SketchChair: “Open Source Ikea”

SketchChair: “Open Source Ikea”
Greg Saul holds up a tiny CNC-cut chair. The 3D software for the chair is available on SketchChair.

Everybody likes Ikea for its cheap and relatively cool-looking furniture. The only problem is a trip to Ikea is a half-day commitment what with all the time spent parking and waiting in line.  Diatom Studio’s SketchChair hopes to solve that problem.

The start-up company was one of the exhibitors at Maker Faire New York and their digitally rendered, CNC cut chairs were a big hit.

“It’s an open source Ikea,” said co-founder Greg Saul.

SketchChair is currently in beta and offers open source 3D software tool that allows you to design, build and share your furniture design. There are also stock designs and ones from other users you can download and fabricate with a laser cutter.

The company raised about $32,000 on Kickstarter, most of which went into giving backers their rewards, said Saul.

“The best part about part Kickstarter was it helped create our community,” he said.

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Stett Holbrook is editor of the Bohemian, an alternative weekly in Santa Rosa, California. He is a former senior editor at Maker Media.

He is also the co-creator of Food Forward, a documentary TV series for PBS about the innovators and pioneers changing our food system.

View more articles by Stett Holbrook