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Complx

RGD - Scratch Built Monitor Stand

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By: Complx

 

Reasoning:

 

The basic idea for this project was was born out of frustration out of seeing what was available on the current market, a lot of triple monitor stands I saw were wildly expensive.  Some cost $300 or more and even after spending that much money on these stands, you still would see people complaining that their monitors that were mounted to the outer arms would often sag and not line up correctly. 

 

Another thing I noticed about a lot of these stands was a complete lack of added functionality to the user, besides just holding the monitors, they often would have no real added value or function to them, the only exception that I could find in my research was the XFX Triple Monitor stand, which incorporated 2 USB 2.0 hubs and a Headphone and Mic jack into the base of their stand.

 

So after a bit more research, I still could not find a monitor stand that really offered what I was looking for.  In all honesty the XFX stand would have been almost perfect, but the price was a little off putting and I found out that they don't make it anymore.  Also, the places that still do have it in stock are charging even more for it than before.

 

So I have set out to design and build a monitor stand for myself that can support up to 4 monitors!

 

 

Research:

 

As stated before, I did a fair amount of research for the project before i started the real work.  There seemed to be 2 "go to" companies when it came to monitor stands, though I know, and looked at, many more.  Ergotron and Ergotech seemed to be the big two.  But a lot of their models that supported 3+ monitors can run up in price. ($200-$300 or more)

 

One of the issues I had with these off the shelf monitor stands right now is the "sag" some of them tend to have, especially when it comes to the arm which the 2 side monitors (Left and Right) are often attached to.  To compensate for this, a lot of the monitor stands have VESA mounts that allow for height adjustment to help line up the end monitors with the center one. 

 

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While this was a good solution to the problem of sag, I felt the bigger issue had not been dealt with, just kind of patched over.  So this was one major area I wanted to focus on, rigidity.

 

 

The next issue I had was for the price, these stands often lacked additional functionality, besides holding the monitors in place.  As mentioned before, the XFX stand had a USB and sound hub built into the base of their stand, which I really fell in love with.   So this was the second thing I wanted to focus on, added functionality to the user.

 

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The Hardware:

 

For this project, I went out and purchased 3 23.6" Asus VN247H-P monitors, the main reason I wanted these was for how thin the bezel was on them, Asus claims it has less than 1cm of bezel on either side.

 

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I have these monitors purchased, but I will post some images of them later.

 

 

 

The Concept:

 

So for this project I will be using a material called extruded aluminum, very light weight, but very strong and very rigid.

 

I have made an initial concept model in CAD program to make sure I have a lot of the measurements and tolerances worked out before I purchase the material and start the first steps of the build.

 

 

These first 2 images were the base I started to work with to get an idea of how I wanted to lay out the main supports.

 

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Then I started to work out some of the details on how it would go together:

 

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Right now this is the most current version of the project in CAD form, there are a few more elements I wanted to incorporate into the model before I start the prototyping and building phase.  

 

As it stands now I still need to figure out:

  - Cable management of the power and video cables

  - Incorporating speakers onto the stand

  - Designing the USB hub which will be at the base of the stand

 

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Here is a WIP shot of what the speakers might look like when mounted:  (Please excuse the gray block, it was a place holder model for my 4th monitor.

 

 

dsiIvzI.jpg

 

 

Stay tuned!

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Looking forward to your progress on this. The other consideration is weight and how to translate that balance down to the center column foot.  With the speakers on the outer segment and the outer LCDs turned in, the center of gravity is over top that keyboard so the foot will have to be able to counter that rotational stress.  I'm sure that's next on the to-do list though :)

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What happens to the outside monitor angles and range of motion should the monitor size/width change?  Let's say someone wanted to use 22" monitors... wouldn't the two outside monitors not line up with the middle monitor as well with the current design?  The pivot point is at a static spot. 

 

Not sure if that's a concern you have or not, though.

 

It looks really nice.  I ended up buying a cheap-ish dual monitor arm (clamps to the desk) a few years ago.  It suffers from many of the same issues you mention

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Looking forward to your progress on this. The other consideration is weight and how to translate that balance down to the center column foot.  With the speakers on the outer segment and the outer LCDs turned in, the center of gravity is over top that keyboard so the foot will have to be able to counter that rotational stress.  I'm sure that's next on the to-do list though :)

 

Yep, already on the list, the first version I will be building will be mounted through the desk and bolted down so it will be able to support a decent amount of weight but I will also design a version with a stand if time and money permits.

 

 

What happens to the outside monitor angles and range of motion should the monitor size/width change?  Let's say someone wanted to use 22" monitors... wouldn't the two outside monitors not line up with the middle monitor as well with the current design?  The pivot point is at a static spot. 

 

Not sure if that's a concern you have or not, though.

 

It looks really nice.  I ended up buying a cheap-ish dual monitor arm (clamps to the desk) a few years ago.  It suffers from many of the same issues you mention

 

All the mounts of brakes on them, if you see in some of the CAD model pictures they have handles on them, they will allow the monitors to slide along the rail to match up, also the arms on on hinges so they can change angles based on the users preference.  I can post some photos later of difference positions the monitors can be placed in so people get a better idea of how flexible this can be.

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All the mounts of brakes on them, if you see in some of the CAD model pictures they have handles on them, they will allow the monitors to slide along the rail to match up, also the arms on on hinges so they can change angles based on the users preference.  I can post some photos later of difference positions the monitors can be placed in so people get a better idea of how flexible this can be.

 

I got that part of it, but if the size of the monitors changes, would that not also change the allowable angles that the monitors could be at, and still match up perfectly with no gaps?  Unless I'm missing something, the hinges don't slide in and out to match the edge of the center monitor (... yet) right? 

