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In this Instructable I will teach you how to build a simple cooling stand from scrap.

My laptop has a tendency to want to overheat when I'm working on things, causing it to slow down. I toyed with the idea of purchasing a commercial cooling stand, but my maker side reminded me of all the scrap I have collected. With that in mind, I decided to build a cool yet functional cooling stand for my laptop using only materials I already have.

Note:This is just build with the materials I had on hand. Depending on the materials that you have, you may have to modify the design a bit.

Remember!! Safety first! Always wear safety glasses and pay strict attention to where your fingers are when you are using power tools.

Let's get started!

Step 1: Materials and Tools

Materials:

  • Scrap sheet material (I had some 0.2" thick acrylic and 1/8" polycarbonate)
  • Scrap round stock (I had an old 3/4" diameter curtain rod)
  • Computer fan(s)
  • 12 volt transformer
  • Wire
  • Heat shrink tubing

Tools:

  • Hot glue / Epoxy / Super Glue
  • Drill or Drill press
  • Drill bits (With one bit matching the size of your round stock)
  • Jigsaw or Coping saw
  • Hacksaw
  • Soldering iron and Solder
  • Sandpaper 100, 150 grit

Optional:

  • LED lights
  • Switch (For the LED lights)
  • Assorted machine screws w/ nuts
  • Spray paint

Step 2: Design Your Stand

The first thing I did was measure my laptop. It came out as about 13" x 9 1/2", so I designed my stand to fit those measurements.

The general idea of my stand consists of four feet that hold up a plate that the fans mount to. On top of this are four spacers that raise the laptop about 1/2" above the fans to allow for air circulation. The feet on the bottom of the stand are made by gluing a support block on top of a scrap piece of acrylic.

I have included all of my designs as .pdf files, so feel free to copy or modify them any way you like.

Step 3: Lay Out the Cuts

Once you have the design all printed out, get out your scrap sheet material and draw out all of your cuts.

Step 4: Cut Out the Parts

Now that you have all the parts drawn on your material, it's time to cut it out! Try to drill all of the holes before you cut out the little parts so that you have more material to hold on to. Once that's done, use a jigsaw or hacksaw to cut out the rest of the parts.

Step 5: Sand the Pieces

When you finish cutting out all of your pieces, use some sandpaper to smooth out all of the rough edges left from the saw. If you are painting your stand, it'll be a good idea to scuff up all of the smooth surfaces a bit to help the paint stick.

Step 6: Painting

This step is optional, so if you want to leave your stand as is, then skip this step. Otherwise, take your pieces to a well ventilated area and paint it to your heart's desire. Make sure to have something under your parts so that you don't get paint all over your work surface. Remember, several light coats give a better finish than one heavy coat.

Step 7: Wire the Fans

As you're waiting for your stand to dry, set up your soldering station and hook up your fan(s). If you want to include LED lights, make sure to have those wired in as well. Try to keep all the wires neat and organized.

Step 8: Assemble the Stand

Once you have your fans and LEDs wired up and your paint is dry, it's time to assemble! Using either an adhesive or some hardware, mount your fans and LEDs to the bottom of the fan mount plate. Then use hot glue or epoxy and assemble the rest of the stand. Follow the exploded drawing from Step 2 if you need clarification.

Step 9: Use It!

And you're done! You are now the proud owner of an awesome looking and functional laptop cooling stand that is just build with scrap that you already had!

If you have any questions about my build, feel free to comment below.

<p>how well does it cool, like a lot, or just a bit?? also does it actually help speed?</p>
<p>It works pretty well on my laptop, but its effectiveness depends greatly on the design of your laptop. If your laptop relies mainly on internal fans and heatsinks to cool itself, then the cooling stand would only serve to circulate cooler air to the laptop and provide more clearance for easier airflow. This would help lower the temperatures, but not by a lot. However, if your laptop uses passive chassis cooling then a cooling stand would be much more effective by circulating cool air over the laptop chassis.</p><p>Cooling a laptop or computer doesn't actually increase its speed, unless your computer is running so hot that it thermal throttles the CPU to maintain safe temperatures. If it is, I would strongly recommend a good cleaning of the fans and heatsinks before resorting to an external cooling solution, as clogged fans and heatsinks are usually the culprit of overheating computers. Otherwise a computer would perform just the same regardless of whether it was running hotter or cooler.</p>
thanks so much, it would be used for what, like, i dont know
<p>I mainly use my stand to improve clearance between my desk and my laptop to get better airflow for my laptop's built-in fans. I don't really turn on the fans in my stand unless I'm running some pretty demanding programs and my laptop starts heating up more than I'd like it to. I hope this helps!</p>
<p>hi <a href="https://www.instructables.com/member/tinker+bot/" rel="nofollow">tinker bot</a> nice work i like it ,you motivated me to build mine ,and .....</p><p>I made it</p><p><a href="https://www.instructables.com/id/laptop-cooling-stand-3/" rel="nofollow">https://www.instructables.com/id/laptop-cooling-sta...</a></p><p>take a look and tell me what you think thanks</p>
<p>Nicely done! Thanks for sharing this!</p>
<p>Thanks!</p>

About This Instructable

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Bio: I'm an engineering student as well as a former machinist and welder on the FRC Team 1241 THEORY6 and 1285 The Big Bang. I ... More »
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