Sitting is the new smoking, so creating a sturdy but low-cost standing desk has become one of the most popular challenges for designers everywhere–and two MIT graduate students have just unveiled one of the most attractive contenders yet. Using a CNC router, students David Yamnitsky and Isabella Tromba created the Press Fit Standing Desk, a desk cut from locally grown maple plywood that can be assembled like a jigsaw puzzle in just a few seconds. To bring the $200 Press Fit to market, Yamnitsky and Tromba launched a Kickstarter campaign that surged past its initial $10,000 goal in less than a day.
The Press Fit Standing Desk got its start after Yamnitsky made his first standing desk using a CNC router and AutoCAD during MIT’s “How to Make (Almost) Anything,” a course that challenges students to make a product each week with various manufacturing tools. After several revisions, the final Press Fit Standing Desk design is also made from precision-cut flat-pack parts, but has the added bonus of being built from locally sourced, sustainable materials. Dedicated to minimizing fossil fuel use, Yamnitsky and Tromba sources high-quality maple plywood locally grown and milled in the northeast. In place of the carcinogenic binding agent Urea Formaldehyde, the standing desk uses a natural, biodegradable glue to hold the layers together.
A one-step digital manufacturing process is used to make the Press Fit Standing Desk, starting with an 8 foot by 4 foot sheet of pre-finished maple plywood set atop a computer controlled router. The shape and assembly of each precision-cut piece was optimized to maximize stability while minimizing weight. No additional tools are needed to assemble the desk. Built to last a lifetime, the large tabletop surface is finished with a UV acrylic coating to resist damage from the elements, scratches, and stains. While the early bird discount specials for the Press Fit Standing Desk have already sold out, the desk can still be purchased at the low starting price of $200 on Kickstarter.