Project DDDD aka. turn your V into a Surface Studio


Here’s the design of the arm on the inside (top view)

On the left side is a solenoid. It is placed approximately on the middle of the arm. As you can see, when the solenoid receives power, it would retract, and pull the brake (the long part), and overcome the springs. Otherwise, the springs would make sure that the brake is engaged.

At the end of the arm, there would be the sprocket and ball bearing where the sprocket attaches into.

Parts not shown:

  • Chain
  • Rubber padding on the brake and the sprocket to increase friction (which is why there is a 1mm gap between them)
  • Cover. The spring would press the brake against the top cover. It should be on the bottom of this image

Meanwhile, I updated the holder design, it is now much smoother and I added the mounting option. Id say this is 95% final. The weight is approximately 2kg.

Oh btw its a SB2 15". I updated the reference tablet, as the SB2 15" is no longer a US exclusive, I am sure there will be many creatives grabbing one of those.

Not shown:

  • Remote key set
  • Screws for the top cover (white part). I decided to use #6-32 UNC screw, which is commonly used in PC cases, so if you lose one, it will be super easy to find a replacement.

I am thinking to replace the top cover (white) and remote key set adapater (dark grey) with just one piece of plastic, instead of two as in the picture. The advantage is that it will be one piece. The disadvantage is its no longer tool-less to replace the remote key set adapter. Any thoughts?


Where do the cup holders go?

I really think you should sit back down with your prof or whoever you are working on this with to see if it merits a thesis.

I’m sorry to say but this looks like a total headache of desk obstacles that at best give the tablet the added advantage of being eye level.
The central point of your design is trying to shoehorn the advantage of the Microsoft surface studio (being a large screen that can lean to tablet mode) onto a tablet which already has that ability in its ability to lean, and doesn’t work well as an eye level monitor due to its small size anyway. Further the small screen size doesn’t lend itself to being a full work space like the Surface Studio, so being elevated off the desk space only makes it harder to interact with.

You say the problem this solves is to satisfy the demand from people who want a drawing surface that can turn into a monitor. A tablet is already by definition a drawing surface and not a monitor, no visual artist would ask of a small tablet to provide the presentation ability of a large on-desk monitor, thus any display action is done by passing a tablet hand to hand. You also mention how this product would resolve the issue of the Surface Studio being too expensive and not portable enough, but your design only does this by making something less portable and more expensive than it was.

You use the tense “we” in your posts. I wonder who else you are speaking on behalf of.
Honestly if you are part of the design team at Eve as your posts sort of insinuate that you are, it makes me a little reticent to purchase the V and makes me suspicious of the taste level of (whomever your are speaking for). Sorry to say.

I can see you’ve put a lot of work into this, but when working on a “thesis” you need to spend as much time getting honest, critical feedback before you step in with two feet. I hope you are open minded to such feedback and remaining open to the idea that this may not be a very functional idea.


OMG, motorized too? This thing would cost more than the Eve-V itself, even without your proposed remotes (without which it has empty remote docks)!

And why, oh why in the damn world would anyone want their Elgato remote faceing them at eye level?
You think people are going to spend like 400$ in remotes to use next to a small tablet screen and then handcuff it all to a motorized stand that makes picking up and freely interacting with any it difficult-impossible?
Your set up would easily out price the Surface Studio and just look like an unusable pile on your desk.

It reminds me of before the iPhone came out there were a few people trying to design and sell these elaborate rigs to enlarge or display the screen of your ipod classic so you and your friends could watch movies. If they could have added a keyboard input to an iPod classic to take notes on they would have.


I was thinking about showing my opinion of this product, but seeing your reply I realized I would have never written something as concise and accurate as that.


Do you have some concept in mind? I am open to design changes. Unfortunately, or fortunately, I wont cancel this project, at least not as a thesis because it has already started.

Anyway, about the dock itself, it seems that you were putting too much emphasis on being on the monitor mode. It is one of the mode, yes, but the main USP of this product would be the ability to articulate to various angles, and to put the screen on the level that’s most comfortable for you. Artists and designers also use drawing desks on their paper or tablet, this eliminates the need of that, as well as being more convenient to move on-the-fly.

In addition to that, laptop stands are popular among artists and creatives, including DJs.

Dont forget that nothing stops you from using an external monitor with it, so it can act more like a Wacom tablet as well, you dont have to be stuck on the 12" display of your tablet (unless its an iPad Pro).

I think somebody suggested above to include a display in the product, which I would love to include, but unfortunately the display with active digitizer is still very expensive on the market.

Its more of the limitation of the market that we have right now, the screen with digitizer pen thats not prohibitely expensive can only be found in tablets and laptops, which is the main motivation of this docking station. Of course, if you are a pro and you can afford being one, the Surface Studio could still be a better product overall. As I mentioned in the beginning, this would cater more towards small-to-medium sized artists who dont intend to use a Surface Studio. its not going head-to-head as a Studio competitor, to put it clear.

I agree that the remote key sets are not functional in monitor mode. Do you think it would make more sense to put it on the base?

For the cost, I am trying to keep it under $200, and if possible under $100 with mass production. I have got the rough cost estimation already, and I can assure you it wont cost anywhere near the V :slight_smile:

Here’s the thing, an electric motor is not as expensive as what most people think, and they are powerful. You can get a 20W motor for literaly $10-20, and it is more than enough to lift the whole thing, considering it does not need high RPM. The hard part is designing the transmission system, which then has to take into account the torque load, self-locking capability, etc. If you want the gear to feel good and smooth, it requires expensive gearing system. I am now trying to find the balance of cost effective components.


