Case study on engineering

Contemporary city life and space-saving furniture

Contemporary city life needed the use of space-saving furniture. This type of furniture usually has two interchangeable features. For example, a chair that can be transformed into a table, and vice versa. Furniture of this type usually saves room and resources when you need just one entity instead of two different ones. So, either the furniture is being used for one purpose or another, and therefore it's not just there as an object that just fills up space in one room.

Design Generation

The chair should, therefore, be designed in a manner where a person can convert it to a table whenever they need to. Thus, implying that the chair has to have either movable parts or parts that can easily be disassembled and reassembled. From the dynamics stated above, two designs can are achievable as illustrated in figure 1.

Design Selection Process

From the two designs, it is evident that the chairs and their respective tables are sturdy. In addition, the side that serves as a seat is not the same as the side that serves as a table. Therefore, the two designs both meet the table etiquette, tables are not meant to be used as seats. The only advantage that design two has over design one is that it offers a bigger table than design 1 even for the same size of the chair. Alternatively, design 1 uses less material as compared to design 2, thus it is cheaper to construct as compared to design 1.

Ultimately, design 2 is better than design 1 because there all of its sides are used, that is two sides for the table mode and the other two for the chair. Additionally, design 2 offers a table that is bigger than that of design 1. Similarly, design 2 has the capability of offering several inclinations of the backrest unlike design 1 which only has the standard seat inclination.

Final design

a. Detailed description

The chair is manufactured through the following process. Firstly, the chair is designed using a CAD software and contact interference analyzed and resolved to permit the chair legs a smooth 180° rotation angle. The resulting design is then evaluated for safety through the use of finite element analysis (Kim & Sankar 22). The chair is then fabricated according to the final design drawing. The steel angle is cut into the legs and the frame of the chairs backrest and bottom rest. The steel plate is cut into a square of side 480mm for the chair backrest and bottom rest. The other side of the backrest and the bottom rest that form the table are each made of the steel plate of size 520mm by 520mm. The plates are then welded onto the backrest and the bottom rest respectively. The frames and the legs are then drilled at the point of interconnections and fastened using the bolts. The sharp edges filleted to ensure safety for the user.

Stainless steel has been utilized as the material of choice. The reason for selecting stainless steel is that it has excellent corrosion resistance, it is strong, and also has good weldability properties (Kuznetsov, Zernin, & Danilov 1267). Therefore, it can be easily cleaned without the need for very costly detergents. Furthermore, its good mechanical strength implies that it will withstand the diverse forces that are subjected to it without breaking. The strength also implies that it will require replacement after a long time. Hence it will offer satisfactory service owing to the durability that is availed through its mechanical strength.

Prior to manufacturing the chair, a prototype is first made using the final design of the chair. The prototype is then tested and established that it is functioning correctly. If the prototype is not functioning properly, it is redesigned to ensure that it is functioning appositely (Kim, & Sankar 23). Thereafter the manufacturing process of the chair commences through the requisition of the materials to be used in making the chair. The materials are subsequently processed primarily by cutting using the appropriate saws and clumps. The stainless-steel angles are cut to give the parts for the chair frame and the legs. Alternatively, the stainless-steel plates are similarly cut to fit into the chair frame. The chair frame parts are assembled and joined together through a welding process to form the assembly of the chair frame. The frame is drilled at the points marked for the fasteners that will join the frame and the legs via the stainless-steel flat bar. The stainless-steel plates are then aptly welded onto the frames and thereafter assembled into the final chair by fastening the legs and the flat bars using the bolts.

The chair is then tested with friends, a focus group, and family. Feedback is then acquired from them concerning the product. The feedback is very vital for further product development. Product development involves the necessary steps taken to make the product perform better. With positive feedback, it means that the final product is ready for sale and can be marketed to the customers.

b. Prototype details

The prototype will be a chair with the same dimensions as the actual one. The chair has legs that are 500mm long with the backrest and bottom rest each dimensioned to be 490mm wide and long. At the bottom of the legs, plastics are used to cover the steel angle opening. The backrest can be inclined at an angle of 90°, 100°, 120°, and 135° from the horizontal plane.

Cost analysis

Material Quantity required per chair Cost

  • Dull polished Stainless-steel plate (1.2mm) 1m2 1 $110

  • Stainless steel angle (20mm by 20mm by 1.2mm) 6m $60

  • Stainless steel flat bar 1m $9.80

  • Stainless M5 × 30 Bolts 16 $20

  • Stainless Washers 12 $0.20

  • Labor $20

Total $220.00


Kim, Nam H, & Bhavani V. Sankar. Introduction to Finite Element Analysis and Design. New York, John Wiley & Sons, 2009.

Kuznetsov, M. A, Zernin, E. A, & Danilov, V. I. "Structure, Mechanical Properties and Corrosion Resistance of Stainless Steel Surface Layers Faced Using Ultra-disperse Powders of Inorganic Materials." Procedia Engineering, no. 206, 2017, pp 1264-1271

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