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OPEN MAKER BENCH CHALLENGE #HACK

I've been working with the folks over at SketchUp on some of our Maker Faire projects. Our latest project is this:

The Open Maker Bench Challenge. We want you to hack our workbench!

Read on!

Sometimes the best tools for the job are the ones you make yourself. So we thought that while every great making project starts with a great idea, it eventually ends up on a bench of some sort. Rather than just go buy a bench, we decided to design our own… two actually.

The benches, pictured here aren’t done. That’s where you, the vibrant SketchUp community comes in. We feel like a bench is as unique as the person that uses it and the project that sits on top of it.

We want you to hack this bench. We’ll take the best hacks and build them in real life on a CNC machine. We’ll show them off at Maker Faire.
Best of all we’ll be open sourcing all the build files and instructions so that anyone anywhere can make one, or customize their own.

Let’s take a look at the bench you’ll be hacking:

The bench comes in two different heights. The tall one is great for standing work like CNC milling, hammering and sawing. The shorter desk is setup for sitting operations. Things like soldering, assembling, and drawing.

The top is removable and reversible. The idea is that you could do something messy or damaging to one side of the top and flip it over for a smooth writing surface. You could even have multiple tops for different types of work.

The legs and stretcher are designed to nest inside the bench top for easy transport and storage. This could not only be great for storing the table when not in use, but if you get it made by a maker who is far away, it will transport easily.

The tables can also link together using connectors. This can allow you to expand your work area. Imagine using this in a community maker space or a classroom.


Next let’s share some of our hacks

This bench is a material hold down station for the ShopBot Handibot portable CNC machine. It features a built in removable material fence, and wooden toggle clamps to hold your piece in place.

This 3D printing take on the bench has a shelf on it that stores your filament spools. The spools can be fed right into the machine from the shelf so there’s no reaching around behind the machine anymore. A simple wooden dowel holds them in place and makes the spools easily removable. The shelf could be fastened on with bolts so that it’s easy to install and remove.

This art table features a self healing cutting mat that is flush with the surface. The mat can be easily removed when it gets damaged. The metal cup is held in place with embedded rare earth magnets. This way you can have your drawing and cutting utensils right at hand and not have to worry about getting them knocked over.

  The soldering station features and adjustable power rail built in. This is great for all of your electronics hacking projects. An anti static mat could be applied to for working on really sensitive stuff.

The soldering station features and adjustable power rail built in. This is great for all of your electronics hacking projects. An anti static mat could be applied to for working on really sensitive stuff.

 

These are just some of the examples that we have come up with. We want you to make your own table. The guidelines are that you can hack the top only. This makes it easy for anyone to do. Think of a maker space or shared garage where people are doing a lot of different things. You’re going to need some unique benches that work together.

Once we get a good collection of ideas, we're going to take the best ones and actually make them in real life. They will be shown at Maker Faire. We will also open source all the files needed to make them so that you and anyone else can make your own bench.

 
 

So get hacking folks! Below are links to the 3D models of the base tables and the examples we have shown here. Get hacking and post your models here!

If you have any questions, please ask here.