If you’ve ever tried to assemble IKEA furniture, you know that there’s no shortage of screws, Allen wrenches, and other little fasteners that inevitably get misplaced during your build. For those that aren’t savvy in furniture construction, it’s a frustrating experience. Well, not anymore; IKEA has recently introduced a series of snap together furniture akin to a jigsaw puzzle.
To make this tool-less design a reality, IKEA developed a new type of joint. Called a wedge dowel, it’s specifically meant for wooden products. A table, for instance, has a small ribbed knob at the top of its leg, which is then inserted into a pre-drilled hole in the tabletop. It requires no glue and can be taken apart and reassembled multiple times without damaging the dowel.
IKEA recognized the fact that it included a lot of little fittings with each of their products. This deluge of material is often a turnoff for customers, as well as a waste in resources. By incorporating the wedge dowel, you're saving time, and IKEA is saving money on supplying all the metal fasteners.
The special design was initially introduced in 2014—as a test of concept—in the Regissör storage products and Stockholm cabinets. Now that there’s proof it works, IKEA intends to incorporate the system into other pieces. The Lisabo table, which went on sale earlier this year, is the first to include the wedge dowel. It makes a huge difference in assemble times. IKEA’s range and supply manager Jesper Brodin told Dezeen,“I actually put together a table, which used to take me 24 minutes to assemble but took me three minutes to click together.”