Desk cut and folded from a single sheet of steel

Formtank's 3Fold desk is punched and formed from a single cut sheet of steel (the tabletop is a separate piece). It's a nice bit of solid-steel papercraft come to life as executive office-furniture. 3fold (via Core77)


  1. And like most sheet metal it’s just lying in wait for the moment when you wander too close to the edge so it can tear your skin to shreds.

  2. duh, everyone knows everyday items are constantly waging war against the human race. Unfortunately, I cant remember what thats called for the life of me. =\

  3. Yes, the top appears to be glass which is not the same as the metal part. And yes, as I predicted, it’s a LITTLE expensive. £3,851. Yikes.

  4. Kind of funny to take something made in a process that is by nature pretty inexpensive and then increase the price 40-fold because you think you’re special.

  5. Seems that they’d collect dust like there was no tomorrow. What a pain to clean. Also, unless they ship flat and are assembled on site, the actual eco-friendliness is pretty minimal. I mean – you usually only need four legs and a surface to make a table…

  6. wouldn’t the gap between the two “legs” (visible at the bottom of this photo, and in photo 3 of the linked site) indicate that it’s made out of two pieces of metal?

    impressive, still, but not enough legroom for me.

  7. #5: I would have made the opposite joke, like “£3,851 – Isn’t that, like, half a million dollars?” but maybe those are getting cliche’ed.

    #7 FTW.

    Good observation, #10. Now that you mention it, I see no connection between the right half and the left half.

    So, who’s up for creating the papercraft version so we can make cardboard ones?

  8. I didn’t bother looking at the article but it seems to me that “formed from a single cut sheet of steel” does not equal “the desk is a single piece”.

    They’re just saying it’s a single sheet of steel.

  9. I’d love to see the shipping cost! I’d be impressed if it was made in 16 ga. steel and you could fold it yourself. That would likely limit the scale and finish options… I like this lots, but I think the “minimizing waste” angle, as a selling point, is undercut by the sheer volume of the thing and resources needed to transport it. It’s a great manufacturing and $$$ (£££) making strategy, sure.

  10. This is obviously meant for people with 1% body fat who only wear black and have squads of interns/slaves to keep the desk surface pristine. Either that, or it should be on a movie set.

  11. That’s really neat, and I want one. I’d just be really worried about trying to prop my feet up on the wrong spot and gashing myself.

    And about the “one sheet of steel” thing – they probably made it so that there are two bookends that are single pieces of steel, so that you can have variable lengths of glass serve as the table surface. I think that’s a pretty good idea; if you need a bigger table, you just get a bigger sheet of glass and slide the ends out a bit.

  12. If it requires a glass table top, then it is not made from a single piece of steel.

    Reminds me of my daughter’s drinks that say “100% juice” and in tiny print say “with other added ingredients”.

  13. What I wanna know is:
    “Can it be refolded / flattened for the next move?”

    If not, I’ll just pour myself one outa concrete – more classy and still permanent, dontcha think?

    and also:
    “Why is it so angular / intricate / freaking hard to die cut? Wouldn’t a much simpler design REDUCE production costs which could then be passed on to humble consumers?”


  14. “it’s so cool, it’s made from a single sheet of metal”

    “but it’s ugly and wasteful.”

    “but isn’t it clever.”

    “but it’s ugly and wasteful.”

    1. Having studied furniture design, I can assure you that it’s quite the opposite of wasteful. It’s an extremely efficient design.

  15. @ Antinous: what makes it an efficient design? Is it simply the fact that it comes from a single sheet of steel (which is pretty cool), or do you see other efficiencies that haven’t been mentioned?

    1. The relative absence of waste is one point of efficiency. Another one is the use of multiples of the same part, requiring less tools/machines to create and assemble the desk.

  16. It might collect dust.

    The designers have failed to make it out of one sheet.

    Using a larger sheet, then cutting a bit off and using it as a table top almost certainly did not occur to them.

    They have not realised that you can make a cheaper table by putting something flat on top of one or more other things.

    The danger to children, animals and idiots of sharp 90 degree water jet cut edges has not been taken into account.

  17. It looks beautiful, but I can already feel my legs hurting by just thinking about sitting behind it.

    I bet there’s a low ceiling beam just outside the picture too…

  18. Klunky looking. You’d have thought they could’ve made something a little more elegant. Plus – that’s a ridiculous amount of metal to use for a desk.

  19. …Man, I sincerely hope they’re rounding the edges on that damn thing. I’d hate to lose *another* leg simply by pulling my chair up under the desk!

  20. #26 – “ah. My favorite desk (I have three) is one I’ve had for twenty years — two sawhorses and a door.”

    Seconding this. I used this setup for a couple of years before I moved, and it’s the best desk I ever used.

    More space than I could even ponder using.

  21. does anyone here have any idea what 1/4″ stainless steel costs? What about the design time? How about bringing a concept to market? And there is also the cost associated with an original idea.

    But I guess everyone here has cool ideas all the time? And then actually goes and follows through. :)

    This is a piece of original art and of course it costs more than IKEA.

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