Introduction: Laptop Bubble Stand

About: My name is Randy and I am a Community Manager in these here parts. In a previous life I had founded and run the Instructables Design Studio (RIP) @ Autodesk's Pier 9 Technology Center. I'm also the author of t…

Everyone is always making laptop stands that, albeit functional, are rather hideous to look at. This becomes less than ideal when you consider that typically, when the laptop is not on the stand, you have to look at it. I wanted to fix this problem by making a laptop stand that was sleek, stylish, inexpensive and kept my laptop cool. With this in mind, I arrived at wicked cool laptop stand that can be made for under $10. The best part is that not only is it cheap, but it's also dead easy to make.

Main image courtesy of Sarah.

Step 1: Go Get Stuff

You will need:

A 16" x 16" sheet of 1/8" acrylic (or larger)
A heat gun
A ruler
Oven mitts
Two quick clamps
A workbench
Some plywood scrap
A laser cutter

(If you don't have a laser cutter, you can download the file in the next step and have a service like Ponoko cut it for you.)

Note that some of the links on this page are affiliate links. This does not change the cost of the item for you. I reinvest whatever proceeds I receive into making new projects. If you would like any suggestions for alternative suppliers, please let me know.

Step 2: Prepare to Cut

Peel the protective material off both sides of your acrylic. Position it correctly in the laser cutter and close the lid.

Download the file attached below and open it in Corel Draw.

Step 3: Cut

I am using a 75 Watt Epilog laser cutter with the following print settings:

Cut type: Vector
Power: 100
Speed: 20
Frequency: 5000

To start cutting my material, I simply hit the green button on the machine and then babysit the machine for twenty minutes while it does its thing.

Step 4: Poke

Poke out all of the circles that haven't fallen out on their own. Since there are so many and some are quite small, you can hold the acrylic up to a source of light to determine which holes still need to be opened up. I find a very thin screwdriver or thumb tack works well for poking the circles out of the really small holes.

Step 5: Clamp, Measure and Bend

Place a piece of plywood over top of your acrylic. Clamp your acrylic and plywood sandwich to your work bench such that 1" of acrylic is sticking over the edge (and no plywood is). Measure carefully on both corners of your material to make certain that 1" is truly hanging over.

Heat up the 1" strip of acrylic with your heat gun, by moving it back and forth along its surface until it visibly starts to droop. The acrylic is now very hot. Put on your oven mitts and bend the acrylic down towards the floor to a 90 degree angle and hold it in place until it starts to cool and maintain this shape on its own. Let go and wait a few more minutes for it to cool more.

Step 6: Second Bend

The next bend is done the same way as the first, but this time you are measuring 4" from the table. The other thing to keep in mind is that there is now a 1" lip pointing up, so you will need a piece of plywood less than 10" long (as not to press down on the lip you just made when you clamp it).

Step 7: Fix Mistakes

Bending acrylic by this method isn't always the most precise. Invariably, you are going to make a mistake or two, especially on the 1" fold.

My 1" fold came out very crooked. To fix it, I just re-heated it and clamped it under even pressure two times. This got it to a reasonable state. If I did it a few more times, it would probably have been even better.

Step 8: Add Laptop

Put your laptop on it and make certain that it works.

Did you find this useful, fun, or entertaining?
Follow @madeineuphoria to see my latest projects.