P1_Press Fit_Desk Top Organizer

P1_Press Fit_ Desk Top Organizer

Karina Silvester,


My initial desire for this press fit project was to create a container to hold all the miscellaneous items that an architecture student needs in view.  If all tools can be displayed neatly on the workspace desk top, then any task can be completed quickly and easily.  Below, you can see my initial design of a 8″ by 8″ square with three different sized containers.  The tabs fit into each other creating a clean edge on all side.

After my initial simple design, I wanted to make a more complex design where the size of each compartment was not determined by the height of its sides, but instead by the location in which the user places a square base.  Thus, I created vertical slits into which a square base would slot into.  To allow of differing sized containers, I created the slots so that if the square base is removed and flipped over, it slides down into a different height.  To test my new design, I produced a physical test of one container or unit.

Material: MDF, Machine: CNC Technomill, End Mill Size: 1/4″

In an attempt to have the joints fit together snugly, I made dog-bone joints diagonally into each corner of every pocket.  Although if it had been cut like my drawing, it would have worked; instead, the 1/4″ end mill was too large to cut the small holes.  So, instead it produced a beveled edge, causing the pieces to not fit together.  I considered the other possible joints below:

I decided to use the 3 different dog-bone joints below.  Each time, I made the tab that slotted into the grooves .01″ smaller on each side to allow for the pieces to slide together easily.

Below, you can see the same unit being used at two different heights.  These differing heights were achieved by flipping over the square base that slots into the vertical grooves.

Material: 1/2″ Plywood, Machine: Techno CNC, End Mill Size: 3/16″

The final design has five different compartments that can each be configured to two different heights.  The entire piece can be easily taken apart and transported flat.




4.196 Special Problems in Architectural Design Complete Fabrications Nick Gelpi Mon-Fri, Jan 5-7, 10-11, 13-14, 18, 20-21, 24-25, 27-28, 01-04:00pm, 3-402/7-432studio, 1st mtg Wed 1/5 Pre-register on WebSIS and attend first class. No listeners Prereq: Permission of instructor ; Yr-1 MArch students who have completed 4.123 only Level: H 9 units Standard A - F Grading Can be repeated for credit Lab Fee: 150 A comprehensive introduction to methods of “making” explored through a wide range of brief but focused exercises. Skills = developing complex geometries from flat components; fine-tuning press fit construction, molding and casting, and making repeatable molds for customization. A two-part workshop, the first half will contextualize contemporary tools and techniques within the trajectories of historical case studies of building, combined with hands on familiarization of tools. The second half will implement the tools of our workshop in the context of Design. Working on group design build process for three MIT 150 FAST installations, students will test and influencing designs through the instrumentality of production. These hands-on design build projects are intended to produce reciprocity between skills and design, making more complete the problems of fabrication. Subject limited to year-one MArch students who have completed core-1 studio. Contact: Nick Gelpi, 9-224, 253-9415, -


%d bloggers like this: