Intro: Slytherin Laptop Stand (that Glows in the Dark)
When my laptop sits too low on a table, I strain the back of my neck looking down at it. I used to have a stack of books on my desk, but I wanted something a bit nicer. This is what I came up with.
Step 1: Design
This is the most subjective part of the build. I went through several iterations before settling on this design.
Here are a couple other ideas I considered that you might like:
- Make the back cross section less abstract. For example, I drew a few sketches of dragon wings and bat wings.
- Use horizontal stabilizers or even a solid platform for the mouth area that the laptop rests on. This would increase the stability of the stand if your design is taller than mine.
- Rather than having two vertical pieces, have one in the center which has horizontal pieces extending from the mouth that the laptop would rest on. The back/wing section would also have to be tweaked to add extra stability. I really like this idea because it would look more like a dragon flying out of my desk with a laptop in its mouth. But you'd have to spend a lot of time thinking about how to reinforce different pieces to make sure the whole thing is stable.
Pro Tip: I made this out of 5-ply Birch plywood. Don't do that. The pointy parts chipped off in a few places. Use a nice solid piece of wood.
Step 2: Digital Design
If you use a band saw rather than a CNC machine, you can skip this part.
I used Gimp to draw the part, and Fusion 360 to extrude the drawing and generate the gcode. I'm a software developer and I prefer to support open source projects whenever possible, but I have to admit Fusion 360 is pretty nice. I'm pretty sure I could have drawn the part directly in Fusion 360, but I haven't been using it long enough to have figured that out yet.
Step 3: Cut the Part
If you're using a CNC machine, this is pretty straight forward.
With a bandsaw, you'd want to cut all the parts at the same time to make sure they're all the same size and shape. My design had 4 layers of 3/4 stock. If your bandsaw doesn't have that much vertical space, you could cut one "perfect" one, and three other pieces with a bit of extra material. Then use a router with a flush cut bit to make sure they're all the exact same shape.
Step 4: Engrave the Slytherin Badge
If I didn't have a CNC machine, I'd probably just use a chisel to cut a shallow pocket in the face of the wood. Then I'd put a vinyl sticker in the pocket and cover it with epoxy.
Step 5: Paint the Glow in the Dark Blood
I like the spray on glow in the dark paint better than the acrylic. It goes on smoothly, and it's less visible in normal light, so it's more surprising when the teeth start to glow in the dark.
Rip jagged pieces of painters tape to mask out the "blood." The final result won't look like normal flowing blood, but the sharp edges give it an evil fire blood appearance which I think is better.
For the Slytherin badge, I grabbed a couple black lights to make it easier to see where the paint was going. That helped me put the paint on more evenly. My first attempt without the black lights was very splotchy, and looked so ugly I had one of those dark moments where you say things like: "Why am I doing this?! I have no idea what I'm doing. I should just give up." So, I put it down and went to bed. The next day I tried again with the black lights and the results were much better.
Step 6: Finish and Assemble
I used a couple layers of polyurethane. Nice and easy.
Snape . . . I mean, snap everything together, and give it a good home.
Now I have to figure out what to do for the other houses . . .