Linear actuators can be found in many different appliances and machinery, but one of the most prevalent uses we see them in is through automated smart furniture. In furniture making, they help with improving storage security, space optimization, and promoting ergonomic designs through proper posture. By allowing furniture to adjust into different configurations, furniture actuators can also introduce a stylish appearance to suit the ever-changing user’s choice of mood and setting. This article will cover the popular applications where furniture actuators are used and how they work.
Electric linear actuators are the electromechanical devices responsible for converting electricity into physical linear motion to drive the movement found in many home automation projects. That motion can be applied to any number of processes or functions as furniture actuators, whether simple or complex. Almost any type of furniture where adjustability is a key factor and requires a drive for motion will be the perfect place to find furniture actuators:
- DIY bar cabinets
- Bed lift systems
- Adjustable beds
- Dinette tables
- Standing desks
- Hidden DIY furniture
- TV lift cabinets
DIY Bar Cabinets
Customizing your very own DIY bar cabinet allows for a design, appearance, and storage configuration that is exactly to your personal preference. The integration of a TV lift such as the TY-01-25 in April Wilkerson’s project not only offers more security for the hidden storage, but it also serves as a cool surprise factor for visitors. While TV lifts are more commonly used to raise and lower TV lift cabinets, April found the TV-01-25 had the specifications to work perfectly like a furniture actuator for handling her travel length and force capacity requirements. Another similar use case of linear actuator furniture technology can be seen below in Todd DeYoung’s DIY Hidden Bar Cabinet using Electric Lifting Columns:
Bed Lift Systems
Sleeping in a tiny house or sprinter van generally requires efficient use of the available space, especially when it comes to how the bed platform and mattress were used. Michael Fiala demonstrates his version of a sprinter van bed lift system that is raised and lowered to uncover his living room while still offering a comfortable amount of space to sleep.
Actuators with hall effect feedback were required for proper lift since the feedback goes to a control box which would then be able to make the needed corrections if one side travels at a different speed from the other. Differing speeds can sometimes happen from slightly unequal weight distribution or the speed tolerance from the furniture actuators’ DC motors. The PA-04-30-400-HS-24VDC actuator was selected for this project since it has the physical dimensions and force ratings that Michael was able to work while offering hall effect sensors. For even more space efficiency, Chad’s bed lift system uses a similar idea but with PA-18 track actuators that do not have protruding shafts (customized with hall sensors):
Adjustable beds have a design where the bed’s frame comes with built-in furniture actuators for adjusting into different positions and configurations according to the user’s choice. Popular features found in many adjustable beds include massagers, underbed lighting, USB charging ports, and head and foot adjustments. Since there is no “one size fits all” to account for the various health conditions and personal preferences of every user, the adjustability to adapt into different configurations makes adjustable beds solutions that can benefit everyone. Changing configurations helps to promote better posture for activities like watching television, working on a laptop, or reading a book. They also offer more sleep configuration options so users can sleep in the most comfortable positions to accommodate various injuries:
The most comfortable table height for eating dinner can depend on factors such as the height of the user(s) and personal preferences. The honest review from @twHomeShow and dinette table by Chad shows perfect examples of how furniture actuators can be applied into dinette tables. The actuator driving linear motion inside the installed FLT-11 lifting column ensures users have the adjustability to change into different heights. With a force rating of 225 lbs, the FLT-11 has solid construction while still offering user safety with its Anti-Collision Sensor to detect any object(s) obstructing its path. Clever space optimization allows for this one furniture to be configured into multiple purposes such as for eating dinner, working on a laptop, or transforming into a full-sized bed:
Standing desks are rising in popularity for home and office use due to the significant benefits they offer for end-users. Aside from the variety of colors, tabletops, shapes, and sizes available, a standing desk can also help reduce bad posture, increase productivity, and promote a more active work style. Premade standing desks offer lots of variety, however, users who enjoy the process of customizing their own projects can also make their own standing desks according to their preference and style. April Wilkerson showcases this in her custom Tabletop from a Tree Limb that uses our FLT-02 Solo Ryzer frame as the base of her standing desk. The DIY Adjustable Standing Desk Using Trashed Electronics by Loren Browman is also another great example of blending function, style, and ergonomic design into one project:
Hidden DIY Furniture
Hidden DIY furniture such as tables, benches, and lounge chairs can be configured in such a way so that the furniture sits flush with the floor that is surrounding area. This helps with space optimization by being completely hidden when not in use. The process of revealing the furniture also adds to its stylish appearance while offering new visitors a surprise factor. Depending on how many actuators are used and the physical requirements of the furniture project, the most suitable model of furniture actuator will vary. Examples such as our customer projects below show how the possibilities of hidden DIY furniture are nearly endless!
- The Phantom Table
- Japanese Style Hidden Table Lift Project
- Phantom Bench by Dr Decks
- Decks' Phantom Lounge Chair
Whether you are working in an office, at home, or on a road trip, furniture actuators are there to make our lives easier and more enjoyable. They add motion and functionality to traditional furniture, making them popular solutions for the space efficiency, ergonomic designs, and convenience they can offer in any setting.
We hope you found this as informative and interesting as we did, especially if you were considering automated furniture for home and office use! If you have any queries or wish to discuss our products further, please do not hesitate to reach out to us! We are experts in what we do and will be happy to assist in any way we can.
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