TITLE: Ringbein
WHAT: Product

English & Deutsch ↓


Welcome to the Open Design Studio at Mifactori. This time we bring you a simple trick we call Ringbein – a trick you can use to make circular tables and more. 


1 How it works , 2 Variations , 3 Sustainability , 4 Credits

1 How it works

Just put the legs to the ring and put it up. 

Legs must lie in a row not crossed. 

Turn 1 bar to adjust the shape.

The diameter of the ring determines the angle – wider ring = steeper angle. 

Use this design to give all kinds of materials and parts a new purpose. The legs don’t even have to be the same diameter or length – all three legs can be different.

It also works with 4 legs but loses stability and becomes harder to align.

2 Variations & Forks

As usual with Open Circular Design there are many forks possible. Let’s look at some ideas.

Round plates can be placed in between the legs making it easier to adjust everything. 

A plate from the flea market

Plate placed a bit lower

Upcyling: Poles from a broken camping chair & worn out cymbal

Scrap wood

Once down that road everything becomes possible.

With some materials and applications a sliding top might pose a problem.

Chair leg caps are one way to deal with this. They are available in different colours and sizes (amz 1, 2)

With some materials and applications sliding legs might become a problem. Solve this with silicone band (amz 1, 2) …

or hose clamps (amz 1) or something similar.

As this is an Open Circular Design it has Open Ends = things we tried but didn’t finish. Pick up the ball if you like and push it further. 

With that Ringbein can be turned into a whole flexible → exhibition infrastructure system!

We found a disc in our workshop that already had a hole in the middle with rounded edges. Works wonderfully and is very stable. We have not explored this further but we invite you to … 


Ok. How about turning this into a full sized table:

Sure. But what about this problem?

A really heavy plate and two stands might already help. 

Or just put something really heavy on top?

Or underneath?

But if you go for a hole in the top you can start to think about ropes as well. 

Update: But if you go with holes in the plate you immediately have something very stable and working. 

More pics and configurations of that here 

Problem! Strings or weights apply pressure causing weak materials to deform. The narrow notches on the picture below are deformations resulting from pressure (stool experiment, see image above ↑). The large notches have been put there on purpose as another way to avoid sliding legs.

One way to stop sliding and deformation of legs could be some stoppers on the plate – for example holes in the top.

Your turn. This is where we left off. Maybe you can find ways to adapt this design and bring it further.  


3 Sustainability Discussion – how is this sustainable?

This is a pretty great open design as it checks almost all boxes for an open circular design. It is/uses: 

Simple → Obviously! Hard to make something simpler than this!

Standards → Rings & round bars. Hard to find more standard parts than those.

Recyclable → Depends on the materials used. All examples above are made from well recyclable materials. This design supports recyclability.

Upcycling friendly → The design works great to give old parts a fancy new life (possibly even through efficient mass production processes.) Only rings aren’t that easy to come by.

Biosphere Support → This does not support the biosphere directly but you can argue that it provides an incentive to have plants in your home ;- )

Educative → It’s to simple to teach technical skills, just a view of the world: “it’s can be very easy to reuse things creatively!”

Open Licenses → As always and just in case our open licenses apply. But this design is so simple, flexible & obvious that no real design protection can apply here anyway! It’s free hardware. 

Pre-Use → The main version does not require to make any change to the used material! You can even use different sized legs and don’t have to cut things to align. (What is “Pre-Use”?)

4 Credits & Mentions

As said this design is so simple and (to some extend) obvious that we can’t be the first ppl. to discover this. It must be ancient knowledge. We discovered it ourselves though and did not make any effort to find examples. If you know some please send us links, we are happy to include them here as inspiration for us and others. 


5 Conclusion

Because of its simplicity and flexibility we give this Open Circular Design 5 out of 5 stars. 


Criticism: we see is that the main version is not very stable and therefore the solution has only limited application possibilities. But within these it works great!  



Deutsche Version

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