Space Frame Desk Design for Sitting, Standing & Walking

Space Frame Desk - Standing

When it comes to the development and evolution of the desk, this particular design definitely deserves a place in the history books! The recent flurry of conversation in the media about standing, sitting and working has definitely got people thinking about how to bring them all together in the perfect form. Joel Aufrecht's desk design stands out as a noteworthy attempt to bring together a bunch of really interesting criteria. Joel mentions on this blog that he was looking to build a desk that:

  • I can build it using only hand tools appropriate for an apartment balcony
  • It costs no more than a commercial equivalent
  • It supports my pair of 30" monitors (~20 pounds each, total width of bases around 35 inches)
  • It has sitting, standing, and treadmill walking modes
  • It accommodates my chair (an Aeron)
  • When sitting, I can put the keyboard in my lap
  • It can change between sitting, standing, and walking modes with less effort than moving 20 pound monitors up and down, and without any unplugging and replugging.
  • It must be pretty enough to be in the living room, and ideally the large monitors can be put out of sight.

That's a pretty heavy set of requirements, and to accomplish the job he ended up turning to Kee Klamp components to help him pull it off. In the end we're pretty sure that he came very close to meeting all of his goals, though he mentions in his post that he would already like to tinker with a few changes to the design.

Space Frame Desk - Sitting

How did he do it?

Joel doesn't go into complete detail about the design of his desk, but he does mention that a future post might be coming. Just getting a look at the pictures we can point out some of the basic fittings that were used in the design of the desk.

Space Frame Desk - Base

Three fittings are pictured above that cover most of the basic fittings used in the desk.

The 10-5 Tee is the top most fitting. It is used to connect the two support triangles to each other.

The C50-55 Swivel fitting is used to connect the top and bottom of the triangle. This allows for complete adjustability.

The C58-5 fitting is used on the base of the desk to provide a platform for the angled verticals.

Two 12-5 45 degree tees were also used on the back of the frame to create additional rigidity to the structure.

Space Frame Desk - Mouse Tray

The keyboard and mouse trays appear to be held in place by using M58 and a F50-5s that are joined together with a bolt. This allows the angled to be fixed (as long as the loading is nominal).

One of the most fascinating portions of this desk is the weighted system used to help move the monitors. A counter weight hangs off a pulley on the back of the desk to help leverage the movement of over 40 lbs. worth of monitors.

Here is Joel's explanation of the transition between sitting and walking:

The monitors are attached to simple (i.e., cheap) arms which are mounted on a wooden 2"x6" board. The board hangs from Kee Klamps which slide up and down the front pipes, aided by some Teflon. The monitors are counter-weighted by regular lead weights the flowerpot hangs independently and can be moved up and down with a bit of muscle. The keyboard and monitor are on independent arms, which are manually loosed with a hex key and moved up and down as needed. The treadmill is manually pushed forward out of the way for sitting mode. The overall transition between modes takes several manual steps, less than a minute in total but only after practice.

Read the rest of Joel's description on his blog.

If you need help designing a desk with Kee Klamp fittings, reach out to our projects team. We'll be happy to help you select the components you need to build the ideal desk.

Update: More Information

Joel was true to his word and published a followup post on his original blog that goes into greater detail. His follow-up posts has some great additional information about building his desk, including diagrams and a complete list of materials.

Space Desk Diagram

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