This quick DIY steps through the process to build a VESA-mounted vertical docking station for the Surface Pro 3/Surface Pro 4 using the brick-shaped Microsoft Surface Dock. Its something I’ve been meaning to post for a while but didn’t get around to it until now.
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:
* Part description Part type Quantity ------------------------------------------------------ * 325mm x 120mm x 6mm sheet plastic/MDF 1 * dock box 3D-printed 1 * cradle 3D-printed 1 * M4 nut bar 3D-printed 2 * lock box 3D-printed 1 * lock 3D-printed 1 * M4 16mm screw hardware 6 * M4 nut hardware 6 * #4 1/2" machine screw hardware 8 * 6mm x 3mm magnet hardware 3 * 3/32" x 58mm pin hardware 1 * Microsoft brick-shaped Dock electronics 1 * VESA arm hardware 1 * epoxy glue adhesives 1 * tape adhesive 1
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:
Fit the SurfaceConnect cable into the bottom of the Cradle. It will be a tight fit so you might want to dab a bit of vegetable oil or other lubricant inside the 3D printed part:
Fasten the Dock Box to the bottom of the Cradle with 4 #4 1/2″ screws. Fit the M4 Nut bars in place with remaining M4 16mm screws:
Gather the lock mechanism parts:
Fit the 3 2/10″ x 1/8″ neodymium magnets ensuring the polarity matches up so that the lock latches in both the closed and open position. Fit the 3/32″ diameter pin as well:
Test-fit the assembly, glue the magnets in place with epoxy, and allow to dry. After drying the lock should be able to flip up and down with only slight resistance provided by the magnets:
Fit the lock assembly on the back plate with 4 #4 1/2″ screws:
Fit the Microsoft Surface dock/hub electronics:
Use some tape to secure it in place (optional):
Test the lock mechanism with a Surface Pro 4 or Surface Pro 3 tablet (keyboard optional). Note how the magnets hold the lock in place:
Fasten to a VESA mount and enjoy your hand-built ergonomic docking station!
I’m happy to answer any questions.