 

So if I threw 19" monitors on it, in order to get the edges to line up right, I'd have to have it be at a shallower angle (more flat), so I could slide the monitors down to match up wouldn't I?

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I got that part of it, but if the size of the monitors changes, would that not also change the allowable angles that the monitors could be at, and still match up perfectly with no gaps?  Unless I'm missing something, the hinges don't slide in and out to match the edge of the center monitor (... yet) right? 

 

So if I threw 19" monitors on it, in order to get the edges to line up right, I'd have to have it be at a shallower angle (more flat), so I could slide the monitors down to match up wouldn't I?

 

Hmm, I will have to model up some smaller monitors and put them into place to double check, I can't say im 100% sure how smaller monitors would effect it, but your reasoning sounds pretty solid, so thank you for the feedback and I will be sure to test it out!

 

If anything, the way I think it would work is that you would keep the center monitor centered, and you would slide the ones on the arms closer together to meet up with the center one, as long as the edge of the monitor on the arm does not run into the center arm holding the center monitor, again, I will model up some smaller monitors and test it out to see how it reacts.

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I'm not sure what the actual difference in monitor width would be, or how significant the impact would be either, just a thought that I had run through my head.  I really like the design, with how it should keep it all in perfect vertical alignment, though.

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I'm not sure what the actual difference in monitor width would be, or how significant the impact would be either, just a thought that I had run through my head.

 

 

All the more reason to test it! :D

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Just at a glance your stand is looking awesome so far. Also I love the rendering with the black and orange. Looks pretty sweet.

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Great stuff Complx! 80/20 is really cool stuff, very strong and easy to work with. Its also kind of expensive. I looked into building a small rolling workbench a few years ago and to build a 30"x36"x28" bench would be almost $1600  <_< I know you can find it cheaper through ebay and a monitor mount will be cheaper than a workbench. This might help give you some options for adding tilt to your design.

 

http://8020.net/gaming_stand_cs.asp

http://stores.ebay.com/8020-Inc-Garage-Sale

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Are you taking orders Yet? this looks Like a very good design your working on. Nice rendering also.

 

Haha, not yet, I still have a lot of testing and prototyping to do before that!

 

Great stuff Complx! 80/20 is really cool stuff, very strong and easy to work with. Its also kind of expensive. I looked into building a small rolling workbench a few years ago and to build a 30"x36"x28" bench would be almost $1600  <_< I know you can find it cheaper through ebay and a monitor mount will be cheaper than a workbench. This might help give you some options for adding tilt to your design.

 

http://8020.net/gaming_stand_cs.asp

http://stores.ebay.com/8020-Inc-Garage-Sale

 

Thanks for the links Roboduck, I have visited the 80/20 ebay store multiple times in the past few weeks while researching for this project.  I found that I would be able to build this for a little over $100 for just materials costs.  I do like the gaming stand on the 80/20 site, i didn't see that before, gives me some ideas.  

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Hot daayumn!  That looks slick!  I think the color scheme is brilliant too.  Get it built, we want to see!

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Get it built, we want to see!

 

I do to!! I want this thing to get the cutter off the desk and into the air.

 

There is a little more planning that needs to happen first before the building starts, to make sure everything goes smoothly, I will be making a post soon with a "close to" or "finished" model.

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I do to!! I want this thing to get the cutter off the desk and into the air.

 

There is a little more planning that needs to happen first before the building starts, to make sure everything goes smoothly, I will be making a post soon with a "close to" or "finished" model.

 

Awesome, man!  I can't wait.  This thing looks a little rusty, yet very sleek.  You've done a great job designing it!

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Awesome, man!  I can't wait.  This thing looks a little rusty, yet very sleek.  You've done a great job designing it!

 

 

I'm hoping all the hinges will be anodized a reddish orange like this, to give it a nice contrasting color scheme

 

cobalt_strut_cover_anodized_orange.jpg

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New update!  Sort of a bitter sweet one at that.  One of the first things I wanted to tackle was the speaker stands that would be allow a 5.1 sounds system to be incorporated into the stand itself, getting the speakers off the desk and up in the air. 

 

Here was the finished product at the end of the day:

 

fkQUVb0.jpg

 

 

This system would allow for the speaker height to be adjusted independently and could be adjusted to different monitor sizes as well to, allowing it to be much more flexible if I wanted to get bigger monitors at a later date or wanted to go with a portrait setup at any time.

 

 

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This system was more of an addition to the overall system and a necessary part, but after finishing about 95% of the modeling I decided to do a cost estimate to get an idea of how much more this would add to the total cost of this system.  Sadly, the cost of the brackets alone would cost around $300-$400 alone, and with the cost of the other materials I would need, I would push the price of the stand WAY past what I had originally hoped.

 

So for the time being, I will have to scrap this portion of the project and leave it for a later day, but here are a few more rendering of the RGD System as it looks right now.  Enjoy!

 

Next Update will be the completed stand base!  (Which is still a WIP in these photos)

 

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Love the modularity of it.  If it's made from something like 80/20 than people could add whatever they can think of, if they're so inspired.

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Man that stand is looking really EPIC. Can we add a little hook to hang headphones on the side or the front (around the base)?

 

Since the speaker mounts will have to be a separate project for a later date, someone had suggested doing this and now im seriously considering it in the final model and build, since I have a pair of cans I don't have a place for.

 

 

Love the modularity of it.  If it's made from something like 80/20 than people could add whatever they can think of, if they're so inspired.

 

Yep, planning on using 80/20, so users would be able to bolt or make custom piece for it.

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Update!

 

Ordered the metal yesterday, UPS is saying it will be delivered by Friday.  Depending on what mounting hardware I can get my hands on, I might have a rough prototype by this weekend!

 

Stay tuned!

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