The Ultimate Workstation That Folds Up

ultimate maker station

Looking for an easy way to keep on making stuff even though you’re living in a tiny dorm room? [Matt Silver] was tired of not having a dedicated work-space, so he spent some serious time designing this modular, re-configurable and collapsible portable workstation ready for almost anything.

He started out by sketching ideas, playing around with 3D models in SketchUp, and eventually building a few prototypes using trial and error — and what he’s come up with is pretty darn impressive. It folds down to just under a foot by three feet squared and has casters to roll it around. Once unfolded, you stabilize it by placing your chair on one of the walls that folds down, and the desk itself is also re-configurable for different work surfaces. He’s included a power bar, an LED work-light, and it even has storage racks for tools on the side.

It’s a very thorough Instructable, and definitely worth a look through — especially to see how it magically unfolds! And if you’re wondering about how much it would cost to build, you’re probably looking at around $200 depending on what you already have on hand. What we really like is how it’s almost entirely made out of a single 4′x8′ panel of plywood — it’s like this guy works for IKEA or something!

19 thoughts on “The Ultimate Workstation That Folds Up

  1. Pretty. I needed some solution to sit under my favourite coding tree when doing home-office. I will try to update the wheels for outdoor use and change the material for the floor-board to something more tolerant against humidity, but this instructable is just great!

      1. I’ve seen some folding ones that have a hollowed out bottom. Like this one, but have a center hinge so they can be folded in half.

        1. I have two of them. One is a computer table in another room, and the 2nd is a camping table that sits in the garage until summer. They’re plastic, so static electricity is an issue, and the surface isn’t very solid…knock on it and your tools bounce all over the place.

          I’ll take a wooden desk/table over a plastic one any day; the one shown in this article is brilliant, and spawns a few ideas! Thanks for sharing, [Matt]!

    1. I must have woke up on the wrong side of the bed or something… But C’mon people, this design is bad, the working surface has two seams, can’t be tilted like a drafting table, it’s far from portable, and the one solid surface is the one you put your ass on!

      1. Without having one in front of me to abuse, this thing looks pretty stable. The supports are made from wide plywood sections and 2×4 bracing. For a collapsible workstation that’s about as stable as your going to get.
        He’s using butt-hinges so the seems in the table are only as prominent as the builder makes them, though I can see how that might be an issue with tiny parts or large format drawings.

        Everybody has their own projects in mind when they design a workstation.

      2. Curious… Do you do engineering drawings by hand instead of using CAD? Am i missing an obvious hacker-use of a tilted work surface?

      3. Tom, I concur with your bed theory. This is a terrific design and its just the thing when you’re in a dorm room (or a typical NYC apartment) and need a surface to work on electronics or small hardware. I love this idea.

  2. Do any projects posted to hackaday ever not get posts with people pissing on them? Seems like all they ever post is “this isn’t a hack”, “I could do better in my sleep”, “why is this posted here”. Why even have a comments section?

    1. I think troll plopping is just an internet contagion. I’m glad comments (usually) stay civil here — elsewhere there are too many folks who “blame Obama” or “the gubment” or “black people”.

      The commenting on those sites makes me sick. I’m always happy to spend an hour or two on HaD in the morning, reading articles and intelligent comments while I sip my coffee. :)

    2. I believe having an active comment section shows “user engagement,” which is probably helpful when you’re trying to sell ads against your site.

      Like supershwa says, the comments here are generally pretty civil, even if they are often critical. Sometimes the critics do have some worthwhile contributions to make, too. Unfortunately, they usually don’t make their contributions with a kind tone, but you kind of have to have a thick skin if you’re going to post your work on the web even if HaD doesn’t feature it.

  3. It is a fascinating design no doubt but I’ve issues with how practical it is to setup, and break down in the middle of an ongoing project. I predict that eventually the object will remain in one state, or another. Either stored away, or setup. Both defeat its original intent too.

  4. Very clever, but it seems the WAF might be a bit low on it. Will be interesting to see if anyone else builds one and what they do to streamline/improve it. Mega props to [Matt Silver] for taking on such a project!

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