Vertical Surface Docks work with the Surface Pro 2017. Check out the latest photos and videos. Don’t have a 3D-printer and still want an ergonomic VESA-mount? Order yours at http://docks.bigcartel.com.
This quick DIY steps through the process to build a VESA-mounted vertical docking station for the Surface Pro using the brick-shaped Microsoft Surface Dock.
Why a VESA mount?
- Reduces neck and eye strain by bringing your Surface to eye-level right next to your desktop monitors.
- Allows much quicker docking and un-docking without fumbling with cables.
- Reduces clutter by raising your Surface, dock, and cables off your desk.
- Still not convinced? Check out the demo video from the v1 prototype.
Start by downloading the design files from GitHub. This design is far simpler than the older 3-in-1 Dock. You’ll still need access to a 3D printer to print most of the parts: https://github.com/danchar4/3-in-1-dock/tree/danchar4-patch-1/SP4Dock. The Back Plate shown in this guide is made from laser-cut MDF but sheet plastic like acrylic or HDPE will work too. You can use a saw and hand drill to make the back plate (use the .PDF template in GitHub) or a CNC mill/laser cutter if you have access to one (use the .DWG file).
Gather your parts:
- 3D-printed parts:
- cradle (0.2mm minimum layer height)
- dock box (0.3mm minimum layer height)
- lock housing (0.2mm minimum layer height)
- lock latch (0.3mm minimum layer height)
- 2 nut bars (0.3mm minimum layer height)
- ~60mm length of 1.75mm filament (for lock latch rotation axle)
- 6 x M4 16mm or M4 14mm screws
- 6 x M4 nuts
- 4 x #4 1/2″ machine screws (to secure lock mechanism)
- 4 x #4 5/8″ machine screws (to secure dock box – do not use these to secure the lock housing!)
- Optional 3 x (2/10″ x 1/8″) cylinder magnets (http://www.kjmagnetics.com/proddetail.asp?prod=DH22)
- Other parts:
- 1/4″ sheet plastic or MDF 5″x13″ laser cut or machined for back plate
- MS brick shaped dock
- epoxy glue
- Duct tape (optional)
- 3/32″ or thinner metal pin/dowel ~60mm long (can be used instead of printer filament for lock latch rotation axle)
- 2.5mm hex screwdriver (aka Allen wrench)
- #0 Philips (+) screwdriver
Install the 4 M4 nuts into the VESA mount nut bars. Fitment will be tight so you can use the M4 screws to provide leverage to sink them into the plastic:
Sink two M4 nuts into the Cradle, then fasten to the Back Plate with two M4 16mm screws. 12mm or 14mm screws will work too.
Fit the SurfaceConnect cable into the bottom of the Cradle. Depending on the 3D-printer used, the fit may be tight. Putting a drop of vegetable oil or other lubricant inside the 3D printed part can ease fitment:
Fasten the Dock Box to the bottom of the Cradle with 4 #4 1/2″ screws. 5/8″ length screws can also be used. Test-fit the M4 Nut bars with remaining M4 16mm screws:
Gather the lock mechanism parts:
Test fit the three 2/10″ x 1/8″ neodymium magnets ensuring the polarity matches up so that the lock latches in both the closed and open position. Remove magnets and dab epoxy glue into the magnet receptacles. Insert magnets and dab glue on top and press magnets into the receptacles. Clean off excess glue. Wait 1 hour for the epoxy to set. Fit the 3/32″ diameter pin or printer filament:
After the glue sets, the lock will be able to flip up and down with resistance provided by the magnets:
Fit the lock assembly on the back plate with 4 #4 1/2″ screws. Longer length screws will not fit and may break the plastic part if forced.
Fit the Microsoft Surface dock brick in place:
Depending on your 3D-printer, fitment may not be exact so feel free to use some tape to secure the brick in place:
Test the lock mechanism with a Surface Pro 3 or later tablet and keyboard. Note how the magnets hold the lock latch in place:
Fasten to a VESA 100mm x 100mm mount using the nut bars and enjoy your hand-built ergonomic docking station!
Future improvements in development:
- Anodized or powder-coated sheet metal mounting plate with press-fit M4 nuts for improved durability and quicker assembly.
- Injection-molded plastics for improved durability and quicker assembly.