Digital fabrication makes this local, affordable standing desk possible
Standing desks are hot, but even if Isabella Tromba and David Yamnitsky had just designed a plain old boring sitting desk, this would be a great story. The MIT grads have given us a taste of what might be the future of manufacturing in America: they use an industrial-scale CNC router to slice and dice local formaldehyde-free plywood. The clever design then snaps together: " The Press Fit Standing Desk is made from precision-cut parts that assemble like a jigsaw puzzle without any screws or tools. It's so simple there's no instruction manual."
It's carefully engineered for strength and rigidity: "The arching leg design distributes load to the legs without straining the press joints, and the added cross supports mean the desk won't bend or sag, even under stacks of books, computers, or whatever else you pile on it."
Office chairs are adjustable so conventional desks don't have to be. However, with a standing desk you have to get the height right; your forearms should be horizontal. So measure from your bent elbows to the floor, and add an inch to allow for the gel pad that you are going to eventually buy to stand on. The desk is available in one inch increments from 36" to 42", and is available in custom heights, which is a good thing because I am really short, yet my desk height is 41" and would have thought anyone taller than me would need a taller desk.
I also think they should offer an shallower and wider version; people work differently at a standing desk when it is easier to move sideways. I don't see why people keep making them at standard desk proportions; my latest is 18" deep by 5' wide.
David and Isabella have done all the right things when it comes to material choices; it is locally grown and manufactured plywood with formaldehyde free glue and a UV cured finish. If you muck up the top, just pop it off and turn it over; it's reversible.
The most important thing about this desk is the whole thought process about how things are made. It's designed by smart engineers to be incredibly efficient in its use of materials, making the whole desk out of one standard sheet of plywood. It's cut locally according to demand to minimize shipping and warehousing. It fits in a mini and can slide under a door. It's not just furniture, it's a call to action:
3D printing and digital manufacturing have the potential to redefine what it means to be "Made in America". Stand with us and together we can start making things locally again.
The Early Bird Kickstarter pricing is all gone, but even at $ 199 it's a terrific price. More at Kickstarter.