Intro: Prototyping a Modular Corner Desk
I love corner desks. They have plenty of space for school work and play but to buy one from a store simply cost too much. That is why this summer I plan to build one myself. late 2014 I began to daydream about what this desk would look like and what I need in a desk. It as to be large enough to spread my papers out, but portable. I am currently attending a community college but soon ill leave my home to go to a four year college. This so, I decided to make it modular so can take it apart and put it in my car.
Knowing about instructables, I decided to search for inspiration. CroobCraft's Corner Desk PC struck my eye. Put a computer in a desk, Brilliant! His desk however was not the focus of his instructable nor do I imagine it would be very portable, so my quest continued on. I saw many more awesome desk but I soon came to the point where I needed to begin designing my own.
Step 1: First Attempts
I started with simple graph paper. My attempts were rough but gave me the idea of how big to make the desktop. I'm a tall guy so i needed plenty of leg room also. To make it modular/portable, I divided the desktop into 3 parts, right and left rectangular wings (2ft x 3ft) and a center part (3.5x3.5). I am more visually minded than paper allowed so I turned my attention to attempting CAD. I downloaded FreeCad less than a year ago and having no previous experience, I felt this would be a great learning opportunity for me. My first drafts were poor, tutorials were scarce on FreeCAD but I managed to get by and create what I thought was my final 3D drawing. The desktop would be made with plywood and would be able to lift off the base. my base for this design would be made with 4x4(3.5inches of course) post with 2x2(1.5inches) notched between them to provide multiple shelving arrangements that can be moved and rearranged. On top of the center desktop would be "the box" to better manage wires and eventily build in a pc, like CroobCraft.
Step 2: Progress
FreeCAD is nice, but it still acts like a "free program." Late March, I found a free student trial of Autodesk Inventor. After the lengthy download I began watching the provided tutoriels and soon began rebuilding the desk. With inventor, I was able to better play with different wood types and find color schemes I could see used in my physical desk.
Step 3: Accessorize
A desk is naked with out anything on it so why should the prototype reflect its nudity. At least two things I wanted to put on it but don't actually own yet are;
Lg Extra wide moniter
Pioneer bookshelf speakers
Since I own neither, it was necessary to rely on specs provided by either amazon or more accurately their online owners manual. Start with building a cube the size the dimensions show. On the monitor I began cutting away the side view of the cube, and then began cutting away at the front view.once you have the simple mock up done, Look at the pictures and try to make since of how to put details on your model. On the speakers, all that was needed was to round the back corners and add the front cover. With both items done looking similar enough in size and shape to their real counterparts, you can add their rough shape to the desk to see if they will fit and how they might look.
Step 4: Changing and Planing...
Zwild1 posted an awesome instructable awhile ago about building an aluminum and birch desk. What's great about prototyping is that i can see what that design would look like before I buy anything. When planing your own desk, look around instructables or google and you'll find some great ideas.
Its no coincidence I created this instructable now. Please vote for me in the Mind for Design Contest to make these last two photos a reality!
Step 5: Finsh
With a successful design done, buy your material. I plan to work on this physical desk this summer and if i have time I'll post another instructable for building it.
I've also tried to included some stl files for my desk and my rough estimates of the hp sprout, Lg monitor, and Pioneer speakers. (These are based on dimensions online and the real product is very different I would imagine)