You are not reaching your current productivity potential. Numerous esteemed experts agree that standing is better than sitting and that walking is better than standing. Despite this, your workplace only provides inhumane chairs and stagnant standing desks for you to use while you struggle to get through a workday full of distractions and bodily pains.

Rise up, sedentary sentients, and unleash that untapped potential within by marching endlessly towards a brilliant future of focused work. Step forward into a world of infinite potential, bounded only by the smooth arcs of a wheel. Step forward into the Hamster Wheel Standing Desk that will usher in a new era of unprecedented productivity.

This project is a collaboration at Pier 9 between Artist-in-Residence RobbGodshaw and Instructables Developer Will Doenlen. Thanks to Vanessa Sigurdson, Gabe Patin, Oliver Kreitman, and Bilal Ghalib for helping out in the wee hours of the morning!

Step 1: Design your wheel

Things that are made to fit people are subject to lots of careful consideration. Ergonomics and safety are very important to any furniture project.

We considered adding in brakes but decided against it in order to really force the productivity out of the desk user. In the end, we decided on a wheel 80" in diameter that would be supported by a 24" wide base that contained a set of four skateboard wheels on which the wheel would rest. This design allows fluid rotation without requiring an axle for the wheel.

We already had a standing desk that fit through the wheel, so it was just a matter of avoiding interference and leaving enough room for a human.

The wheel was designed using Autodesk Inventor over the course of a few hours. This allowed for a parametric design, where the diameter, width, and number of slats could be changed easily. We imported a human model from GrabCad to check clearances, and measured every door at Pier 9 to ensure it could leave the building.

See attached files. This project was completed with 24 hours, and the files are somewhat lazy.

This project requires 4 sheets of ¾" Plywood, 4 skate wheels, 2 pipes, 240 wood screws, a pint of glue, and a good attitude.

