Custom Display Stands with the Desktop Series

As a Content Engineer, my team is responsible for designing the external facing content surrounding our products and their applications. That includes designing experiences that showcase the applications of our products and the ROI (Return On Investment) you can achieve with them. In designing these representations, we often find ourselves eating our own dog food by making custom fixturing for our own displays.

The Challenge

We recently attended the Canadian Manufacturing Technology Show (CMTS) in Toronto, where we showcased our products and their applications to manufacturing. Alongside our printers, our booth included the 2nd Generation iPad Pro 12.9” models acting as kiosks to display technical information about each of our products.

Markforged at the Canadian Manufacturing and Technology Show

Dissatisfied with many of the available options for iPad stands and working on a tight deadline, we decided to design our own case to mount to an existing stand. The home and power buttons needed to be inaccessible during the show, the iPad needed to stay plugged in, and the stand needed to match the aesthetic of the rest of the booth.

The Solution

I was able to design, prototype, and implement a solution for this in just under a week, achieving a minimalist, sleek design that covered our needs. The case consisted of four pieces that lock together around the iPad - two backplate pieces bolt to a sleeve on either side with heat set inserts (Read more on them here) to create concealed fastening points on the backside of each of the sleeves. The backplate locks to the bolt pattern of an off-the-shelf podium stand, with integrated features to ensure level. The iPad could then be removed by unscrewing two screws on the back of its case.

‍The CAD model of the front of the iPad casing, with a bolt pattern to mount to the stand.
‍The rear side of the iPad case. The screws affix to heat set inserts on the rear of each sleeve.

Using our internal print farm of Desktop Series machines, I was able to rapidly iterate through designs over the course of a week until I landed on something easy to assemble and replicate. Early in the week I printed unit tests to ensure the fit of the components around the iPad. Mid-week I had a full prototype in my hands and one or two design changes in mind. By the following Monday, we had 5 sets of stands - 3 ready to go for the show, with a backup just in case, and one for an iPad we use at our office for visitor logins.

‍The iPad stand aside the Metal X at the CMTS trade show.

The production quality look and feel of Onyx enabled the success of the stands - we were able to produce a long term fixturing solution to put on display in a matter of days that can now be used in many of our trade show booths and demos in the future. Markforged products fit into all stages of the process - from early stage design and unit testing, to functional prototyping, to low volume production. Request a Demo to see how our products can fit into your production workflow.

Alex Crease
October 20, 2017
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