The build starts with a motorized corner desk frame that can be bought from amazon for just $550. To create the chevron-finish top, [WoodCraftly] grabbed some plywood sheets, and cut them into a series of 1-inch strips. These were then flipped 90-degrees onto their side, and glued together to create a panel that showed off the individual layers of the plywood. This panel was then cut into 3-inch wide strips at a 45-degree angle, and these strips were then placed back to back and once again glued up to create the attractive herringbone design.
From there, it was a simple matter of gluing up panels into the L-shape required for the desk, adding mounting holes, and rounding off the corners for a nice finish. The desk was also given a thick coat of epoxy on the bottom which soaked into the wood and helped give the desk some strength, and a top coat that was sanded back to a natural-look finish.
We all have one. Maybe you’re sitting at it now, or just wishing you were — that perfect desk. You know the one — a place for everything and everything in its place, ample acreage, specialized storage, and top-notch looks. Oh, and blinkenlights. Can’t forget those.
It took four months of hard work, but [Build XYZ]’s dream desk has been finely fabricated into fruition. There’s a lot to unpack with this build, which you can appreciate after the break, but it all started with a donated up/down desk from Progressive Desk. After building the base and putting it through its body weight-driven paces, [Build XYZ] set about making the perfect top, which, as you can see, highlights an assortment of PCBs by encasing them for eternity in resin.
But don’t let your admiration stop there, because the woodworking is just as much a part of the show. In addition to the functional blinkenlights that notify [BuildXYZ] when it’s time to stop working for the day or just take a break, there’s a working wireless charger hiding among the FR4. We can’t wait to look back on this desk in 20 years or so and we also can’t wait to see how PCBs will change over the next 20 years.
This tightly-produced video is a fascinating look into the process of forever immortalizing things in resin. So much resin, in fact, that [Build XYZ] came up a gallon short during the pour and had to wait an excruciatingly long time before more resin showed up. Seeing as how you totally can’t tell at all in the final build, we have maximum respect for [Build XYZ]’s inclusion of this part in the first place, which serves as a warning to the rest of us.
It might be surprising for some, but humans actually evolved to be long-distance runners. We aren’t very fast comparatively, but no other animal can run for as long or as far as a human can. Sitting at a desk, on the other hand, is definitely not something that we’re adapted to do, so it’s important to take some measures to avoid many of the problems that arise for those that sit at a desk or computer most of the day. This build takes it to the extreme, not only implementing a standing desk but also a ton of automation for that desk as well.
This project is an improvement on a prior build by [TJ Horner] called the WiFi Standing Desk Controller. This new version has a catchier name, and uses an ESP32 to run the show. The enclosure is 3D printed and the control board includes USB-C and a hardware UART to interface with the controller. The real perks of this device are the automation, though. The desk can automatically lift if the user has been sitting too long, and could also automatically lift if it detects no one is home (to help keep a cat off of the desk, for example). It also includes presets for different users, and can export data to other software to help analyze sitting and standing patterns.
The controller design is open source and could be adapted to work on a wide-array of powered desks. As we’ve seen in the past, with the addition of a motor, even hand-crank standing desks can be upgraded. If you haven’t gotten into the standing desk trend yet, we hope that you are at least occasionally going for a run.
The build is mostly cherry veneered half-inch plywood and real cherry. There are dozens of angles and complex pieces that all fit together in a valuable and powerful desk. The centerpiece of the desk is the air intake grill with a 2019 Apple Mac Pro-like finish. [John] mentions that he previously did it by hand with just a parked drill bit and some patience, but he vastly prefers the automated way. Two cubbies flank the center vent, made from plywood with cherry veneers glued on. A USB hub is hidden at the back in one of the cubbies, exposing all the I/O for the AMD-powered desktop PC hidden inside. The top of the desk is hinged to allow easy access to the PC. [John] asserts that he made the coolest desk in the known universe. We don’t know if we can say it’s the coolest, but we certainly appreciate the process and expertise that made it.
After you’ve finished your new desk build inspired by [John]’s project, perhaps you might be interested in a levitating turbine desk toy to seal the deal. Video after the break.
Like many office workers, [David Kong] found himself the lucky recipient of a motorized sit-stand desk. Also like most office workers with such a desk, he found himself mostly sitting. Reminders on his phone did little to change habits and [David] resolved to automate his desk to rise on a schedule.
Taking off the front panel of the control box required a few screws and [David] was delighted to find some testing pins right on the PCB.By connecting the right pins together, he could simulate any button being pressed. A Toshiba TLP222A solid-state relay made it simple to connect the pins together, the next step was triggering the relay on some sort of timer.
Speaking of timers, the oft-lauded 555 timer was considered. However, the length of time desired wasn’t as well suited for the 555, and the appeal of just tweaking a file to adjust the interval was tempting. Going to the other end of the spectrum, [David] had a Raspberry Pi zero laying around he had been meaning to play with.
After soldering the relay to pin 17 and writing a quick 10 line python script that is executed on startup, [David] had a working solution that could be taped to the underside of the desk, out of sight. Rather than being on a fixed timer, the desk raises every 45 to 60 minutes. The impact on his life has been wonderful, which was the goal of this particular project. It’s been a few months and he hasn’t had to tweak or fix anything. Is a whole 64-bit multicore processor a bit of an overkill for toggling a pin every hour or so? Yes. But we can’t really fault him for reaching for what was already lying around. The results speak for themselves.
As computers became more popular in the late 80s and into the 90s, they vastly changed their environments. Of course the technological changes were obvious, but plenty of other things changed to accommodate this new technology as well. For example, furniture started to include design elements to accommodate the desktop computer, with pass-through ports in the back of the desks to facilitate cable management. While these are less common features now there are plenty of desks still have them, this 3D printed design modernizes them in a simple yet revolutionary way.
While these ports may have originally hosted thick VGA cables, parallel printer cables (if they would fit), and other now-obsolete wiring, modern technology uses simpler, smaller solutions. This doesn’t mean that they aren’t any less in need of management, though. This print was designed to hold these smaller wires such as laptop chargers, phone chargers, and other USB cables inside the port. A cap on the top of the print keeps everything hidden until it is lifted by hand, where a cable can be selected and pulled up to the top of the desk.
While it might seem like a simple project at first, the elegance of this solution demonstrates excellent use of design principles and a knack for integrating slightly older design decisions with modern technology. If you have a 3D printer and a cable management port on your desk, the print is available on Thingiverse. Not every project needs a complicated solution to solve a problem, like this automatic solar tracker we recently saw which uses no complicated electronics or algorithms to reliably point itself at the sun.
Heading off to college comes with its own set of challenges. Harder course material, living away from home for the first time, and dealing with roommates are common hurdles to overcome, but an oft-overlooked issue is the poor quality dorm room desks. For a place that a student is expected to spend a majority of their study time, colleges and universities don’t often provide inspiring areas in the dorm rooms for this task. With a few tools and some time, though, anyone suffering in a dorm can have a much better place to work.
This desk build comes to us from reddit user [lucas_talbert] and is noteworthy for using simple tools and materials to transform the standard, boring desk in a way which won’t upset the facilities manager in charge of the dorm furniture. The backer is a piece of plywood which was covered in bamboo flooring. It was screwed into the back of the desk and secured with L-brackets. A piece of 1×4 was attached around the edges to help hide the LED lights and cables as well.
We like this build for its impressive transformation of an otherwise drab dorm room into a place that most of us wouldn’t mind having as our main workstation, even beyond college. It also uses common materials and is easily removable, both of which are perks when living as a student. The one thing it doesn’t have, though, is the ability to exercise when using it.