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
- 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
- Heat shrink tubing
- 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
- Soldering iron and Solder
- Sandpaper 100, 150 grit
- 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.