Kneeboard 2023 Build

Kneeboard2023 20230828.1843

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We are inventors. And what is the greatest hinderence to inventing that bedevils everyone who has chosen this path? Oh, it's not the complicated formulas, or the glues that don't adhere. It's the scourge of never having a pen and paper when you need one!

So, we came up with the "Inventor's Knee Board."

It's a tiny clipboard that holds a small notebook. And it clips to your shorts for a stable writing surface. It also has a pen holder, so that you are never without the means to capture your brilliant ideas!

Prepare to supercharge your creative genius with the inventor's ultimate companion: the Inventor’s knee board. While originally crafted for aviation, this versatile kneeboard is your new must-have for brainstorming breakthroughs and bringing your brilliant ideas to life. Imagine having your sketches, notes, and technical data at your fingertips, all securely clipped to your shorts, when sitting down. This is the must-have device for hands-free experimentation, prototyping, and design sessions. Whether you're tinkering in your workshop, collaborating with fellow inventors, or on the go solving problems, our knee board ensures your innovations flow seamlessly. Say goodbye to scattered notebooks and hello to the inventor's game-changer – the Inventor’s Knee Board, your innovation catalyst!

If you would like to just buy a one of these rather than make it, you can find it on our Etsy Store

Etsy Store


Parts Needed

The 3D printing of the knee board takes about 7 hours. Any questions? Be sure to send us an email.

Tools Needed


Left and Right Side Pen Holders What Is Included Metal Clips Action Truck Passenger Action Shot

Assembly Instructions

  • 3D print the object vertically with supports touching base only and skirt adhesion.

Full Assembly Instructions

Gadget School Lessons

Kneeboard Features Overlay > Resources for this build including the FreeCad files and the exported .stl files ready for 3D printing.

These are the lessons we learned while making it.

The first step in creating an item is to do research. Find out what already exists. What are the strengths and weaknesses? Determine how your own creation will differ.

The problem that we've solved is that you never have a pen or a piece of paper to write on when you get a great idea.

In the past, we have used a pilot's knee board. This is basically clipboard that a pilot straps to their knee. But these are designed for flight where the most important concern is keeping it secure and not able to move around the cockpit. In our version, which is not meant for pilots, those security concerns have been overridden by the desire to make it lightweight and easy to use.

Since we are also artists, we have every pen ever made by any manufacturer. But over and over again, we return to the Zebra F301 as our EDC pen. It has a metal body so it is very sturdy. It also has a metal clip that does not easily break. It is refillable and never leaks ink. And most importantly, it is compact and retracts. So we designed the knee board to use this pen exclusively.

Having used the F301 pen for some time, we knew that we wanted to be able to snap it in and out of our knee board. Viktor had the idea that we should use the spring that is used to retract the pen to act as a way to hold the pen securely in place.

It took a lot of prototyping but we finally settled on using the point of the pen as the lock point. To put the pen into the clipboard, slide the clicker end into the socket on the top of the pen holder part of the knee board. Gently push the pen towards the top, to depress the clicker half way. Then, slide the bottom part of the pen into the pen holder until it clicks.

Another major concern was being able to remove the knee board quickly and easily. This was addressed by using metal clips on the back. This allows the knee board to be clipped onto shorts or the pockets of cargo pants. If you must wear non-cargo pants, stick a magnet to one side of your pants and use it to attach to the metallic clips of the knee board.

The clips are kept a little loose so that they may swivel to allow the board to be mounted horizontal or vertical. You can use the knee board either right side up or upside down.

When otherwise engaged it is hard to change the page on a normal knee board. We address this issue by using a clip at the top to store the pages that will easily flip back and forth while in work mode. When you have a minute, reset your knee board. Remove the notebook from the knee board and flip the used pages to the back of the spiral notebook. Then, place the notebook, with the fresh page, back into the knee board. It's ready for a fresh set of glorious ideas!

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