London start-up Swyft has produced a sofa that one person can put together on their own without the need for any tools.
Instead the user simply clicks the pieces together, and a combination of gravity and friction holds them in place, using the company's Swyft-Lok mechanism.
It comes in three sizes – a three-seater sofa, a smaller two-seater model and an armchair size. According to the company, one person can assemble the sofa on their own, without any help.
"The ease by which the sofa can be put together also means we are not outsourcing a logistical headache and additional extensive labour to the customer, as is the case with most flat pack furniture," said brand founder Keiran Hewkin.
The ease of assembly is helped by the fact that, depending on the size of the sofa ordered, the various elements are delivered in either two or three boxes, each of which can be easily lifted by one person.
Each box is coded so that the user knows which to open first, and comes with instructions on how to put the pieces together. It can also be disassembled and put back together again.
Swyft-Lok is a locking mechanism that comprises a die-cast aluminium dock into which a grooved, folded steel unit locks the two elements together. It slots together before clicking into place.
The three-seater sofa has six docks embedded into the base that forms the seat of the sofa – two on each side and two on the back.
Each side element of the sofa has two corresponding grooved units that slot into the base. Another grooved unit halfway up the edge of the side element that attaches to the backrest secures the basic frame in place.
"Normally there is a certain rigidity with flat-pack furniture, in the sense that certain parts are designed to fit together with a specific part," said Hewkin. "Swyft-Lok technology changes that and will be key in all our future product developments."
The sofa is then complete with solid wood legs, and seat and back cushions with triple-layered cushioning, upholstered in a selection of six colours that come in a velvet or linen finish.
By snapping together "like a jigsaw puzzle", the furniture promised to simplify the assembly process at a time when people move more often and therefore need to take furniture apart regularly.
The IKEA wedge dowel can be locked and de-assembled any number of times without any loss of structural integrity for the resulting piece of furniture.