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Project 5: Platform Bed


Our team was tasked with creating a platform bed for a child with spinal muscular atrophy which will allow her to more easily get in and out as well as keep her in the bed during the night. Individuals with spinal muscular atrophy often have difficulties walking and crawling as they have limited use of their legs and thus often have difficulty getting around particularly with getting in and out of bed.

Evan Hayes, John Piggott, Cody Bennet, Ethan Wilson

Problem Statement

Individuals with spinal muscular atrophy have difficulty moving around especially getting in and out of bed. Our design aims to address these issues designing a bed that will allow them to get in and out quite easily as well as keep them in throughout the night.

Design Specifications

  • Mattress Dimensions: 75″x54″x12″ (full mattress)
  • Height of Child: 31.5″
  • Keep child from leaving bed
  • Low to the ground
  • At least one gate
  • Rails strong enough to support child’s movement
  • Can be used indefinitely
  • No boxspring
  • Pig themed in some way

Background Research

  • Low Platform Beds:
    • Many examples of low platform beds exist and are commonly used, some even feature gates similar to our designs. These beds are made for children/adults with reduced mobility so looking into them will provide much needed insight to what our bed needs and how to build it.
  • General Bed Research:
    • On average beds can support 500 lbs.
    • Beds require proper ventilation to prevent mold and mildew growth when a box-spring isn’t present.
  • Wood Working Knowledge:
    • Proper use of wood and the techniques for joinery is a must if our design is to be sturdy and last for years to come.

Concept Design 1

Concept design 1 is a standard approach to a platform, safety bed. It is heavily inspired by a photo the family provided; however, there are noticeable changes to the design. The rails will be tall enough to restrict climbing out of the bed, and a gate will be featured on opposing sides to allow any placement of the bed that is desired. The gates and rails will have a pig pen design, as pigs are the child’s favorite animal.

Concept Design 2

Concept design 2 is inspired by a covered wagon with a mesh like top cloth cover leaning into the farm style theming for the bed. It will be designed to have a removable top cover, wheels, and gate to allow for customizable later down the line if or when the child feels they no longer like this arrangement allowing them to still use the bed frame and mattress.

Concept Design 3

Concept Design 3 focuses heavily on the pig/farm theming featuring a frame that not only meets the requirements but is fun for the child. This design is a a low platform bed with an outer shell themed around a red barn with large sliding doors either side featuring pig theming and lights inside as well. Additionally, the panels and roof can be removed later if or when the child feels they no longer want them.

Decision Matrix


2023 Fall