July 5, 2015 | By Alec

For some reason or another, members of the 3D printing community are often also hardcore gamers or professionals in high-tech situations. And we’ve got some good news for readers in either of those categories: Microsoft has just released 3D printable files for developing a custom docking station for the Windows Surface Pro 3 tablet, enabling you to conveniently add it to your doubtlessly impressive multi-screen workstation – perfect for people in need of multiple screens and for those users unsatisfied with the existing dock (which features some strange angles for tall people).

The Microsoft headquarters is obviously filled with highly capable engineers, and this is just one of the many little projects they’ve shared with the web over the past few years. This particularly fun and useful dock has been designed by the hackaton team of John Socha-Leialoha, Govind Ramaswamy, Dan Charlton, Tom Coon, who had the sneaking suspision that people might want to position their tablet in more than one way.

‘This project is for avid Makers who enjoy hacking hardware to create a custom solution. The dock design was first conceptualized at a Surface sponsored Hackathon, John Socha-Leialoha explains. ‘We love Surface, and we had a hypothesis that people want to use Surface at eye level in portrait mode. This dock, like other Garage projects, is an experiment we are making available to see how customers respond.’

Brian Crum, a product market manager at the Surface team was very happy with the result. ‘We know people are using their Surface as a replacement for laptops and desktops, and we are actively looking for new and unique ways to help with that transition. We use the hackathon approach for ideation, because interesting ideas can come from anywhere in the company,’ he said.

And the result is definitely very useful. The 3-in-1 Dock enables you to build a portrait VESA mounted dock, perfect for keeping it at eye level when you’re sitting behind the desk. It also features a lock option to secure it in place. ‘The Surface Pro 3-in-1 is the first device that can be all three. With our simple VESA-mounted dock, you can finally use the bright and beautiful Surface Pro 3 screen at eye-level right next to 1 or 2 desktop monitors for productivity,’ the team explains. And with openings for power cables and a USB, this is an excellent addition to any desk.

If you’re interested in this docking station for the Surface Pro, you can find all freely available 3D printable STL files on Github here. It’s a fun and easy project that captures the essence of 3D printing: developing custom solutions to make your own life easier.

Posted in 3D Printing Applications



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