K’NEX Laptop Stand (DIY)

Laptop Stand

with K’NEX

Michael Vogel

 

Why would you ever need a Laptop Stand?

 
Have you ever owned an HP Pavilion zv6000 laptop?

I use one, and it’s been a great laptop. However, one big problem occurred with it about two years ago:
 

THE HINGES BROKE!

Broken hinges mean my laptop can’t stand up on its own…

 

After reading online, I noticed many other users experiencing the same problem. You may have too, perhaps with a different make/model.

 

The first thought that came to my mind at that point: replace the hinges. This is an excellent, and usually fairly cheap option (especially if you look on eBay). However, at the time my hinges broke, many other zv6000 users happened to be experiencing this same inherent defect.

 

The law of supply and demand proved correct once again, resulting in the usually < $30 hinges selling on eBay for well over $70-$100!

 

 

The next thought that came to mind: K’NEX must be able to fix this. Unfortunately K’NEX rings and washers didn’t come in the size I needed. So, I figured if I can’t hold it up from the inside, I’ll hold it up from the outside.

 

The Solution: K’NEX Laptop Stand

 

 

The orange K’NEX “hinges” are meant to swing in front of the monitor when the laptop is open.

 

These hinges keep the screen from falling forward, and the base/back of the stand give something for laptop to lean against.

 

 

 

 

Rotate the orange hinges to the vertical position when setting laptop in place

 

 

 

Both angled and perpendicular viewing positions are possible.

 


Angled Viewing Position

Perpendicular Viewing Position

 

 

 

 

Back view

There is plenty of space in the stand for the AC adapter to plug into the back of the laptop.

 

When moving the laptop to another room, I grip one hand firmly on the side of the screen and one hand around the base of the stand/laptop. There is no need to remove the stand.

 

The back of the stand reaches up to just below the middle of the screen.

 

Reactions to this stand are mixed (surprisingly, mostly positive) when I use it in public. The most common question I’m asked is, “what is it?” 

 

One professor at my university spotted me working on my laptop at school and actually thought it was a purely cosmetic device, exclaiming “Nice laptop stand!” as he walked by, oblivious to its actual function. Of course, he’s partially correct. The stand does raise the laptop off the table enough to improve airflow to the fans.

 

One final note: This stand is intended for tabletop use, which is what I use my laptop for close to 100% of the time. If you tend to use your laptop on your lap, then you may be better off replacing your hinges. If your computer is no longer under warranty, you can still buy parts through the manufacturer. Replacement hinges are also usually available on eBay.

 

 

Some additional angles to help with building your own K’NEX stand:

  1. September 18, 2009 at 1:58 pm

    Thank you. I’ve never heard of the K’nex so I had to google it. It would had been helpful if you provided some information about the K’nex product. If there are permutations of the product, which set with how many pieces do I have to buy to construct the remedy to the HP design flaw? How much does it cost? Also, if you had a second pair of hands, it would had been nice to see a photograph of your “let’s move the laptop to another room” grip. :-)

  2. September 18, 2009 at 2:06 pm

    … and yes, this is a great example of the once great American ingenuity … ;-)You have provided a great service. Now that I checked the Knex web site, though, I really could use some help as to which product to buy in order to replicate your success. Here is their product guide. I’m stumped: http://www.knex.com/products/ Have you had collected their products as a kid and now went into the dump in the closet to “repurpose” the assorted pieces or have you used a particular set. Please,HELP! :-\

    • michaelvogel
      September 18, 2009 at 4:40 pm

      Thanks for visiting my webapge!

      I’ll remember to add in an overview of the K’NEX product to this page. In a nutshell, K’NEX is a construction somewhat like LEGO, but consists of rods and connectors instead of bricks.

      The K’NEX I’ve gotten over the years comes in a barrel/tub (e.g. a box with 400 pieces). Toys R Us will definitely carry it. K’NEX also sells individual kits that provide just enough pieces to build something specific (car, roller coaster, etc). The barrel/tub is great because you have plenty of pieces for many projects. Regardless of how the K’NEX is packaged, though, the pieces are the same.

      I’ll add section to the site listing the number and type of rods/connectors that are required to build this stand.

      Best of luck, and let me know if I can answer anything else!

