There are few things more destructive in a relationship than assembling flatpack furniture. But, IKEA might have created a genius solution that could bring peace to households the world over.
IKEA has just announced its most recent invention — furniture that snaps together in minutes without any tools whatsoever. Sounds like a dream come true!
The “wedge dowel” is the brainchild of three engineers working in the IKEA prototype lab in Älmhult, Sweden. According to an IKEA blog post, the nifty new invention is “a small plastic or wooden fitting with milled grooves all around”. It clicks into holes that have been pre-drilled into the furniture, and therefore removes the need for screws and tools. IKEA claims that the invention will cut down assembly time by half.
Where has this been all our lives?
“The first wedge dowel was born ten years ago, when our prototype engineers made a trestle with less fittings and better stability than the existing ones. But nothing happened until we found somebody who believed in the idea,” Christer Collin, former project leader of Project Enjoyable Assembling Experience at IKEA, said in the blogpost.
The innovation process behind the wedge dowel began when engineers wanted to make the assembly process easier and more fun. They also wanted to make the flatpack furniture more aesthetically pleasing by removing visible fittings.
IKEA representative Jesper Brodin told the Evening Standard that furniture made by the retailer often contains a lot of fittings, which can present some challenges in people’s time and interest. “I tried it myself and actually put together a table which used to take me 24 minutes to assemble but instead took me three minutes to click together.”
IKEA will launch the new system across all of its furniture lines, starting with the tricky-to-assemble Lisabo table.