college of engineering white

Jungle Gym Bed Frame


The need for this project is to design a safe and sturdy bunk bed that contains climbing obstacle to help release stored energy.

Max Lamantia Cody Innis Devin Schafer Joshua Holmes

Problem Statement

Luke is a boy who is sensory seeking and really enjoys to climb. He is in need of a bed frame (preferably a bunk bed). Our goal is to design one that is safe but also a fun way for him to expend some of his energy.

Design Specifications

  • Needs to fit through doorway/assembled in room
  • Full size bed needs to fit in the area (100″ x 72″)
  • Cannot exceed 8 feet in height
  • Needs to have monkey bars
  • Bunk bed and storage space are preferred
  • Also enjoys trains and things that rotate

Background Research

1) What Already Exists

  • There are many companies that offer to build custom bunk beds
  • Platinum Rig (in Canada) makes a bed that doubles as a gym that includes monkey bars

2) Availability

  • There are numerous bunk beds available in stores and online

3) Gaps in Existing Products

  • A lot of the available beds online are very bulky
  • The Platinum Rig bed is made of all steel making it too costly
  • Many of the beds do not have adjustable heights
  • Safety is not a major focus of the beds already available

Concept Design 1

This design contains monkey bars across the top of the bed, a rock wall along the side of the bed, a ladder at the foot of the bed, a swing and rope net at the head of the bed, and drawers under the bed for storage.

This design packs the most items into one design to allow for a fun jungle gym bed. However, it falls short in the safety category due to the swing and rope net. This design is also very costly due to the large design.

Concept Design 2

This design contains monkey bars across the top of the bed, a rock wall along the side of the bed, a ladder at the foot of the bed, a rope net to climb to the top of the bed, a full bed on the bottom, drawers for storage under the bed, and a train track around the edge of the bed.

The safety of this design is maximized due to the monkey bars being over a flat area, and because the rock wall is over the bed. Also, this design is more personalized because of the train track around the bed.

Concept Design 3

In this design, the bottom bed is perpendicular to the top bunk, to allow for a taller climbing wall. It also includes, monkey bars across the top, and drawers for storage under neath the bed.

The layout of the two beds allows for more climbing obstacles and greater adventure, but it also greatly lowers the safety of the due monkey bars not being over a flat region.

Selected Concept Design

Due to the safety and practicality of design concept 2, we have decided to go with that one. It doesn’t take up too much space, but it still meets the family’s needs.

The final design of our bed is based around our second preliminary design, with a few modifications. The drawers beneath the bed will roll on fixed caster wheels, and will only extend three feet deep due to the available distance that the drawers can be pulled out. The base of the frame will be supported by six vertical 4×4 wooden beams, while the mattress will be supported by three horizontal 2×4 wooden beams under two sheets of plywood. The Monkey bars are attached to two 4×4 horizontal beams which are supported by four 4×4 vertical beams. The height of the bars will be made adjustable via two steel tubes which run through the four vertical 4x4s and the two horizontal 4x4s. The rockwall will be supported by a standard studded plywood wall with the studs being spaced 16 inches apart while the rocks are spaced 8 inches with staggered rows. The climbing cargo net will be attached to the bottom of the same 4×4 beam as the monkey bars by a series of eye-bolts and quick links in order to make the length of the net adjustable with the monkey bars.

Engineering Analysis 1

CAD Drawings

Bill of Materials

Document Fabrication Process

Testing Results

In order to test each of the parts of the bed frame, one of our team members would jump on random pieces in order to test structural integrity and rigidity, along with climbing on the rock wall and monkey bars to ensure the safety of the frame.

This was also done by Dr. Canfield himself during his final evaluation before delivery.

The delivery took about an hour and a half due to the need for assembly of major parts once in the house.

The family seemed to like the bed frame very much, and Luke was ready to play on the rock wall right away. We believe he will enjoy the frame for a long time, and will follow up later on to ensure longevity and full enjoyment of the product.

Completed Design Photos

Instructions for Safe Use

When changing the height of the monkey bars, do so with at least two people. Make sure metal rods are pushed all the way in. Make sure the bolts are tightened in the rock wall so the rocks are secured. There should always be a mattress on the bed when it is being climbed on.

Project Summary/Reflection

This project’s intention was to build a bed for a child that is classified as pre-autistic. The child is currently two years old, and we wanted to create something he could enjoy for years to come. His mother stated she was concerned about not using his excess energy, so we built a bunk bed with monkey bars and a rock wall so that he could release the energy rain or shine. The monkey bars have three different settings that enable them to grow as the child grows. The rock wall is adjustable in terms of where the handholds can go. Additionally, we added two large drawers underneath the slats of the bed for storage of toys and clothing. The bed itself is sized for a full size bed. We painted the bed fabulous red and blue burst to match his trains. Overall, the jungle gym bed was a success and both the parents and child were thrilled with the outcome.


2018 Fall