but it is in fact made of many

The corners of the aluminium

frame are MIG welded together.


How will I adhere the wood to the metal frame?


I will use 3M Double-Sided Bonding Tape (width 50mm)


Why is Aluminium a suitable material?

Aluminium has a low density but high strength. This means the
frame will strengthen the table but wont make it too heavy for
the user to lift up and move it around. Aluminium is relatively
soft and easy to work. The frame will need to assembled from
several separate parts which all need to be cut out.
How does the frame give strength to the table?
As the frame will be made out of aluminium, the mitred joints can be made much
stronger. The metal can be molecularly joined together by MIG welding, unlike
wood, which can only ever be slotted together. This molecular bond formed when
two pieces of aluminium are welded together is much stronger and will be able
to sustain the weight of this length of cantilever. The mitre joint also provides a
large surface area so the load is shifted across the whole mitred edge. Pure
aluminium welded to pure aluminium should not break.

1. 2.


The metal frame will be visible in

my design if I dont face the edges
in thin pieces of timber. I could
either keep the metal flush with
the wood (as in image 1) or create
a gap between the materials
(picture 2). I prefer the separation
between the materials in 2 and
think it would make a nice design
feature for my table. The frame
has to be thicker than originally
designed, and a thin metal line
through the wood will make the
frame appear slimmer to the eye.
Therefore, the aluminium frame
must be narrower than the timbers
to create this overhang.


I made a prototype of the metal frame to better understand the way the wooden cladding would fit together and how the metal frame would look sandwiched between the wood.

I drew a scaled down version of the frame on some scraps of aluminium. I then used a guillotine to cut out the frame, however I could use this to cut out the inside because of the tight angles. So, I used a the notcher to cut out the
middle of the frame. To join the two sides of the frame I cut out the back strips with the guillotine and then clamped them in a vice to bend them at a 90.

I used double-sided tape to join the back pieces to the sides. I layered up the tape because the surface was a bit uneven. Once the metal frame was joined together, I started preparing the wood for the cladding. I stained planks of
plywood, a little wider than the metal, a mahogany colour to look like the design. Using a protractor, I marked 45 angles for the mitred joints. I cut the wood down to size on the band saw. I then used a glue gun to adhere the plywood
to the metal frame.

The scrap aluminium wasnt completely flat, so the wood didnt stay flush with the metal. Also, to join the frame together, I had to overlap the metal back piece round the corner. This meant
it was difficult to join the plywood to the frame at the corners (2nd photograph above). However, the prototype did give me an impression of what the finished product would look like. I liked
the ratio of wood to metal and think that it makes a subtle but nice design detail. The mitred corner (4th photo above) looks very neat the grain of the wood appears to flow round the
corner which gives a more streamlined finish to the wood cladding.

I marked 5mm slots on some more plywood and cut them out on the band saw. I used a glue gun to adhere the pieces onto the inside of the frame for the shelves. I cut some square acrylic shelves from scrap acrylic on the band saw.
However, the irregularities in the frame made it difficult to slot in the shelves. The frame wasnt completely square so the shelf wouldnt go all the way in (4th photo). I cut 5mm off the edge of the shelves and then they slotted in. The
final prototype was not completely cladded on the inside, however it still gave me an overall impression of the proportions in the design and some of the difficulties I would face in assembly.

What did I learn from this model?

This is a close-up of the shelf step on the top.

The half shelf on top does not fit in with the
fluidity of the design. Perhaps there is another
way I could incorporate a tray that will prevent
small things from getting lost whilst still looking
streamline with the rest of the design.

If I slot the shelves in from the front, the slots

can be seen from the front and it looks
unfinished. It would be better to insert the
shelves from the back and finish the slots a few
millimetres from the front edge. However,
because of the metal frame this will not be
possible. Therefore, I may need to cover up the
front edges with a thin piece of wood to hide
the edges of the shelf.

The back edges cannot be mitred and will have

to be butt jointed. The wood has to be cut very
accurately and joined together well to prevent it
from peeling away, as above. It was hard to join
the wood to the metal frame on this model as
the metal frame was overlapped at the corners.
When manufacturing my final piece, I need to
make sure the metal surface is completely flat
so the wood joins properly and smoothly.

The top shelf is very narrow. Even though, this

is a scaled down model, it shows that I may
need to increase the height of the shelf, or even
take it out of the design altogether. As thin
strips of wood need to be cut to create the
grooves, the question of how thin I can cut the
wood also arises. Furthermore, the height of
these grooves is also affected the LED lights I
use and the thickness of the material used for
the shelf.

