WhLike a true creative, when he’s not working on a project for a client, industrial designer Eric Strebel likes to create improvements to his own toolset. In the past, he’s made sketchbooks, dust masks, resin casting boxes. This time around, he’s working on a tablet stand for his 16-inch Wacom Cintiq Pro to position it upright for more ergonomic viewing and sketching alongside his existing workstation:
He plans to have hinges on the stand to allow it to make use of the tablet’s various mounting points. He even created a cardboard mock-up to test this theory, complete with a slit in the middle for the charger cable to fit through.
Once he proves the basic structure of the design can hold the tablet without falling, he refines it by carving out a more rounded shape and traces it onto a 0.6” 1.5mm sheet of styrene.
Since he doesn’t want any hard edges damaging the surface he’s working on, Strebel curves the stand’s edges and cuts out the bottom portion until only two endpoints are making contact with the surface. He also cuts out the cable hole while leaving a small bar at the end for a ribbon to fit through and stop the stand from falling. Finally, he smoothens the edges with a card scraper to keep it from harming anything.
Strebel uses a glass syringe to apply a solvent solution in between the stand and the tiny connectors. Since the pieces are so small, using a syringe or a small toothbrush to apply the solution makes it a lot easier.
Once the glue has dried, he goes back to it with a 350-grit wet dry paper to sand out any blemishes from the excess adhesive. Afterward, he moves on to a 400-grit wet dry paper before finishing off with 800-grit wet sand to give the stand a nice matte finish.
To connect the stand to the actual tablet, he runs a piece of 1.5mm piano wire through one of the tablet’s rear grooves. The wire allows the stand to snap onto the tablet without damaging it. To stop the stand from sliding down too far, he sews a piece of ribbon to the bottom bar of the cable hole and another piece of piano wire located in a tablet groove further down.
It isn’t as flashy as his other projects, but this gives Strebel an easier time when he wants to use his tablet as an upright screen. Now he can spend less time fixing wobbly tablet legs and work on more projects about design and making (all of which can be found on his YouTube channel).