Main Project Inspirations: Standing Desk

Hello all,

For my final project I have chosen to make a standing desk. I work in Mike Hannigan’s air quality lab (Let me know if you want to chat about that, it’s great!) and my coworkers are really into standing/ health at work. One of them recently bought a ball chair. It’s like a yoga ball on a stand that is supposed to help your posture and strengthen your back muscles. Before that, he had a makeshift standing desk built from cardboard boxes, tape, and copious amounts of chewing gum (kidding!). Another of my office-mates has created a makeshift standing desk from ikea furniture. There is a lot of discussion about eye health and back health because we all computer so hard. These lamentations about how sitting is killing us was the original inspiration for this project.

There are several existing types of desk:

The Veridesk is one of the most publicized: $375

The veridesk model.

There are also several other versions, some that folks have made themselves:

Plumbing pipe desk [2]
The non-mechanical cut-out standing desk [3]
The mechanically adjustable desk [4]
The scissor-jack desk [5]

These are all varieties of desk that I have explored. Some things I think would be too difficult for me, like the linkage systems and time constraints of desks like the Veridesk and the scissor-jack desk. Others don’t have the features I want, like the plumbing one is not easily adjustable. Some of these designs require more expensive parts and more extensive design thought, like the mechanically adjustable desk. I have decided on a new design that I will unveil later.

Moving on to the aesthetics. I really like the industrial chic table tops. They are heavy-looking and sometimes made of reclaimed wood, which I like:

Heavier, industrial-chic table top [6]
Reclaimed wood [7]
However, I think that this design is a bit too heavy for what I have in mind, because it has to be lifted, so maybe I can find a way to make it look heavy without actually being heavy. I don’t know what I’m going to do about the base of my table yet, The idea of cement is attractive, but I’m not sure how easy it is to make the shapes that I want. Again, I want to give the appearance of weight without it actually being heavy. So this requires more investigation, but this is the kind of idea:

Cement table base idea [8]

I’m excited to start on my project with a Solidworks model, and then I’ll move into sourcing materials.

Here are some of my sketches of ideation and design:

First steps, thinking about engineering (too much)
Realizing over-engineering
focusing on aesthetics..mid-century modern furniture like my grandpa made?
Realizing higher costs…how to get rid of gears?
High cost again, maybe I should make it a desk-top
Ah Ha! threaded rod is more elegant
Ah Ha! simplification of threaded rod idea. This is great.












industrial chic, standing desk
Previous Post
Main Project Aspirations: Wine Coffee Table
Next Post
Main project inspirations

2 Comments. Leave new

  • Benjamin Fried
    March 6, 2017 7:47 am

    This is a great idea, I want one!
    I always find myself trying to stand when I am working, it is much more relaxing and healthy. More and more companies are buying standing desks for their employees, and the price tag is extremely high for them, making them not practical for homes.

    The ones I’ve seen have an easy mechanism for changing the height, and I think that is the most important feature. It seems like you should focus more on that and then try to factor your aesthetic into it after.

  • Oksana Schuppan
    March 2, 2017 12:41 am

    I often think about how bad it is to be sitting all day and I wish there was the option to use standing desks in class! I have actually found some of my greatest productivity to come from working while standing, especially if I am working on something creative in nature. LOVE the idea of a DIY standup desk. I am very curious to see how you end up designing the raising and lowering features of the desk. Would love to make one of these for myself!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Fill out this field
Fill out this field
Please enter a valid email address.