What I need to do next:

I need to decide how many shelves I want on the top level and the gap between them if I get rid of the second shelf, I need to make sure the design still stops items from falling off the table
I should work out how I will put the shelves in the design when will they be inserted; how will they be inserted; how will I protect the material while I finish manufacturing?
I must measure the height of the LEDs and ensure the material I choose for the shelves matches this height. This will dictate the size of the grooves in the wooden frame.
I need to investigate how I will incorporate the electronic features (lighting and charging equipment) into the table and the safety standards they must fulfil
I need to choose the materials I will use in my design and decide how I will finish them

After the prototyping, I have made some adjustments to my design:

Welded aluminium frame running

through centre of wood

One shelf on both top and bottom



Unfortunately, mahogany was
very expensive to order.
Instead I chose Meranti.
Although it is much paler than
the dark hardwood I had
planned to use, once
cellulosed and waxed, it
appears a richer colour.



I have decided to only have one shelf for several reasons. The width of the
timber cladding means the gap between the shelves would have been too
narrow for many users to access easily. Secondly, to run lights down the edges
of two levels of shelving so close together and with a break in the middle would
be too difficult with the tools and materials available in the school workshop. It
is already complex enough to integrate the LED strips. I also realised that I
needed to reduce the weight of the frame so it would be easy for the user to
move around. However, I have designed the shelf so that it sits lower than the
edge of the frame. This means there is still an edge that will stop small items
from falling off.


Client opinion on the shelves: Whilst it could have been a useful feature to
have a small tray at the back of the table, I understand that it would have been
very complicated to include. Trying to be overambitious in this way could have
compromised the quality of the finished product. I also think that the step down
in the top shelves to create a tray (as in the initial design) would actually break
the fluid appearance of the table, as illustrated by the metal frame prototype
you showed me. It seems wasteful to incorporate a shelf at the front that would
be too narrow for many users to access. Overall, I approve of the reduction in
the number of shelves and actually think this simplified design is more elegant
and attractive than the first.

The Meranti before and

after finishing

Aluminium frame sandwiched

between the wood


I want to incorporate soft lighting and a charging component into my design. The lighting will be provided by LED strips along the shelves and the charging component will be in the form of USB ports as my research showed these were
the most versatile option. Both of these features will need switches so they can be turned on/off separately (i.e. the user may want to charge their phone during the night when they will not want lights on).
USB Charging Ports

There are several positions I could consider for the USB

ports. Ergonomically, they need to be easy to reach when
lying or sitting in bed. Port 1 would be easy to reach when
lying down (as demonstrated by the red line) because the
diagonal angle is easy to reach, but Port 2 would be easier
to reach whilst sitting up. Port 3 is inconvenient when the
user is sitting up in bed, and could be hidden if the
mattress is pushed against the bed.

This test suggests that I want to

locate the USB sockets on the
opposite side of the table. Although
the user would have to reach through
the table, they would find it easier to
plug their charger in if it wasnt right
next to the bed.

The USB unit available is very bulky.

If I want it to be streamline with the
wood, I will have to cut away part of
both the metal frame and the
wooden cladding. This means there
are only a few places I can put it. The
area cant be a crucial part of the
frames structure (e.g. across a joint)
so that the frame is not weakened by
cutting away any metal. The area
also must not intersect with any
lighting or wiring so there is room for
the unit to sit.
The curved shape means that it will
be difficult to create a recess that
will fit the unit exactly. I may have to
pad it out with EVC foam.

I did a quick test to see how easy it

would be to plug something in close
to you, and then slightly further away.
It is easier to plug things in when you
have room to extend your arm. The
first photo illustrates the awkward
angles required to use a socket right
next to a bed. It was difficult to make
the small movements required to put
a USB into the small socket.

For example, the USB unit could not go across any

edge where the shelves sit (like above) as it would
obstruct some of the lighting strip. It would also
be difficult to engineer the shelf and the wooden
cladding around the bulky unit.

The back of the table leg is the most

suitable position. I do not want the
USB sockets to be visible from the
front of the table as this would
compromise the aesthetic. Here I have
decided to prioritise the aesthetic over
function as I believe the sleek lines of
the front of the table are a key element
of the design. If they were interrupted
with the USB socket, the table would
not look as good. However, this
location is still functional, as
demonstrated by my testing,
photographed above. When sitting up
in bed, its actually very easy to lean
forward and access this socket on the
opposite side of the table.


