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(I have designed the project distributed across multiple repos because I find that a better way to organize things)


I am an architect and was always interested in using code for designing.
At some point I had to buy furniture in India. It was/is a painful experience. So this was once an idea to somewhat automate that.

What it does

It is a community for makers who like to make furniture from code. These designs can be visualized and customized on a web app and the app can then give you the file to get that design made for yourself.
The production process is something of interest. The designs are cut out of plywood and interlocked to be assembled. Once you have the design file you can make the exact same chair anywhere.
If you are not into making such stuff, you can put up a request on the marketplace where some local maker can make it and get it delivered to you.

How I built it

It has a lot of different parts to make it work from programming the designs to their fabrication.
The web app is written in JavaScript and the designers can make designs in JavaScript. I am using threeJS which is a library for doing 3d stuff in the browser. The collaboration between designers and makers happens using Git and GitHub. The project also uses GitHub like a database for easy collaboration and access.
I focused on a few things while I was designing. I wanted the idea to be not restricted by licensing and ownership issues and there should be fair and easy access for everyone.

Challenges I ran into

It's a long list. I have made some of the chairs in the past, so the fabrication part was relatively under control. But learning some of the front end frameworks and putting it up was a bit of challenge. I have experimented with the blockchain before and I got a chance to use it meaningfully here. CORS was a trouble.

Accomplishments that I'm proud of

I am excited about the idea. This is a good way to put it together and present it.
Designers can get creative in different ways when they start writing code to create furniture designs.
For example they can make the design for a chair which changes for people with different heights, or a table which changes the table height as per the age of a person. The possibilities are really endless.
I am also curious to explore this idea of distributed manufacturing. It opens up manufacturing to the whole community where anyone is free to participate instead of being done by individual corporations.

What I learned

I got a chance to get more hands-on experience with the newer web stack which includes Node, Express, MongoDB, Handlebar and some other things.

What's next for O-LAP

I'm keen to connect with more designers and makers who are interested in the idea of distributed decentralized designing and making. The design also needs work particularly with upholstery and I'm looking to connect with someone who would be interested in the ideas and can aid the design process for that.

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