The simplicity of the PlayWood idea is not dissimilar to the Be-elastic system, which uses snap-on legs to turn any board into a table. The PlayWood connectors, too, can be used with all types and shapes of different materials, but is more versatile.
There are three types of connector: a 90-degree square module, a 105-degree hexagonal module and a 150-degree module that is also hexagonal. The connectors are designed to slot onto boards of any material type and hold them together with others without causing damage. The only necessity is that the boards are between 1.5 cm (0.6 in) and 2 cm (0.8 in) thick.
According to PlayWood, the connectors were developed with extensive research, prototyping and testing. Initial prototypes were 3D-printed, with the final products being formed from molded polyamide, which the firm says is strong, ductile and heat resistant, as well as being recyclable.
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"The resistance depends on how weight is distributed and which levers are generated – to give a figure would not be correct," CEO and co-founder of PlayWood Stefano Guerrieri told Gizmag, when asked about stress testing figures. "So [the strength] is difficult to indicate but is comparable to a corner made of aluminum or iron."
PlayWood has a number of example designs on its website that it says can help to familiarize users with using the system. It suggests that, once proficient, users can experiment with cutting boards and sections to different shapes and sizes.
The connectors are, of course, reusable, so a finished piece of furniture can to be changed at a later date if desired. This also makes it easy to pack pieces of furniture away in the event that they need to be transported somewhere.
The PlayWood system has been in development for two years and was launched last month. The firms says it will be adding new new designs to its website soon and will expand the range of available connectors. It is also planning an Internet of Things device to work with the range for launch next year.
The video below shows the PlayWood being used to make a chair.