USBs can transfer both data and current. To charge devices, only current is required. I disassembled an old USB to see how the wiring works internally. I sawed open the casing with a junior hacksaw
and prized apart the plastic casing. The two prongs in the centre were for date transfer, and the prongs either side were for the positive and negative current (shown by the black and red wires).
Therefore, to join the USB charging ports to the power source for the lighting, I need to connect up the positive and negative wires from the lighting circuit to the ones coming from the USB.

How will I hide the wiring in the frame?

This diagram shows how I will assemble the frame around the lights. The LED strips will be stuck directly onto
the metal. The wood will go either side creating a ledge for the shelf. The gap between the wood has to be
wider than the shelf to accommodate the width of the connector that joins the LED strips to the wires carrying
power through the table. To stop the shelf from moving around, I will line the bottom of the ledge with EVC
foam. The friction will prevent the shelf from moving as well as lifting it up a few millimetres to close up the
gap. I am sticking the lights to the frame, rather than routing a channel in the wood to try and maximise the
surface area of the frame that the shelf comes into contact with to make it more stable.


I am going to use these strips of LED lights (4mm deep, 10mm wide) They are 12V and 2A (how does
this affect power source required/compare to the USB). The strips have sticky backs so are not
messy to adhere onto the frame. The lights on their own are very bright, therefore it is important they
are shone through the shelves to create the ambient light appropriate for the bedroom environment.
The lights are 7300 LUX on their own. These pictures show the effects of shining the lights through
the edge of clear acrylic. I like the way the edge glows and the light emitted isnt too bright. The
lighting strips will be placed behind the 3 edges of the top and bottom shelves in the table.

Acrylic shelf

LED light strip

and end

Metal frame

The side section of the shelf with gap for

the LEDs and wires.

The height of the shelf slot needs to be as

wide as this connector for the LEDs

I decided to cut away part of the mitre

joint to conceal the end of the shelf and

I routed the channel for the wires with a

CNC router, having drawn up it up on 2D

In the final product, I will put the USB unit

the other way round so the wire goes
down the table leg rather than upwards.
This will mean there are fewer wires in
one corner and make it less complicated.

I found it difficult to ensure the recess

was routed right on the edge of the wood.
I didnt get it aligned right and so there
was some excess at the corners, as
pictured. On the actual wood, I need to
make sure the recess is routed right on
the edge.



Aluminium (stock

Cut pieces for metal frame

Water-cooled Horizontal

Quality Control
Saw set at 45 on gauge for mitre
edge; Aluminium firmly clamped
against straight edge for
perpendicular cut
Aluminium placed in jigs to keep it
at 90

QI Yes/No


Aluminium (cut to

MIG Weld mitre joints for

internal metal frame

MIG Welder, Gas tank

(Argon, Carbon Dioxide),
Ground clamp, Welding



Aluminium frame

File down the welds flat

Power File

Hold the file parallel to the frame to

get a flat surface




Cut wood to clad frame

Metal rule, Protractor,

Engineers Square, Sharp
Pencil, Circular Saw




Cut angles for mitre joints

Table-top mitre saw

Protractor set at 45, line up flat

edge of protractor with straight edge
of wood, measure from line drawn
with engineers square so pieces are
Ensure saw is clamped to table to
prevent it moving whilst using;
clamp wood securely against
straight edge to ensure
perpendicular cut; lower saw to
check line of cut before turning it on




Cut out centre strip of

interior pieces for shelves

Band saw



Metal frame

Make holes for aluminium

rod and wires

Drill (10mm)

Butt wood against straight edge to

keep it perpendicular to saw for
straight cut
Mark drill hole with an X so drill tip
can be placed in centre, hold drill
vertically to ensure straight hole



Metal frame

Chain drill to create slot

for USB unit

Drill (10mm), engineers


Mark area onto both sides of the

frame using engineers square so
that the shape is straight only drill
inside this shape; hold the drill
vertically to ensure the holes are



Metal frame

File down slot edges to

create smooth shape

Power File

The final slot should match the lines

drawn on the frame originally; hold
the file horizontal to get a flat edge



Route channels on inside

of wood

CNC Router

Square up the wood in the router;

ensure the CAD drawing will be
within the area of the wood; tighten
the nuts in the machine so the wood
wont move whilst its been routed




