1

... that allows the steps to collapse and the support brace to pivot inwards so that the unit can lay flat? Some sort of bolt?

pet_steps

pet_steps2

pet_steps3

3

Dowels.

This could be done multiple ways but I'd say there's a good chance the tread and the riser pivot on dowels. This is the simplest way to make anything like this where a component needs to rotate about an axis, although you could use steel pins* for increased strength and durability a wood-only solution can be strong enough and durable enough for a long service life. The key thing then would be the diameter and strength of the wood used for the dowel.


*Housed directly in wood or in bushings of plastic or metal

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