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Taking A Stand

October 7, 2009

Earlier this year my role with Point2 changed, requiring me to switch from a desktop to a laptop.  I’ve never owned a laptop before and have never used one for extended periods of time before.  The switch to a MacBook Pro presented an ergonomic challenge.  At Point2 there are a hodgepodge of styles for working with a laptop.  They range from simply using the laptop, to about every combination possible of external mouse/keyboard/monitor.  The resulting mess gets placed on as many (or more) MacGyver contraptions for getting it all organized on your desk.  Although a few of these look cool, they either don’t work well or take up a lot of space on your desk.

So the obvious, simple solution would have been to just order something from Ergotron.  Most of their stuff looks quite functional while making an art deco terminator endoskeleton fashion statement.  Small problem though, the one I’d want costs $300.  Less obvious solution: fire up Google Sketchup and start designing the smallest form factor, relatively simple to build, laptop stand I could.

LaptopStand

Two hours with Sketchup resulted in the design you see above.  It will work best with a 15″ MacBook Pro and a Dell 2009W monitor.  I showed the design around, and ended up with requests for 9 to be built in total.  Several months of sporadic work later, Emily and I spent a total of 45 hours combined to get them built, painted and delivered.

A few miscellaneous thoughts:

  • Here is the design: Laptop Stand.zip.
  • I highly recommend the use of the CutList 4.0 plugin for Sketchup to either export a CSV or directly generate a cut sheet.
  • All the tapered cutting in this design is also infinitely easier to deal with using a good guide system and a circular saw rather than a table saw.  If you really look into Eurekazone’s products with an open mind you might even decide, like I have, that a table saw is an obsolete tool.
  • The Kreg K3 Master System is also an exceptionally well designed and effective tool.  I wish all my tools worked as well as this one does.
  • If you are wondering where I got the legs for the stands, go here.
  • Raw material wise, the stands cost about $30 to build.

LaptopStandInUse

So far I’ve had 3 requests for more to be built.  Not sure what will be required to get more built, now that I have one on my desk.

By: Dustin Bartlett

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  1. Lars
    August 28, 2010 at 6:53 AM

    I am trying to figure out what problem this solution solves. I also use a laptop and additional monitor at work. I would rather have my automation recessed into the desk, not elevated above it.

  2. ergonomiclaptopstand
    January 5, 2011 at 5:25 PM

    Battery use is quite heavy with most laptops; if using in the home, simply keeping it plugged into its charger cord will eliminate the problem of a quickly drained battery. When traveling, there are compatible car chargers, and some users like to have a spare charged battery on hand as well.

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