Wednesday 6 September 2023

Acrylic bending tool and laptop desk mount

Since lockdown in 2020, I’ve continued to work remotely, and sunk a fair bit of time and effort into optimising my home office setup.

One thing that has continued to be a pain is having my laptop on the desk.

I don’t use it has a laptop the majority of the time – is it is closed and I use external peripherals (monitor, keyboard, mouse, microphone and camera). But it continued to take desk space as I had nowhere else to put it.

I had this idea of creating a mount on the side of the desk for it, but couldn’t settle on a approach or material to use. Wood would be too bulky, metal would be overkill and block wifi signal, and so forth.

Plastic seemed like the best option, but it would be far too big to 3D print.

When researching methods for manipulating plastic sheets, I found this video by Youtuber Dietec for a home-built acrylic bending tool.


Truth be told, I followed the video pretty much to the letter, so there’s no point rehashing all the points that are made.

The only main difference is I added a couple of toggle clamps on the side, and am using a “Universal” laptop power supply instead of a bench top one.

Anyway, back to the laptop mount.

It’s very simple really, take a sheet of acrylic and bend it into a ‘J’ shape, attach it to the side of the desk, and add laptop.

The piece of acrylic was recovered from an old scrapped project, and was a bit on the short side, however this could be overcome by mounting it lower on the desk skirt.

The bending process seemed quite straightforward. I did notice some crackling in the corners of the bends, I believe this is because I got impatient and stepped through the voltage settings a bit quick, rather than give the material time to heat slowly – so that’s something to bear in mind for next time. I think that's also why there's a slight curve to the lip, as can be seen in the picture below.

Then a couple of screw holes were added (taking advantage of pre-existing holes from the previous project and just widening them), and then screwing it to the desk skirt.

The laptop in place on the mount, tucking nicely under the lip of the desk at the side. Sure it's not a perfect build, but it serves its purpose.