This was a project I had worked on a few months back, since it has already been completed, I will post a few posts outlining the major events of the build, since this project was focused around monitors I thought that this area of the thread would be most appropriate, if I have posted in the wrong area, please let me know!
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!
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 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.
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.
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.
I have these monitors purchased, but I will post some images of them later.
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.
Then I started to work out some of the details on how it would go together:
After getting to this point in the design, I thought I was going to need to have some custom metal brackets made to mount the monitors to the arms. After modeling them up, I sending the drawings to a fried of mine who does custom work, he sent me back a quote of about $500+ to have them made, which made me immediately cringe. I put the project on hold until I could figure out what to do about this problem, at this point however I had already ordered the extruded aluminum that I was going to make the stand out of, so I went back to the drawing board. The 80/20 extruded aluminum in came in a few days later, and it was beautiful. For being "flawed" I could only find one real blemish on the metal, but overall I'm very happy. I also ordered some living hinges for the bars but I didn't get any really good pictures of them.
The only blemish I could find!
Cont'd in next post...