Genetic Engineering Produces Desk/Computer Hybrid

Desk Holds Computer Internally

Computers and Desks go together like peanut butter and jelly. After many years of modding computer cases with windows, lights and the like, [Cameron] decided it was time to try something new and combine his next custom case with a desk.

The main desk is from Ikea. The computer case portion is made from wood. No one wants to lose leg room, this case was made to be shallow and wide so it would be out of the way when bolted underneath the desk’s work surface. If any serious maintenance has to be done the case can be easily unbolted and lowered for easy access. Speaker grill cloth is used on the front of the case for 2 reasons; hide the case and keep out the dust.

Computer Desk CAD Design

This project wasn’t just slapped together, many hours went into the concept and design. There are 3 specially designed compartments to keep components separate and optimize the airflow. [Cameron] measured the pre- and post-build processor temperatures and found that the design of the new case resulted in a 15°C reduction from his previous tower case. Not too shabby!

If you like custom computer desks, check out the Heavy Metal, the 3 Monitor Corner or this Sit/Stand Conversion desk.

26 thoughts on “Genetic Engineering Produces Desk/Computer Hybrid

  1. While I love it, I’d fear my legs would get chilly. If I personally did this I’d find/make a desk with thick sides then have air blown into the side support space by fans, then out of vents at the top of the side supports, that way the air flow never passes over me, though you could probably add a leg heater function somehow.

    Anyway, nice build :D

    1. It is.

      I have a desk designed for rack mount equipment glued up in my garage at the moment. Nothing from Ikea can hold up to this kind of weight. It is exceptionally hard to find any piece of furniture that can handle serious weight for under several hundred dollars. I had to build my own solution with a mixture of hardwood and standard lumber.

      What is glaringly obvious is that huge (probably 4ft) unsupported span. 1″ or better maple, oak, maybe 3/4 plywood would work with some bracing across the bottom. This table made out of Ikea standard MDF or particle board just doesn’t cut it. Adding Some horizontal supports, no less than 1×4 would help, but then they would need better vertical support and before you know it the thing becomes a brand new table.

      The guy has the ability to fabricate. That table is not nearly up to the quality of what he put under it.

  2. Thank you Rich for posting my project on Hackaday, as a long time reader I’m glad to finally have something to share with others on this site. Although I’m not sure where the “Genetic Engineering” title came from, I’ll try to address a few issues brought up in the comments and attempt to explain some of the aspects of the design.

    This computer is used strictly for photo editing. The fans are run off a PWM splitter, so noise and air flow are directly related to CPU load. The case is very quiet most of the time, and really not that loud when it goes to a high load. The previous case had a manual 2-position fan switch and was at least twice as loud on the “high” 12v setting (normally ran on 5v for noise control). Plus, I’ve usually got some tunes blasting while I’m doing any heavy processing, so it’s really unnoticeable to me.

    The desk had a slight bow before I began this project from years of use. I will admit that IKEA desks don’t have the best build quality from the get go, but the case has added an enormous amount of rigidity to the desk, completely reducing the side-to-side sway that was very apparent before the modifications began.

    As for being unergonomic, well, it isn’t for me. The desk provides a lot of surface area for me to store equipment on when I’m loading photos onto my computer.

    In regards to temperature, I live in Arizona, so I never have to worry about being “chilly”. The air being pulled in the front creates a nice breeze for me as ambient room temps are usually around 80°F. My old case idled at around 15°C hotter than this one, so not only does it keep my room considerably cooler, but it also doubles as a floor fan, sort-of. The hot air vents out the back and doesn’t seem to push any of the heat back towards my legs, so my nuts stay as swamp-free as they can be in Arizona.

  3. Would you have Hard Drive failures in the future do to oblong gravity geometry due too side stacking of the drives?
    Hard Drives love to be horizontal position, do not like doing it side ways… no pun implied too!

    1. The hard drive are stacked in a horizontal position. You can see the SATA power cables to the left of the motherboard in my imgur gallery. But I agree with celebraces, plenty of devices these days orient their hard drives in a vertical position.

  4. I have a built a big subwoofer into the desk that serves as my workbench. Around 120 liters internal volume, two 8″ high excursion subs, tuned super low (18Hz). Needless to say, i can only listen to music when i’m NOT working. :P

    My room is next to the bathroom, so the subwoofer has an extra unintended side effect: Leave the music playing when i take a bath – voila, massage bathtub for free.

    1. Just don’t have a subwoofer operating anywhere near a computer when you’re burning data to discs. Too much vibration can overcome the drive’s ability to control the lens position.

Leave a Reply

Please be kind and respectful to help make the comments section excellent. (Comment Policy)

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.