Meranti (cut to

on page 37

on page 37

See CAD on
page 38

Health and Safety

Blade of saw is sharp and will
be hot after cutting; be careful
handling metal as burrs may
cause metal splinters
Visor must be worn to protect
eyes from flash of light,
overalls to cover clothing,
heatproof gloves so hot metal
can be handled, curtain round
welding area so others in
workshop cannot see flash of
Hold file away from self to
avoid serious injury; clean up
metal filings after use
Keep hands away from saw;
wear goggles to protect eyes
from sawdust
Turn saw off in between cuts;
ensure saw is safely secured to
bench so it cannot move whilst
in use; wear safety glasses to
prevent saw dust from entering
eyes; do not touch saw as edge
is sharp and could cause injury
Keep hands away from the
saw; wear safety goggles to
protect eyes from saw dust
Ensure the drill tip is firmly
secured before turning it on;
keep your hands away from the
drill to avoid injury; clamp
metal onto surface with scrap
wood in between to prevent the
material from moving whilst
Ensure the drill tip is firmly
secured before turning it on;
keep your hands away from the
drill to avoid injury; clamp
metal onto surface with scrap
wood in between to prevent the
material from moving whilst
Hold the file away from yourself
whilst on to prevent injury; turn
it off at the plug in between
Ensure the router is closed

Saw is water-cooled to prevent
saw from getting too hot

Mark the wood on both sides

so angles can be cut in same

The scrap wood stops the

surface underneath the metal
from being damaged

The scrap wood stops the

surface underneath the metal
from being damaged

Use a piece of sacrificial

wood to prevent the Meranti
from being marked when the
nuts are tightened



Drill through routed holes

to make hole all the way

Drill (8mm)

Hold drill vertically so that the holes

are straight




Metal Frame

Finish visible edges of

Metal Frame

Silicon Carbide Paper, Cork


Use a cork block and hold it

horizontal to the material to keep
the edges flat





Glass paper, Cellulose,

Paint Brush, Cork Block


Aluminium rod




Aluminium rod

Create shoulder and

threads on both ends for


Use a cork block and hold it

horizontal to the material so the
edges dont get rounded off
Mark the aluminium all the way
round the bar so the cut is straight
all the way round; clamp securely
and hold the saw perpendicular to
the material
Rod must be clamped firmly in the
centre according to zeroing points



Finish wood and seal to

prevent it getting
damaged in assembly
Cut rod down to size




Aluminium rod

Finish metal rod

Wire wool

Rub with wool until finish is uniform




LED strips backed

with high-grip tape,
positive and
negative wires,
USB unit
Aluminium rod,
nut, two front
interior wood
sections, 3M highgrip tape (50mm)
Meranti wood
sections, 3M highgrip tape (50mm)
LED/USB circuit

Create circuit for lights

and USB

Soldering iron, scissors

Insert the metal rod into

the frame through wood


Apply tape to the back of

the wood pieces (not yet
peeling off the cover)
Tape the wires and LED
loosely inside the metal
frame. Securely tape the
USB unit into the slot cut.
Stick down exterior pieces
of wood from front vertical
pieces backwards

Scissors, Scalpel

Padded clamps, spirit level

Use a spirit level to make sure wood

is stuck onto metal frame straight



Stick down interior vertical

pieces, pushing the wires
into the routed channel on
the back
Stick down bottom layer of
shelving slots

Padded clamps

Use a spirit level to make sure both

front pieces are at same height



Padded clamps, spirit level

Use a spirit level to make sure wood

is stuck onto frame straight use
pieces already stuck down as a









Meranti backed
with tape (exterior
numbered), metal
Meranti backed
with tape (interior
pieces - lettered)
Meranti backed
with tape (interior
pieces to support
shelves lettered)

on page 37

Ruler, Hack Saw


Ensure the drill tip is firmly

secured before turning it on;
keep your hands away from the
drill to avoid injury; clamp wood
onto flat surface so it doesnt
move whilst drilling; put a piece
of scrap wood between the
Meranti and the surface so the
drill doesnt go all the way
through and damage it
Wear goggles, disposable
gloves and a face mask to
prevent inhaling metal dust or it
getting in eyes or causing metal
splinters in hands
Wash hands after using
Dont touch the metal
immediately after sawing as it
will be hot and the burrs can
cause splinters
Ensure the emergency stop
feature is working, set lathe at
the speed recommended for
aluminium, put the guard in
position before turning on
Wash hands after handling wire
Ensure there is no current
flowing through the circuit to
prevent electrocution; make
sure circuit is properly
assembled before turning on


