Buttons and Plugs

Joinery Buttons and Plugs
The following project was to design joinery buttons and plugs as a detail for the joinery in the final design for the SHS room conversion.
The process was to design buttons and plugs that were to be cut on the laser cutter and holes that were to be cut on the CNC (computer numerically controlled) machine.


Laser Cut Buttons and Plugs
The Buttons and Plugs were firstly drawn in Ilustrator and then cut on the laser cutter. This is a process of trial and error as it is always hard to imagine what something will look like until it has been cut. This meant that a number of versions of plugs were cut over the process of the project.

Button and Plug Prototyping
Multiple prototypes were made before the final plugs were produced.
In the prototyping process different sizes, shapes and depths were tested.

Final Prototypes
The final plugs prototypes consisted on two layers on plywood. The first layer was a base layer and then the second layer had a number of pieces that were placed so that there was a gap between the pieces adding depth and pattern to the plug.

CNC Machining
The holes for both a full scale prototype and the final joinery piece were cut on a CNC (computer numerically controlled) machine. A CNC machine works from a  program which is a plug in from Rhino. The file is converted into a format the CNC machine can read and then the CNC machine cuts the chosen material using various different router bits.
I chose to use both a 6mm depth and a 3mm depth as I wanted some of the plugs to be expressed and some to sit flush with the joinery surface.

Buttons and Plugs
The final prototypes of the buttons and plugs. The larger buttons were designed so that the lines on the surface line up and create a
button within the larger context of the joinery piece. As the smaller plugs will not be seen from close up, the were not designer with a
pattern but were used purely for their shape. Within the overall context, these plugs become a part of the pattern.


Designing from Motifs
The inspiration for the buttons and plugs originally came from a photo of an art piece which was painted on a window within the SHS grounds.




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