In the past year I have been testing more mobile robotics platforms, and have to juggle a laptop, joystick controllers, cables, and other hazards. After trying not to trip on cables or throw out my back for the umpteeth time, I decided to make something better.
While watching a recent Adam Savage - Tested video I saw a sweet computer station, which turns out to be a musician’s keyboard stand. It’s all aluminum construction, easy to break down and setup, and has a sweet look (MOST important). I found a used one and got it shipped post haste.
Once it arrived I templated the shelf brackets by tracing them onto scrap 1/8" plywood, modeled in SolidWorks (though for simple geometry like this any CAD program should suffice), and designed a decent shape for the shelf. Next I printed the design on paper 1:1 to test fit, then ran through CC for CAM. 20-30 minutes later I had the first shelf.
The top shelf will primarily hold a monitor, though if history is a teacher it will slowly collect a few trinkets throughout any given project.
Next I turned my sights on the keyboard tray, and this is where I decided to get fancy. I decided to build in some joysticks and buttons so I had one less thing to juggle. At first I was going to model everything directly into the MDF sheet, but wanted some flexibility to change it later and was concerned about the rigidity of the MDF in a thin x-section. Instead the joystick panels are laser cut and screw into the MDF panel recess - and it all works beautifully.
Here prior to paint, with the keyboard that will also live on the shelf. I notched the tray so I can stand closer to it while still having my joystick controls on each wing.
The finished stand, all painted and installed. Now I am waiting on the monitor stand to arrive, after which I can use the stand to code the joystick controls and user interface for my robots!!