Make discrete pencil marks for 5mm

overhang stick tape inside these


Masking tape, Duct tape,

Scissors, Scalpel



The timbers had warped and

was no longer straight; as a
result, some joints were not
properly aligned

The timbers had warped and

was no longer straight; as a
result, some joints were not
properly aligned



PMMA (Clear,


Cut the acrylic shelf to size

Band saw

PMMA shelves

Finish the edges of the

shelves then polish

Silicon carbide paper, cork

block, PMMA polish,


EVA foam

Scissors, Metal rule, 3M

high-grip tape


Finished PMMA
shelves, Meranti
backed with tape
(interior pieces,
upper part of
shelving slot)

Cut the EVA strips (x4) to

go under the shelves and
stick into place
Place the shelves into the
slots then lock into place
by sticking the final pieces
of wood down

Engineers square, spirit


Use an engineers square horizontally

to make sure interior pieces are in
line with the exterior ones



Finish the table: use flour

paper to remove any
scratches made during
assembly, then wax the

Microfibre cloth, wax, glass


Sand till it looks perfect to the eye




on page 37

Butt wood against straight edge to

keep it perpendicular to saw for
straight cut
Clamp the acrylic to a flat surface
and hold the cork block parallel to
the acrylic so the edges dont get
rounded off; file until the edges are
smooth to touch





Keep hands away from the

saw; wear safety goggles to
protect eyes from plastic dust
Wear eye goggles and a face
mask to prevent inhaling
plastic dust when filing for long

Front side has to be filed till

completely smooth, whereas
other side wont be visible


The wood pieces were not

entirely straight because they
had warped this meant
some did not sit in line with
the rest of the frame
Wash hands after using polish

Cover the PMMA shelves so

they dont get covered wax or
wood dust





Router Settings:


Green 15mm



1. I measured and marked out the wooden cladding on both
sides of the wood so it could be cut on either side. To ensure
the pieces were straight and the joints were square, I used an
engineers square and a protractor set at 45.

5. Once I had cut all the external joints, I clamped them to the
frame to test them. Some of the back mitres did not quite
meet up (such as the one pictured) as I had not yet inserted
the metal rod at the front to push the frame apart to real size.

2. I then used a circular saw to cut the long timbers into more
manageable sizes to cut the mitre joints etc. I lined the wood
up against a horizontal edge to keep the saw perpendicular to
the timber.

6. I used a piece of MDF to hold the frame open at the frame

and make the edges perpendicular to each other until I had
made the metal rod

3. I used a mitre saw to cut the angles at exactly 45. I

clamped the wood down so that it didnt move around whilst
cutting but put some material between the wood and the
clamp to prevent it from being damaged. I cut the wood a few
millimetres away from the line so that I had some room to
adjust the joints later if need be.

7. Some of the mitre joints still did not meet exactly, so I used
the linisher set at a 45 angle to take off some material to
bring the wood closer together at the joint. I used a jig to hold
the wood at 90 to the linisher to keep the straight line
previously cut by the saw. I took off a little at a time and
tested to see if fit had improved before removing anymore to
make sure I did not take off too much.

4. I adjusted the setting on the saw to cut the smaller, vertical

mitre joints for the back pieces of the table. When I moved the
clamp to accommodate the new angle of the saw, I found that
the wood wasnt held securely as there was nothing to
balance it on. I added a wooden block (pictured) under the
overhanging wood so it did not rock back whilst sawing.

8. I measured and marked out the USB slot on both sides of

the frame. I drew it in black marker so it was easy to see
whilst drilling.

NB: I numbered the frame on the outside (as pictured) and

used letters to mark the inside, then labelled each piece of
corresponding wood so I knew where they were supposed to


9. I clamped the wood onto the frame to mark the exact

location of the holes for drilling. I marked them with an X so
the it was easy to locate the drill tip in the centre.

13. I marked the extra bit to be cut with an engineers square

and a black marker, then used a junior hacksaw to cut it out,
before finishing with a power file.
I then drilled the holes in the frame for the aluminium rod and
the wiring. I clamped the metal down on a flat surface, with
some wood underneath to prevent the drill from going through
the table. I kept ensuring the drill was kept upright so the hole
would be straight.

10. I used a drill to make a series of holes in a row (chain

drilling) to take out the USB section. I then used a hack saw to
take out small section for the wire below.

14. I then used decreasing grades of silicon carbide paper to

finish the visible edges of the frame.

11. I finished the edge with a power file to make it smooth. I

then drilled through the holes for the metal rod (10mm) and
for the wire (8mm).

15. I kept going until the edge was smooth to touch and all
the knocks and scratches were removed. I then wiped the
frame clean to remove any metal filings and dirt to prevent
the wood from being damaged.

12. I held up the wooden piece to the frame and found that
the USB slot was not quite big enough and did not match up
with the slot cut in the frame.

