Here’s a combination of proof of concept and a usable prototype. We have a large screen now mounted in the ProtoLab but, this portable idea is a great addition to any prototyping space. The main structure started it’s life out as a cart that is used to hang clothes for steam treatments. They are cheap and easy to find.
I wanted to build something that I could use to print/scan/edit with that was portable. A lot of Dr’s. Offices use similar mounts for their computers but, they can cost upwards of $600+. Rummaging around a local thrift store we were able to find all the parts we needed for less than $10. We bought a 17″ flat screen monitor, a wheeled cart and a few other odds and ends. Using conduit pipe mounts we were able to attach the screen, keyboard, mouse and laptop. I also decided to add a 2 plug power outlet with a 20 FT cord. Eventually I will snag a self roll up cord from an old vacuum but, for now this will work. I also added a Wi-Fi extender onto the back of the media station so signals would be boosted no matter where the cart was.
This platform is perfect to take between the prototyping lab to the shop which is about 30ft away. I plan to also add a mount for my small 2.5 terabyte hard drive as well as a 4-way USB splitter. I chose this specific keyboard because it is rubberized and can handle greasy hands. It is easily cleaned off with a little soap and water. I will be improving upon this platform as I go but, for how much it cost out of pocket, it was well worth it.
A Week Later
I’ve been using the new setup for almost a week and so far it works excellent. It definitely is a lot more convenient than the old way of doing things. I still need to finish re-installing a scan program for the Kinect. We used scanect in the past but I’m always interested in trying something new. Since my first post I added a four way USB splitter and mounted it near the keyboard. I’ve ran about 5 prints from the new setup with no problems.