<p>Thank you Robb so much for uploading the .dxf files! It saved me money with the laser cutter guys down the road. I finished the wheel and the base last sunday, wife and I are going to paint it this weekend. Thanks again for all your hard work and sharing everything.</p>
<p>Hi Will, Do you have the DXF file for the Bearing Stand Plate?</p><p>I see the PDF above but I want to cut it on a CNC and I need the DXF file.</p><p>I did find the DXF nested sheet of rectangles and rings so that will help but I need the side parts. Thanks!!!</p>
<p>Hi PT! I don't have the DXF's anymore, only a modified DWG of the Bearing Stand Plate that has more slats added in for the wheel that would fit onto a standard 4'x8' sheet of plywood. I see Robb got you the original, would you still like my modified DWG?</p>
<p>Thanks for making the wheel Will!</p><p>It is always very exciting to see it have new life. I love the look of that ply. The grain has a very nice contrast. I hope the wheel provides you with years of an active lifestyle. You've certainly earned it!</p>
<p>Final update; did a lot of tweaking and adjusting. The wheel no longer rubs against the base and my dog is having a blast on it.</p><p> <iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="281" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/_cZROk-Y-xc" width="500"></iframe></p>
<p>I built this wheel for my final major project at university. Furthermore, I connected it to a small bicycle wheel, which with a dynamo generates energy to charge a phone. Furthermore, I connected the wheel to an app which shows in real time energy produced and calories burned. Once finished the performance users insert their name and they are placed in a leaderboard. This project is currently exhibited at London College of Communication and many people are running on it in these days, it&rsquo;s actually also a bit dangerous :P</p><p>Thank you very much for sharing all the instructions to build this! </p>
Hi<br><br>How much power you generate with your hamster wheel? Is there a generator assembled?
<p>Nice do you feel weird in a hamster wheel though?</p>
<p>Definitely, especially the first time you try it, it seems like everything is falling down.</p>
<p>Nice project. For the falling down problem, you could add some kind of curved &quot;screen&quot; up until above your head to hide the motion. Maybe two metal rods connected to the desk. You simply slide a piece of fabric easily sowed together.</p><p>Is it noisy ?</p>
<p>Definitely, especially the first time you try it, it seems like everything is falling down.</p>
<p>I think it appropriate for users to wear a &quot;hamster onesie&quot; . A teddy-bear onesie will due if by sewing you modify the tail, and add cheek-pouches. </p>
<p>Ahah yes, that's a great idea, stuffing it with pillows or something soft it could even solve the safety problem.</p>
<p>I'm sure you got an amazing grade! Have you seen the animated show Phineas and Ferb? You top even the best of their inventions. I'm so very impressed. Praise, praise, praise (instead of &quot;Blathers Noah Blathers&quot;). Please continue to make your wonderful inventions.</p>
<p>Yes, I got the maximum :)<br>No I haven't seen that show, but thank you very much for the compliment, very much appreciated.</p>
<p>Wow!</p><p>That looks fantastic. Is that Walnut plywood? I'm impressed.The safety issue is one of the biggest unsolved problems of the human-sized hamster wheel.</p><p>It really makes my day when I see my instructables executed in the real world.Thanks for making one!</p>
<p>Yes, the Walnut is plywood, it was actually the cheapest one I could find here in London, but it looks great.<br>Eventually the exhibition was good and no injuries were reported from people running on the wheel. :)<br><br>Thanks to you for sharing this, you really boosted my final project!</p>
<p>Now make a hamster ball!</p>
<p>i have seen this already done; there are field sports now where each participant is running inside of a hamster ball! (though not built with wood!)</p>
<p>And they don't have a computer inside either ;^&lt;</p>
<p>So you haven't seen it done then.</p>
<p>Listen to the Wait! Wait! Don't tell me! segment. Someone did suggest exactly that and described what it would be like at work. Hilarious.</p>
<p>that will bin awesome i would pay a lot of money for materials to make a hamster ball if i had instructions. Im with you man... Hamster Ball!!!!</p>
<p>We made this!! And it's a bigger one- 2.5m diameter. <a rel="nofollow">Check it out here.</a></p><p>We made it to test out how it might work for an upcoming show. And it worked a treat. Thanks for putting it up there, guys!!</p>
<p>Amazing!!</p><p>What did you use to cut the parts?</p>
<p>The plans were re-drawn to make it larger and everything was lazercut.</p><p>The vimeo link wasn't working properly on the last post so here it is again.</p><p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="281" src="//player.vimeo.com/video/113901146" width="500"></iframe></p>
<p>Hi, great build ( and great video!) did you still cut from 8x4 sheets? Any chance you could share your cad files? Thanks :)</p>
<p>Thanks echobass,</p><p>I don't have access to the cad files anymore unfortunately, The pieces were cut from 1200mm x 2400mm ply.</p>
<p>Well done</p>
<p>Wow, amazing that you managed to make it, impressive</p>
<p>Great! Now I need one. My kids will have fun, too. Will put it on the to-do-list for this year and next year and...</p>
<p>I don't think I can stand up and work all day, let alone walking at my desk all day.</p>
<p>Replacement for my noisy treadmill desk.</p><p>Thanks for great idea.</p>
<p>So basically this is useless to anyone who doesn't have autodesk? I don't work in any engineering field, i just need a wheel for my dog.</p>
Hi Tim!<br />This is just documentation of how I built my Hamster Wheel Standing Desk. It is entirely possible to build without any software or CNC machines, it would just take more time.<br />My friend JON-A-TRON wrote an instructable about using paper templates and a jigsaw to cut digital designs:<br />http://www.instructables.com/id/Digital-Fabrication-By-Hand/<br /><br />The design could also be redrawn with string compasses and pencil and cut by hand as well. I hope that helps!
<p>This is a great project, thanks for posting :). I've found somewhere to water cut the wheel, but wondered why you did the base by hand? Why not watercut that also? There's no scale on the PDF, did you have a .dxf file for the base that I can send to the CNC machiner?</p>
<p>echobass! </p><p>I was looking for the same thing. I would love to get a DXF for the base bearing stand plate side parts. I am ready to cut all parts if I just had that DXF. Please let me know if you were able to find one.</p>
Here is the part: https://www.dropbox.com/s/pf566ywrzfoo6br/wheelplate5_ToBeCut.dxf?dl=0
<p>Hi!</p><p>We cut the base by hand because it requires less precision and our waterjet went out of order.</p><p>Here is a dxf!</p><p>https://www.dropbox.com/s/pf566ywrzfoo6br/wheelplate5_ToBeCut.dxf?dl=0</p>
<p>That's an incredible project. Is it noisy when turning?</p>
<p>bring it to work and get fired. </p>
<p>You need to add a punching bag for stress relief. </p>
<p>There was a similar project at Red Bull Creation in Detroit this Fall, but hooked up to a generator. Was this an outgrowth (or prequel) to that? Is Bilal the Bilal from AHA in Ann Arbor? Really interesting idea. I've always wanted to build a moving desk that you could pedal along, based upon something like this: http://www.gizmag.com/emperor-1510-workstation-mwe/21412/</p>
<p>Hi!</p><p>It is the very same Bilal Ghalib from AHA! Seems to me that he has his fingers in all the makings across the globe. :-)</p><p>It is not related to the Red Bull project, but I am glad to see more hamster wheels in the world!</p>
<p>Very cool, would love to have this around.</p><p>In step 6 the image of the skate board wheel on the base has a big ass black washer betewwn it and the base. This is not shown on the schematic view below it.<br><br>Was that necessary for your particular build or should I include this to create space between the wheel and the base?<br><br>thank you.</p>
<p>The big washer turned out to be useless, so I omitted it from the ible.</p><p>Ideal space between the wheel and the base is about 1/8" or a little more. To little, and it rubs and too much and it drifts. </p>
<p>This looks great. Just one question for those that have built one, and I apologize in advance if I missed a relevant answer in the multitude of comments following this instructable, What's the noise level when its in operation?, because I could see that it might have to be confined to an insulated individual office if it was distracting to open office office mates.</p>
<p>The noise is a very serious issue. It was loud enough that it got banned from our office very shortly after we built it.</p><p>Making it out of steel might eliminate the wood-on-wood squeaking. A different wheel system would defeat the wood-on-wood rubbing. </p><p>Buying your coworkers headphones would be the easiest. :-)</p>
<p>A low-tech and potentially decorative solution to muffle noise is to add carpeting inside each wheel. </p>

About This Instructable



Bio: Robb is an Artist-in-Residence st Autodesk's Pier 9. He went to Carnegie Mellon to study Art. He mostly does tangible artifacts that are often ... More »
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