16. Before starting work on the metal, I had set up the router
so it could route whilst I was finishing the frame.
I used a digital caliper to measure the position of the wood, so
the details I gave the computer about the location of the wood
in the machine were as accurate as possible. I ensured the
wood was bolted securely in place, and used another piece of
scrap wood between the nuts and the Meranti to prevent the
routed piece from getting marked.


I ran a simulation of the routing on a CAD programme to

check that it would fit on the piece of wood and route to the
correct depth.

20. I then finished all the Meranti pieces. First I sanded them
with fine glass paper. I transferred the letter/number
markings to the end grain so I still knew which piece went
where in the table.

21. I sealed the wood with a coat of cellulose. This helps to

prevent it from getting marked/damaged during assembly. I
left them to dry for 10 minutes, then lightly sanded the pieces
once more with 00 glass paper.

17. I made channels for the wiring on the interior pieces, as

well as both sides of the USB slots. I used the router to mark
and start the holes required to go all the way through the
frame for both the metal rod and the wiring.

22. I used duct tape to secure the USB unit in its slot in the
metal frame.

The settings for the router and the depths of each section can
be seen on page 38.

18. I then used a drill to make the holes all the way through
the wood. I clamped the routed piece to the bench with
another piece of scrap wood in between. This was to stop the
bench from being damaged, but also to prevent the wood
splintering on the other side, which would be visible in the

23. I then loosely taped the LED light strips (which I cut down
to size as I was taping) in place so I could measure out the
length of wiring I would need to link the USB unit and the
LEDs together then carry the circuit out of the frame.

19. I used some 00 glass paper to remove the small excess

left by the router. The routing tool had left rounded edges on
the USB slot that stopped the USB unit from sitting in them
properly. I used a hand file to gently remove these (ensuring I
held it completely parallel to the edge) then finished the new
square edges with glass paper.

24. I measured and marked out a length of aluminium rod for

the front of the frame. I then clamped it in a vice and used a
Junior Hacksaw to cut it down to size.

I used a soldering iron to join the positive and negative wires

to the copper plates in the LEDs. I also removed the plastic
cover from the wires coming out the USB unit and joined them
to the LED circuit with the soldering iron. I insulated this join
with some electrical tape. I then threaded the black and red
wires through the hole in the back of the frame.

I used the Lathe (settings?) to create a thread on each end of

the rod so it could be secured in the frame with a nut.


25. I clean and polished the aluminium rod with some wire
wool until it was shiny

28. I then stuck all the outside pieces of wood onto the frame,
starting from the front two vertical pieces and working
backwards so they all fitted together. I clamped the pieces
around the area I was about to stick so that the wood was
exactly in the right place. After adhering them, I clamped them
down to ensure the tape was touching the frame.
I found it difficult to match all the pieces perfectly as some of
the wood had warped and the metal frame wasnt exactly
square. I had to peel off some of the wood and re-stick once I
had taken it down on the linisher.

The finished rod with threads at both ends

29. I used some PVA on the mitre joints to pull them together
as some started to pull apart. I tried not to put it too close to
the edge so that it didnt ooze out of the joint and damage the

26. I thread the two interior front sections onto the rod and
the metal frame before bolting it in place. This pulled the
frame square so I could then stick on the other pieces of
Meranti properly.

I had to sit the frame slightly over the edge of the table
because there was an overhang on the bottom as well as the

I used a spirit level on each piece of wood to ensure I had

stuck them on straight.

27. I cut pieces of 50mm high grip tape and stuck them on
the back of the Meranti pieces, 4.5mm from the edge. I
ensured the straight edge was on the outside so I could use it
as a guide for the overhang. I used a scalpel to cut parts of
the tape away (e.g. for the slots in the picture).

30. I stuck down the bottom part of the shelving slots on the
inside, then peeled off the tape and stuck down the LED light
strips, using the wood as a guide. I did not stick down the top
part of the slot so I could put the acrylic shelf in.


The frame before I inserted the shelves.

34. I silicon carbide paper to finish the sides of the acrylic. I

wetted the paper to make is easier to move the acrylic back
and forth. I started on a very coarse grain (120) and worked
down to 1200 to give a very smooth finish and get rid of all
the scratches from the band saw and linisher.

31. I tested the circuit and found that the USBs couldnt cope
with the level of current. I joined a transistor into the circuit,
then insulated them with electrical tape. I tested the circuit
again and the USB unit did not over heat so the problem was

35. I then used a polisher to finish the edges and make

them look like glass.

