Some of you may remember the great monitor debacle at our 2017 Rollout Events. This isn’t quite as significant of a monitor debacle, but to me it is. Enjoy!

At CADimensions we’re fortunate enough to have a second monitor (as I’m sure many of you do), but this is where my problem arises.  Similar to the picture above, I have my second monitor off to the side of my laptop. However, having my body facing the laptop to type and my neck craned over at the second monitor gave me a stiff neck by the end of the day.  I found some interesting seating positions in order to try to alleviate this, but all it did was entertain my coworkers passing by.  Of course I wanted to utilize the massive second monitor, but with my neck pain I couldn’t use it effectively.

My coworker, Sara Reynolds, acquired a new monitor stand to place her monitor above her laptop and I thought this might be a good solution to my problem.  In this position, my neck and back pain would be decreased due to not hunching over in the chair as much and not having to put my neck in an unusual position for long periods of time.  I decided to give it a try.  This is where SOLIDWORKS came into play.

To be honest, it’s really where I turned to Amazon.  I scoured Amazon to find what I was looking for but there were some other things that came into play. I currently have my laptop propped up on some old SOLIDWORKS book from my days in college (really getting my money’s worth) which I would really like to get rid of.  This is where I determined that I would make a stand that would prop my laptop up to the desired height as well as hold my monitor above the laptop.

The first thing I did was model up my laptop in SOLIDWORKS with it being virtually propped up on the books.  This allows me to model the monitor around my laptop.

Since I was going to make the stand rigid, I needed to determine the best viewing angle of the monitor.  This is a little difficult to determine because obviously looking perfectly normal to the monitor is the best, but how can I determine that without trial and error?

What I did was sit in my chair at the most comfortable position I could while looking in the general direction of the monitor.  From there I measured roughly where my eyes were in relation to my laptop.  At that point I used construction lines in SOLIDWORKS to locate my “eyes”, then I drew a line to the monitor making it perpendicular, which resulted in the best viewing angle.

I extruded the overall thickness of the monitor instead of the edge thickness because I didn’t want to spend my time accurately modeling the monitor.  Okay, I might just be lazy and that’s why.  I used weldments for the rest of the bracketry in order to get a cut list.  This way I can purchase tubing and know that I will buy enough material as well as minimizing my scraps.

This is how my monitor stand looked when I completed the model in SOLIDWORKS.  One thing you’ll notice is that I have a center of mass icon in the middle of my screenshot.  I used the center of mass feature in SOLIDWORKS to make sure that the monitor wouldn’t come crashing down on my face.  As long as the legs of the stand extend past the center of mass horizontally, it won’t tip over.  I bet you are dying to see what it looks like now that it is finished.

First, let me explain that at the time of fabrication my younger brother was taking a welding class in high school and he was dying to weld this frame up.  Let’s just say he’s not going to college for welding, but it hasn’t broke yet so at least he got something right.

I have to say, installing this monitor stand in my office has significantly reduced my neck and back pain.  For the amount of time we sit/stand behind a computer I am all for making it as comfortable as possible.

Hopefully I am not the only one who has used SOLIDWORKS to enhance their office surroundings.  Let me know if you have used SOLIDWORKS for anything in your office.  Also, take note of my SOLIDWORKS modeled phone holder!

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