When we had the idea to build a real comfortable bed for sleeping outdoors in April 2017, the first question that came up was the right material. Above all, the bed had to be weatherproof, and it quickly became clear that aluminium could do the job - it doesn't rust and is relatively light.
An aluminum bed?
Phew, aluminium, the metal with the bad CO2 footprint, we thought, but fortunately it is also available in much more environmentally friendly forms, such as recycled and produced with energy from hydropower. So we first got ourselves some commercially available hollow aluminium profiles for the prototype construction and got started in the workshop of a very good friend and gifted craftsman Robert in Swisttal.
So a frame made of high, stable profiles and feet made of rather slender hollow profiles came into being quite quickly. The bed frame was to be 90 x 200 cm - and not as narrow as a sleeping mat - so that there was room for a standard mattress. The slatted frame was also quickly designed, initially as a rolling slatted frame, also made of hollow aluminium profiles.
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Aluminium also has the advantage of being quite light and thus fulfils another requirement for the bed: it should also be easy to transport. This includes lightness, of course, but also ease of assembly and disassembly - ideally without any tools or loose small parts such as screws.
The First Prototype
So we came up with the idea of connecting the individual components of the bed with tension locks. One tension lock at each corner of the bed. The biggest challenge, however, remained: how do we manage to construct the 2m long side rails of the bed in two parts and still join them together stably and hold them together with clamps. Solving this problem alone took months and in the end it became a wedge connection made of solid aluminium, which is stuck in the hollow profiles - an idea with our precision mechanic Felix, who always helped us with precise milling work.
And so the prototype was finally completed at the end of 2018, even though from then on there were still more than 2 years of optimisation work to be done. And - what we celebrated very much - we had even invented something new..