32. I measured and marked out the two shelves on some

10mm clear PMMA. I then cut this to size on the band saw.

36. I cut strips of EVA foam with scissors and used some
double-sided sticky tape to adhere them to the wood.

33. I tested the shelves in place, but the back didnt fit in
properly because of the rounded corners created by the LED
strips. I used the linisher to create curved edges at the back
of the shelf. I also took a few millimetres off the side of the
bottom shelf to help it fit better.

37. I then lowered the shelves into place and stuck the final
pieces of the wooden fame above them to secure them in


38. I then covered the shelves with card to protect them

whilst I used some 00 glass paper to remove any pencil
marks and scratches from assembly.

39. I wiped away the saw dust and then finished the wood
with wax, applied with a microfiber cloth. I used the wax to
try and fill in some of the mitre joints that didnt quite meet
(as pictured).

Photographs of the Final Table

Table from the front, lights on

USB ports in right leg, blue light indicates power on

Table from the back




My Review
I think my product is stylish with a strong design aesthetic that will appeal to a
variety of consumers because of its minimalist appearance


The height of the product works for users across the 5th-95th percentile and is
suitable for the average bed + mattress height. If the user has a double bed,
two tables can be bought as they are not specific to a particular side of the
bed. There are two shelves which allow the user to organise their bedside
items and a charging point with 4 sockets which enables them to organise
their electronic items.
The structure of the table is designed to give the product a long life span.
However, as the Meranti is only stuck onto the frame with high-grip tape, it
may not last as long as if the frame was made entirely of wood joined with
knock-down fittings. This means the life-span may not outweigh the
environmental impacts of the materials used. Although, this does not need to
be a problem because my target market research showed this was not a
significant concern for many potential customers.





Materials and

The electrical components were all insulated with either a plastic coating or
electrical tape. I was careful to test the circuit before integrating it into the
table and added some transistors to stop it from overheating. The metal
frame is joined very securely with MIG welds so will not break apart. The wood
was joined with high-grip tape although this is very strong, it may loose its
stickiness over time and some of the wood could fall off. However, even if this
were to happen, it would be unlikely to cause injury as the timber pieces are
not heavy or sharp. I gently rounded off any sharp corners on the table with
glass paper so the user wont injury themselves in the dark.
The table is smaller than the initial parameters set out. During the
investigation, I found that it was more important for the table to be accessible
from bed, rather than from standing height. All openings are much larger than
238x68mm and the table was small enough to manufacture in the school
The product performs all the functions I set out in the specification. It has
storage space for items of a variety of sizes to keep by the bedside; it has a
shelf to store electronic devices and enables the customer to use them in bed
whilst charging (by bringing the charging ports closer to the bed); it has an
attractive aesthetic that appeals to a wide range of customers; and, it is easy
for the customer to interact with whilst sitting or lying in bed. The table has
LED lights which produce a gentle glow to create a calm atmosphere in the
bedroom. These can also serve as a nightlight to stop the user from walking
into the table in the dark. The table is suitable for a variety of bed heights,
although it is designed for the average double bed height.
The materials used in the table complied with safety standards, will not
corrode when exposed to liquids and were available to use in the school
workshop. However, the choice of wood was not strong enough to support the
structure of the table on its own and has to be reinforced by an aluminium
frame. The product can be adapted for mass manufacture (see page 49) but
my plan of manufacture made use of the available machines and equipment
to avoid additional costs.

Client evaluation:
I really like the aesthetic of the table. Its simple but modern and has a strong sense of style. I think its particularly
good that the design doesnt compromise the accessibility of the table. For example, the large open space makes the
bottom shelf and USB ports very easy to access.
Its really easy to plug in the USB chargers and its close enough that I
can use my phone whilst sitting up in bed

The open side of the table also makes it easy to reach down to the
bottom shelf even if I am sitting/lying in bed.

The aluminium rod is a useful book stand. It holds my page and takes
some clutter away from the surface space of the table

The clear shelves mean its very easy to locate all the items stored in the
table I can see whats on the bottom shelf as well as the top even when
Im standing across the room

The height of the table is perfect for the bed.

Theres plenty of surface space to store everything I need by my bedside.

I like having a bottom shelf to keep bulkier items, like books and
magazines, and a top shelf to keep essential or more valuable things

The large rim around the table makes the top shelf a secure place to
leave smaller items, like my headphones and loose change. I am not
going to knock them off and lose them.

