Sketch This | Maker Bench

Taking a break from the development of the OSBuilt site development, I am submitting a design for the open maker bench competition hosted by Sketch This, Eric Schimelpfenig and Sketchup. The basic idea is to hack and redesign the top of this workbench to adapt to some specialized purpose. Some of the designs will get built and featured at a Maker Faire.


Here is the basic bench with no alterations.


This is the actual piece that you are supposed to edit and hack.


My design proposal is for a trace table. This is something that I’ve used quite a bit early in my school years when we were drafting mechanical drawings or graphic designs. There was only 1 table for the whole studio, so it was always occupied. It would have been great to have a few extra up in our studio. This would also be great for an artist that draws on paper by hand.


The design uses a 24″ LED lamp. I used the dimensions from a model I found at Lowes. There is also an opening in the table top where 1/4″ acrylic or glass would be placed. I’ve painted the bottom of the shelf space white to reflect light better. I’ve also blocked off the openings to keep that light from escaping out the sides.


Here you can see the lamp section pulled out of the table. The lamp will attach to the plywood with screws and the plywood can slot together. Add a little wood glue and it should be nice and solid. One side would have a switch and the other would have a power plug.


Here you can see the glass or acrylic slotting into the table. It will be flush with the rest of the table to make for a nice drawing surface.

This competition mirrors my own on One difference is that this competition asks to hack a piece that is already included in the design, while mine asks to invent new a piece that will plug into the design. I like both methods of design and I’d be interested in trying their method for my next open design competition.

If you’re interested in this particular design, I’ll talk to Eric and see if I can share it in my site. Otherwise, at some point all of the maker benches will be free and available at some point in time on


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