Build This Open Source Desk That Makes Creating Projects Far Easier
Most engineers would probably agree that maintaining a clean and feature-rich workspace is a great way to boost productivity, but what's perhaps even more important is having your tools close by.
One creator who goes by Another Maker on YouTube ran into this issue while working on one of his many Arduino and Raspberry Pi projects, so he wanted to create a space that allowed him to access everything within close proximity.
The first step of constructing this smart desk/workspace was designing and building a series of wooden panels from reclaimed wood. Each one is identical and can be swapped out for a different panel within the desk's framework.
So far only two types of panels have been created: a blank generic one and one with a matrix of 30 buttons. The latter has a bank of momentary push-buttons that each have their own label that corresponds with an action. They all feed into an Arduino board with an Ethernet shield on top to send these commands to a central webserver.
A fancy desk like this one would not be complete without the ability to control IoT devices around the house, which is why the desk features an addressable RGB LED strip that can light up in different modes based on the desired animation.
Hidden behind the desk's wall is a PoE switch for connecting together the server with a pair of Raspberry Pi's and the previously mentioned Arduino board. This can be expanded further in the future as more projects get added to the room.
The centerpiece of the desk is a large television that is positioned in the middle for an optimal viewing experience. Plans for this screen could include viewing IoT dashboards, programming, or simply watching content.
To its right is a smaller touchscreen display that has a Raspberry Pi tucked behind. Currently, this board doesn't do that much, but it will be used in later projects as the need arises.
The rest of the desk is empty for now, but Another Maker didn't just build the desk- he also kitted out the area behind. Just beyond the wall is a power strip, an HDMI switch for viewing the outputs of his Raspberry Pi's, and even an IR remote repeater that enables his remotes to reach his devices from a large distance away.
In the future, he plans to add more panels and equipment to the space in order to achieve his goal of building an amazing project-creation experience.