Don’t have access to a 3D-printer or public maker space and still want an ergonomic VESA-mount? Order yours at http://docks.bigcartel.com.
This quick guide 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.
If you purchased a dock from http://docks.bigcartel.com, start at step 8.
Otherwise folks with 3D-printers can start by downloading the design files from GitHub. This design is far simpler than the older 3-in-1 Dock. 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).
Full Parts List:
- 3D-printed parts (0.2mm layer height 25% infill):
- dock box
- lock housing
- lock latch
- 2 nut bars
- 6 x 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
- Other parts:
- 1/4″ sheet plastic or MDF 5″x13″ laser cut or machined for back plate
- MS brick shaped dock electronics
- Optional: epoxy glue for magnets
- 3″ length of duct tape
- ~60mm length of 1.75mm filament for lock latch rotation axle or 3/32″ diameter metal pin
- zip-tie to secure cables
- #0 Philips (+) screwdriver
1. Count your parts:
2. Gather the lock mechanism parts:
3. Optional: 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 to serve as an axle:
4. The lock will be able to flip up and down with resistance provided by the axle and magnets if installed:
5. Secure the lock assembly on the back plate with 4 #4 1/2″ screws. Longer length screws will not fit and may split plastic part if forced.
6. Install the 4 M4 nuts into two VESA mount nut bars. Fitment will be tight so you can use the M4 screws to provide leverage to sink them into the plastic:
7. Sink two M4 nuts into the Cradle, then fasten to the Back Plate with two M4 14mm screws.
8. Fit the SurfaceConnect cable into the bottom of the Cradle:
9. Fasten the Dock Box to the bottom of the Cradle with 4 #4 5/8″ screws. 1/2″ length screws can also be used.
10. Fit the Microsoft Surface dock brick:
11. Use duct tape to secure the brick in place:
12. Test the lock mechanism with a Surface Pro 3, Pro 4, or Pro 2017 tablet. You can fold the keyboard around the back if you wish:
13: Fasten to a VESA 100mm x 100mm mount using two nut bars and 4 M4 screws:
14. Wrap bundle of cables behind dock with zip-tie and enjoy your hand-built ergonomic docking station!