Super awesome. It would be cool if we could get an integrated eGPU. Like have the hinge connect to the tablet around the usbc port and actually have a loose connection allowing the V to charge while gaining a performance boost being connected to the dock in a discrete (no wires) way.
It would be great if the next V was made compatible with this too, like a 12/13 inch and 14/15 inch models.


Enschede : I did my primary school there!
Hey Tukker😉


eGPU would be part of DD or other docking station. As this is an accessory to DD, it wont have the role of electronically communicating to the tablet. The benefit of that is it would be compatible with various other tablets like the iPad and Surface Pro, none of which had a USB-C port.

It is compatible with anything in between the size of the iPad Pro 9.7" and Surface Book 2 15" (thats the smallest and largest reference tablet), so the V is included. You can even mount a laptop on it and use it like a laptop stand I pictured above. I included that as “secondary goal” in the thesis itself, in the sense that its not the main concern.


Ok well best of luck to you.
My advice would be to really try to figure out what problem you are trying to solve first.

I am an artist and a designer and I’m intimately familiar with studio setups of all kinds. I’ve never found a drafting table to be as useful as a drawing board on a flat desk. Drafting tables are great for large format work as they alllow you to lean in to your work and be immersed, but only for large format work. The Surface Studio replicates this experience very well by relying on its large screen, which is why the dial works on screen and hopefully one day soon we will see digital rulers and set squares.
You are unlikely to replicate this experience on a tablet, but small screen offer many other interesting opportunities for design solutions.

If you are set on doing a thesis, what is the problem you are looking to resolve?

The problem can’t be just “some people want their tablet to be higher up”, and if it were, a motorized design space would not be a good solution.
I think you are trying to make tablets into a more immersive creative space, which is a super fun and interesting challenge. I think if you really want to research modes for creative input incorporating a tablet you should look at plein air artists easels, antique oriental and colonial writing slopes, multifunctional clip boards, artist folios, accountants ledgers, Penny’s magic computer book from Inspector Gadget. You need to look at the greatest examples of elegant and functional work spaces throughout history and make notes.

This is how the designers at Microsoft would have researched to arrive at the Surface Studio. If you do similar research and think creatively I’m sure you can come up with something cool. If you just try to smack a tablet onto a surface studio hinge, ( not that my opinion means anything), but I’d have a hard time calling it a thesis…
Why does it need to be motorized? What does that add? It seems like it would be slow and noisy.
Is this for an undergrad design thesis? Like a 4th year project?


Like just fundamentally you have to see that the Surface Studio is kindof acting like a drafting tablet where you lean on it and into it and you are trying to make a device to do that with a small screen and that just won’t work. It’s already adrwssed with the kickstand on the back, making the V adjust to different heights and angles will PREVENT you from being able to be imerssed in using it as it will increase the difference between the surface you are resting your elbows on and the screen of the V. There’s just a million billion problems with your design and they all stem from an ill definined research problem.

And yea, motors may be cheap but machining isn’t. There would never be enough customers in 100 planets to pay for the production of this thing.

I think (and who am I? No one!)
You should be developing an expandable clipboard, based on a plein air artists desk easel, made of wood of leather and papier-mâché. No joke, that’s a freebie.

Or potentially you should scrap the idea altogether and write a photo essay in the form of a blog.
Shitty iPod Dock Things in Undergrad Design Thesis’s; A Retrospective of Well-Intentioned Laziness and “Me-Tooing” in the Consumer Cycle.





I thought the DD was not going to include an eGPU.

And my bad, I thought this was going to be V specific, and maybe include a proprietary connection.

  1. Spring-loaded mechanism like the Surface Studio is impossible to implement due to varying weight of tablets that will be installed
  2. It is lighter to operate especially when you have heavier tablets. SB2 15" alone is 2 kg, plus the construction of the tablet holder, it wont be less than 3 kg.
  3. The user can move it from their most comfortable position, they don’t have to stand up or reach something. So when youre adjusting, youre already in the position where youre going to use it. Think of mirror adjustment in the Tesla Model 3.
  4. It allows the user to save their favorite positions, so they don’t have to manually adjust that everytime. It is quite critical especially when you have the more complex two-degree-of-freedom hinges, as opposed to the desk-lamp-like hinges. The way it works is similar to memory seat in cars.
  5. It allows the implementation of brake/clutch to hold everything in place, without the user having to directly interact with it. In other words, the brake/clutch is invisible to the end-user
  6. It looks cool, it gives the wow factor.

For the speed, I decided that moving to take no more than 5 seconds end-to-end (see the specs sheet). Most movements, which are not end-to-end, would take way less than that.

Is this for an undergrad design thesis? Like a 4th year project?

Yes, they call it a bachelor thesis, same thing

It’s already adrwssed with the kickstand on the back

The problem with the kickstand, from my experience, is that it moves when youre putting pressure on the screen. I put emphasis specifically to prevent that from happening, because even the Surface Studio is not immune from this problem. The Wacom Studio does have its own clutch, but the user has to manually, mechanically depress that for every movement to happen.

it will increase the difference between the surface you are resting your elbows on and the screen of the V

That is precisely why there are two wrist rest on either sides that can be replaced with remote key sets if the user wishes to. That is also why the packaging contents (I just added it yesterday) include pads for tablets of various thicknesses, that allow any tablet to stay flush with the wrist rest.

You should be developing an expandable clipboard, based on a plein air artists desk easel, made of wood of leather and papier-mâché. No joke, that’s a freebie.

Is that the one you pictured above? Can you elaborate more on how it would have an advantage over other docking stations or stands (apart from cost, of course)?

Thanks! I love the critical feedbacks!


Sorry it’s a cool idea, just needs work