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TV cabinet automation -Hiding an elephant


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As part of the deal in getting a super large TV, it was agreed that we didn’t want it to be in your face as soon as you came in the room or block the opening between rooms. The tricky part here was getting a TV with a 37.5” screen height to fit under a shelf only 44” tall.

First option, put it in a cabinet with bifold doors to hide it. This would keep it hidden and short, but we would also be looking down on it at the floor and the large doors could get in the room space.

Second option, run the tv straight up out of a cabinet. This does keep the room clear but now we are having to look up at the tv and it blocks all vision between rooms.

Third option, automate the tv movement and panels to reveal the tv. Now I can get the center of the TV at a height of 41” to match eye level on the couch and keep all the panels contained in the alcove space.

To Solidworks!

Quickly I modeled up the alcove space I had to work with and started sketching mechanisms.


I did use some doodles on pads of the early mechanisms but it was nice to see multi link pivots and swings work in a fully constrained environment. Initial thought was a link bar system that would swing the TV up and out at the same time. After a few iterations of this it was deemed either too complicated or not controllable enough to achieve the movement required. So I moved onto sliding the TV up tracks. This would give me precise controlled movement but lacked the ability to orient the tv one way and present it another. This is how the roller bearing slide was created.


The stacks of bearings allow the block to be tightly constrained into a channel while they are mounted to another block with a large bearing allowing it to swivel around bends in the track. There are an additional set of bearings on the face to keep it from scuffing up the surface if the load shifts. This almost worked better than expected and really opened the door in the design. (Need at least one dad pun)

Time to build some tracks, then on to assembly.


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