Overall, I am pleased with the product. I like the size and aesthetic, however I understand that as I manufactured it in
the school workshop, it was difficult to achieve the quality I had hoped. For example, I had to use acrylic for the shelves
which scratch/mark very easily (as seen in photos above). As some of the timber pieces had warped, they did not fit
together perfectly. This meant some of the mitre joints are not in line with the rest of the table and some of the lines
are distorted. In mass manufacture, the table would not be made in this way and these problems would be avoided.


Much of the process I used to manufacture my table is
suitable for mass manufacture, but the design could be
simplified to make it quicker to manufacture, which is
important when making products on this scale. If the table
was being made by a professional furniture manufacturer,
they would be able to create very strong knock down
fittings to join the pieces of timber together. Therefore, I
would not need an aluminium frame in the centre to
strengthen the structure so it could support the shelves.
Instead, I would use blind dovetail joints at the back
corners. These would not be visible from the outside, but
still provide the strong joint required to support the

Final Costing for Original Product

W: 75 D: 6 Max length: 3100m

4200 mm required

Unit cost: 10.90 per m

Cost: 45.78

Blind dovetail joint, apart
and complete

W: 85 D: 20

8050 mm required

Unit cost: 1250.00 per cubic m

Cost: 153.96

W: 520 L: 465

I would still hide the LED strips and the wiring inside the
recess for the shelves, but cut away channels down the
vertical edges to carry the circuit from the top to the bottom
of the table. I would then insert a piece of wood back into
the channel to conceal the wiring and seal in the shelves
as in my original design.

Unit cost: 51.00 per sq m

Cost: 24.66

Aluminium rod
W: 12 Max length: 3100mm

520 mm required

Unit cost: 1.50 per m

Cost: 3.12

Table adapted for mass manufacture with

no aluminium frame

LED light strips

W: 8 D: 4 Length: 3000mm
Cost: 18.99

USB charging port unit

W: 35 D: 18 Length: 112
Cost: 8.50
Close up of internal corner wood is
removed to lay wires, then inserted back in

3M High Grip Tape

The aluminium rod could still be manufactured in the same way.
I would create a shoulder and a thread on the lathe. The table
would be assembled and finished by hand (sanding, cellulose
then wax).

W: 50mm

16100 mm required

Unit cost: 0.39 per m

Cost: 6.32

Screws, Nuts, Electrical Wires and Miscellaneous

Cost: 5.00
Total: 266.33
RRP 800.00

BSI ISO 9000

ISO 9000 is an internationally agreed set of standards for developing a Quality Management System (QMS). This structured approach ensures the customer receives the product or service agreed. I used the ISO 9000 when
designing and manufacturing my bedside table.

A: Consideration of both the situation and the intended client.

The bedside table is easy and intuitive to use

There are no sharp corners that could injure the user easily
The size of the table means it is suitable for the 5th-95th percentile to use
The aesthetic is simple and clean, which should appeal to a wide range
of customers
The charging system uses USB ports so is not limited to particular
devices or charging cases

B: Examination of the intended use of product, identification and evaluation of existing

products, consideration of the needs of the intended client. Production of a design brief
and speciation.

My target market research ensured that I understood the requirements

of the client before designing
I examined many pre-existing products to understand the problems
I produced a comprehensive specification based on my research

D: Taking decisions about materials and production methods. Using models to develop
the design and to check that aspects of the design meet the design brief and
C: Production of a range of appropriate solutions.

I came up with several possible design solutions once I had written my

After I had chosen the best solution, I made several prototypes,
addressing and solving the problems after each one

E: Planning the manufacture. Understanding the need for safe working procedures.
Manufacture the product to satisfy the specification.

My Process Planning Sheet covered all aspects of my manufacturing

process, including health and safety hazards and quality indicators
When planning manufacture, I kept referring back to the specification so
that the requirements were met
The production process was planned so that it could be carried out in the
school workshop and met their safety standards

I looked at a variety of materials and evaluated their strengths and

weaknesses before manufacturing my products
I tested elements of the design with specific production methods (e.g.
cutting and polishing 10mm acrylic as I would do with the shelves)
I tested the final product against the specification and also had it peer
I consulted my client for their opinion before making major changes in
the design

F: Evaluation of the product, relating it to the initial specification. Undertaking detailed

testing and reaching a meaningful conclusion. Proposing, if necessary, any further
development, modification or improvements of product.

In my final evaluation, I compared my product to each aspect of the

I also had my product peer reviewed against the specification
I created prototypes then evaluated each one I made improvements to
my design based on the faults I found in my prototypes when I compared
them with the specification/client brief


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