MAGNUS Pro: Designing the world’s first integrated power supply column in a standing desk

By April 26, 2024 May 21st, 2024 No Comments

How did our product engineering team create the world’s first integrated single-cable power solution on a standing desk? Hear it from our Head of Industrial Design, Vincent Sin.

When we designed the original Secretlab MAGNUS Metal Desk, the aim was clear: to seamlessly complement our flagship ergonomic chair, while completely eliminating cable mess with innovative cable management solutions.

MAGNUS garnered praise from reviewers and customers around the world, but also sparked a wave of requests for an electric height-adjustable desk. So our product engineering team set to work on a standing desk solution — one that would dramatically simplify cable management.

More than ordinary

“We saw the need for something different,” said Vincent Sin, Head of Industrial design at Secretlab. “We wanted to bring more innovative ideas to the table.” Amidst the sea of standing desks saturating the market, the team saw an opportunity to differentiate themselves by prioritizing cable management and modular add-ons, catering to discerning professionals who demand full control over their work and play space.

A pivotal focus during development was minimizing the number of power cables that extend from the desk. Most standing desks have multiple wires running from them to various power outlets. This results in a tangle of cables, adding strain to your cords when you raise your desk height, and creating too much slack when the desk is lowered.

The solution turned out to be a power socket built into the top of the desk leg, which could then be connected to a power strip concealed within the cable tray. This meant integrating electrical cabling into the motorized desk leg, where each cable is insulated in a custom plastic sleeve and then further segmented with multiple grounding points.

To further improve safety, a built-in thermal circuit breaker protects your desk and devices from overcurrent damage. The result was a world first in standing desks: A single cable extending from the bottom of the desk column, housing a fully integrated power supply.

“To achieve this, we took an iterative approach to fine-tune every last detail,” Vincent said, “constructing dozens of functional prototypes to ensure it performed to the most exacting specifications.”

A feat of engineering

MAGNUS Pro standing tesk undergoing rigorous testing

An ultra-quiet, high-torque motor powers a threaded three-stage telescopic column constructed from aircraft-grade aluminum. The pitch and material were specially customized to meet uncompromising performance and reliability requirements, so the desk holds up under years of heavy lifting.

Beyond that, the team subjected the MAGNUS Pro to rigorous testing, including the 4X Motor Lifespan Test, involving 20,000 cycles of movement to evaluate durability and performance over time. The test assessed the robustness of components like the motorized lift mechanism, identifying potential issues such as knocking sounds or mechanical failures within the column with prolonged use.

One such test unfolded in a specially designed quiet room, devoid of external disturbances and background noise. This controlled environment allowed engineers to detect even the faintest sound emitted by the column, ensuring it operated with the utmost silence and smoothness.

“The process was incredibly time-consuming,” Vincent said, “with multiple rounds of testing and analysis conducted each time an abnormal sound was detected.” But pinpointing the source of the noise sometimes proved a challenge. “We even used a stethoscope on the column at one point to identify the source of the sound,” said Vincent. Through careful adjustments and optimizations, they reduced operating noise to a level that exceeds industry standards, ensuring that the desk remains whisper quiet for even the most discerning customers.

Today, MAGNUS Pro has found its way into the homes and offices of gamers, creators, and workers around the world — and our own workstations. It epitomizes our commitment to user-centric design and the desire to create meaningful solutions to solve long-standing problems, while continuously improving along the way.

Learn more about Secretlab MAGNUS Pro here.