Microsoft offers a way to make a DIY portrait-based dock for the Surface Pro 3

Microsoft already has a docking station available for the Surface Pro 3, but it only allows the 12-inch tablet to be used in lanscape mode. Today, as part of its Microsoft Garage program, the company has released files and instructions to create the 3-in-1 Dock, which will turn the current docking station into a portrait VESA-mounted dock for the Surface Pro 3.

The project, which was first demoed during Microsoft's Build 2015 developer conference, does require that the maker have access to a 3D printer and a laser cutter to help create the parts needed to put together the 3-in-1 Dock. It also requires that the user open up their Surface Pro 3 Docking Station, which will void its warranty. Once the DIY project is completed, the dock will allow Surface Pro 3 owners to use the tablet in portrait mode on the same eye level as their regular PC monitors.

Source: GitHub, Microsoft (opens in new tab)

John Callaham
  • Awesome...
  • Great monetization plan for Microsoft: Allow designers to sell 3D plans via a "Windows print store". Microsoft simply takes a 10% hosting fee.
  • ^
  • Erm... Sounds terribly laborious and unlikely
  • Obviously this isn't for everyone, but there are tons of moders that will be all over this.
  • I thought the same thing, especially since it isn't entirely DIY due to the fact it requires the original Docking Station in the first place. When I saw the title, I thought they were going to tell you what parts to buy off Amazon to build your own docking station that can connect via the charging port (Essentially opening the port to third parties).
  • Sounds wicked sweet. I want it.
  • How about actually offering a dock with a single connecting cable to the SP? Like the Lenovo OneLink dock solution? I'd much prefer having that on my desk than any elaborate stand. 
  • The current dock, and so I'm guessing this dock, already do that. They connect via the single power connector.
  • There may only be a single connector, however, the dock doesn't take advantage of this fact which is what Joe920 is pointing out.  The current Surface docks force you to use only one orientation, at one angle, with only a specific model of Surface.  The docks could  be universal appropriate for all Surface models, and allow you to prop up and or lay down your Surface for writing.
  • That's kinda what this article is about. This DIY dock has a VESA mount so you could mount it to a monitor arm to use in any/every orientation. I'd really like a cable solution too, vs a dock, for simplicity BUT functionally I think the existing dock & this DIY cover all the cases mentioned. Unfortunately a universal dock just can't happen because none of the other Surface models is the same power & data connector. The doesn't seem to be anything MS can do about that now.
  • That's dope, YO! But really, makes me want a 3D printer even more.
  • Cool
  • Why MS was not able to come up with this on first place.   I still love my HP Touchstone Charging Dock!
  • Preach! I love mine
  • I've obtained the same result by fixing the docking station to an Ergotron arm's modified tray and adding a sort of handle to maintain the dock's clamps closed. That way, I can orient—and adjust—my SP3 anyway I want. :)
  • So..... You need:- 3D printer A laser cutter And it invalidates the warranty...think I'll pass!
  • Or just go with a Belkin USB3 Dual Video tablet dock. Yes, t's not quite as clean a setup, as you would need to have the Surface with the USB & Power point up instead of down and the cables running to it, but it works perfectly well. It is exactly how I am usign my SP3 at work right now -- 2x 24" displays and the SP3 in portrait mode next to them in the dock.
  • Well, there goes my Kickstarter project. :|
  • Wow that 3rd monitor is hella laggy. If I was MS I would not be showing that off.
  • Ok
  • Never mind 3D printing as a personal project, please take my money and mass produce the dock with a bunch of 3d printers for direct selling to third parties. I would much rather have this dock than the standard dock for the surface pro. Finally more creative accessories for Microsoft products! ​
  •     Github link:  check out the thorough PDF assembly guide! MSDN blog post with a few more pics and the original video link: MS Garage profile of the team:
  • I find it annoying that they can't design the Surface 3 and Surface Pro 3 in a way that would allow for a universal dock. I find it annoying that I need 2 docks to hook up to one monitor. Even if they fix this with the 4, I'll need to get yet another dock, probably.