Novena Heirloom – Laptop feet

In the original design phase for the Heirloom, I had considered what kind of feet might make sense with the curved bottom panel design. I looked at many of the standard designs in use on current laptops. I investigated how the laptop feet of my MacBook Pro are constructed. But nothing was really appropriate.

Foot installation job set up in the milling vise.
Foot installation job set up in the milling vise.

When I looked to resolve the issue recently, it became apparent that the metal side plates were the logical place to mount the laptop feet. But the available surfaces are quite small. I pondered the dilemma for a few days while attending to other issues.

heirloom feet CAD view
Aluminum side plate with proposed foot

I ordered a batch of 3/16″ balls in various materials to investigate the prospects. The Viton balls of about 70A durometer seemed to be appropriate. I then worked out a depth and diameter of hole that would hold the ball securely in place while providing just enough projection to properly engage with the desktop surface. I milled each hole with a smaller hole drilled beyond the cavity for a set screw just in case I decided an adjustment mechanism was called for. The feet are easily user replaceable and visually unobtrusive in a way that seems to work well with the overall design of the Heirloom.


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