  3. September 18, 2009 at 5:31 pm

    Excellent! Thanks. Will any of the sets contain all the pieces I need or do I have to buy the 400 piece tub? You are providing a great service for humanity! :-)

    • September 18, 2009 at 5:44 pm

      I looked through the K’NEX website a bit more and they seem to now include LEGO-style bricks in some of their packages. Not quite the stuff I’ve been used to. Just look for something that contains a selection of rods/connectors at the very least.

      You definitely won’t need all of the pieces in the 400 piece tub – just a fraction of that. I did a quick count of pieces: roughly 50-60 connectors and 50-60 rods in the laptop stand.

  4. Nikos
    December 23, 2009 at 11:24 am

    Hi! I have the same laptop like this, and the same problem with hinges. Also, the plastic cover of the hinge is broken a little in the edge.I used a similar solution like yours. (Not K NEX but a desk lamp behind the screen).
    But I want to replace the hinges. I don’t know what to do. Please send me an email.
    For you is simple as you say:
    “replace the hinges. This is an excellent, and usually fairly cheap option (especially if you look on eBay).”
    How can I do this? I don’ t know how to find the right hinges, where to find it, how to buy it, and how to replace it.
    You say it is simple can you help me???/ it is very difficult for me. Please send me an email to explain me how to change hinges.Thank you and Merry Christmas

    • December 23, 2009 at 12:41 pm

      The best place to look for replacement hinges is eBay (www.ebay.com). I searched for “HP zv6000 hinges” and found about 50 results (price seemed to range in the $50-$70 range).

      Here’s a PDF of the zv6000 repair manual: http://h10032.www1.hp.com/ctg/Manual/c00364919.pdf

      If you decide to try the hinge installation yourself, I believe the first step is to remove the “keyboard cover” (four screws on the bottom of the laptop). It’s probably a good idea to remove the battery before you do anything :)

      Let me know if I can help with any other questions!

  5. Renee
    January 15, 2010 at 9:45 am

    zv6000 same prob! I had actually thought of some type of heavy duty clips but couldn’t get the right design in my mind. Or a giant rubberband to wrap around a heavy object not very practical though. lol! how much would one of these stands cost if I just paid you money to make me one and shipped it to me? I am suddenly having another problem w/it. the computer will freeze up if i walk away from it for more than 15 minutes. any clue on that one? look forward to hearing from you, Renee

    • January 15, 2010 at 12:38 pm

      Hi Renee, thanks for visiting my website!

      K’Nex is a really fun construction tool. It’d probably be cheapest to pick up a tub of assorted K’Nex pieces at your local toy store and build a replica of my model based on the photos on the site. Even as a beginner, it’ll probably take no more than an hour to build it.

      If you still find the task a little daunting, I may be able to make one for you. But I’m not too sure how well it would travel in the mail; pieces would more than likely need to be reattached upon arrival.

      As for the computer freezing up, it could many things. I’d first recommend looking at the processes tab in Windows Task Manager (Start > Run > taskmgr), and close the process(es) that are chewing up the most CPU power. Might be some form of spyware running in the background.

      Best of luck with the zv6000, and let me know if I can help with any other questions!

  6. July 9, 2010 at 5:48 am

    K’NEX are the best because you do so many useful things with them.

  7. Spencer
    December 3, 2010 at 9:33 am

    You are hilarious. You obviously have DIY capabilities that far outweigh what can be done with KNEX, but you choose to use them anyways. I remember all of those pieces except for the thin black one, that piece is new to me. Even though you can build trusses, I don’t really remember those joints being all that strong.

    • December 3, 2010 at 11:43 am

      You just can’t beat K’Nex for building quick structures!

      Yes the black piece is relatively new to me as well – it’s definitely not part of the core of rod and connector pieces. The black piece, however, is the same size as a white connector attached to four green rods.

      I was also unsure of the strength of the completed stand. But after using it daily for at least 3 years now, I can safely say that it is a very strong structure (even in transport).

  8. Hunter
    December 26, 2011 at 11:10 pm

    This was an excellent idea!
    You may have just saved me and my dad $100+. I had to go up in the attic to get these, and when I was piecing the whole thing together to follow along with your model and add on a few extra bits, I was having flashbacks from more than 10 years ago when I used to build with them.
    Thanks again for constructing this and sharing the idea. It brought back memories and saved a lot of money.
    Kudos!

  9. January 2, 2012 at 8:49 am

    absolutely love it, a great fix

  10. September 12, 2012 at 8:24 pm

    I’ve instructed a pair of individuals relating to this site, good get the job done.

  1. September 18, 2009 at 4:45 pm

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