Bad Vibes Desk: Prototype 1

Sketching it Out

For this project I focused on designing and building the desktop and always intended to use pre-fabricated (or nearly pre-fabricated) legs.

Photo Nov 17, 6 09 20 PM

For this first prototype design I imagined a frame of sorts with a lip that was attached to legs, and a middle panel that drops into the desk, resting on the lip. The motor would be mounted to (and only transferring energy to) the lightest part of the table–the panel.

When designing the desk the most important factor from an engineering standpoint was the weight of the table: The lighter the table; the more energy would be transferred from the motor; the more intense the vibration. Which is the point.


I used Illustrator to design/create the files and the CNC machine to cut the two sections of the desktop. It worked like a charm. Although because of the diameter of the router bit I needed to do a significant amount of sanding around the corners to create a seamless fit.

I drilled the motor mount into the untouched section on the underside of the panel, which was designed as a mounting block.

Photo Nov 22, 3 35 50 PM


I clamped the desktop to legs I made of aluminum speed rail. This worked, but ended up being incredibly loud. The panel and frame knocked against each other around a hundred times a minute. This sounded like a mini jackhammer. It was unpleasant and annoyed everyone in the shop. Not ideal.

A second prototype was imminent.