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3-in-1 Dock – A Microsoft Garage Project for Surface Pro 3

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Comments (19)
  1. DD says:

    Why don't you guys also do some new extra hardware project announcements in the Garage (possibly DIY-building ones)…like on how to add an external GPU to a SP3, since Mr.Panos hinted previously on reddit its charging port is capable enough to be a Thunderbolt replacement, it's basically a PCIe slot if I understood correctly…given Microsoft could buy AMD, I'm sure they could engineer a graphics card dock with a separate PSU to connect a regular PCIe card to it, if you'd do that I'd buy it in a heartbeat. Please. Preety please.


    Just so you understand why, Kinect Fusion fps on a Surface Pro devices are preety much unusable, but a dock could easily remedy that.


    And AMD's future Quantum PC, if acquired by Microsoft, could be reworked/expanded, into Surface, PC/dock.

  2. Danchar4 says:

    DD, I agree an external GPU would be pretty sweet! My understanding of the 40-pin connector on the Surface Pro 3 is that it exposes charging, DisplayPort, and USB 3.0. I don't know if it actually exposes PCIe but I'll ask around and see what I can find out.

  3. Brian says:

    I dont have the ability to make one of these but id love to buy it

  4. Oli says:

    @Danchar4: Please provide more Informations about the 40Pin Connector. Is there the possibility of get additional developers information from Microsoft ? This would be important to be able to catch up as an individual, not everyone has a company. Maybe the free areas are on the PCB  for a possible extension in relation to Thunderbolt or PCIe ?? Does there could match the NXP CBTL06GP213 Six-Channel Multiplexer Chip ? Ifixit found this Chip inside the Surface Pro 3 so its possible to transfer PCIe Signals to another Device.

  5. Danchar4 says:


    Check out the Designed for Surface Program:…/partner-sign-up

    Send them a message with a proposal and perhaps you'll be able to learn more. You can also check out my teardown post:…/surface-pro-3-landscape-docking-station-teardown-part-2.aspx

  6. Oli says:

    @Danchar4: I send a Mail to hope thats the correct address.

  7. Danchar4 says:

    To our 3-in-1 Dock fans:

    I just wanted to clarify something for folks since I've received several PMs through various channels about our release.

    Our team does not work in the Surface organization at Microsoft. We're all on separate teams within Microsoft and came together for the hackathon. We don't have a design team. This is a project we've done in our spare time and is totally unrelated to our day jobs.

    We love Surface! And we're grateful for the support we've gotten both internally at Microsoft and from our fans in the maker and Surface enthusiast communities.

    Thank you!

  8. Brian says:

    @Danchar4     Is the surface stable enough in this dock to allow rotation between a vertical position and a horizontal one?  If not that would be an amazing improvement for any possible future designs.  I love this dock idea but would also like to have the ability to rotate the dock horizontally if the the docked surface was fitted allowing this rotation.

  9. Danchar4 says:


    Great question!

    Yes we have tested this in portrait and landscape configuration. In landscape mode, a small support arm is necessary to keep the tablet seated in the 40-pin connector. The plans for the extra arm are checked into our GitHub repo. You can see the landscape mode in action in the Win2D Microsoft developer conference video:…/2-631 [skip ahead to about 22:15]

    Our esteemed presenter Simon Tao used our dock prototype for the entire talk and all the demos.

    We thought that landscape mode would be great for presenters and kiosk scenarios.

  10. Brian says:

    That's exactly what I was hoping for.  Thanks for producing such a cool dock and making the files public, I think I have found someone who can print me the parts so I am going to try and tackle this project in a few weeks.  I'm looking forward to using it!

  11. Nir says:

    any take on dualling the new Surface 3?

  12. Danchar4 says:


    Yes we can do this for Surface 3.

    The only issue is that the Surface 3 uses micro-USB rather than the 40-pin surflink connector to reduce costs and provide the ability to use universal 5V cellphone chargers. So you can't have zero-insertion force docking; you kind-of have to jam it in there which detracts from the overall portrait docking experience. Not saying we wouldn't do it, just that it wouldn't be as smooth as what I showed in the video. We think the 40-pin surflink connector is fantastic!

  13. David says:

    What size print bed do you need to print the printed portion?

  14. Danchar4 says:


    Per the PDF instructions on GitHub (page 2), you'll need an 8"x6" bed with a 3" z-height. You may be able to get away with a smaller bed with some creative positioning of the parts, but 8×6 or larger is easiest. Let us know what printer you use.

  15. Danchar4 says:

    3-in-1 Dock fans:

    We received a few PM's in the last 24 hours asking if our 3-in-1 dock will work with the newly announced Surface Pro 4. We're not part of the Surface team and have not had a chance to test the SP4 yet, but we expect it will work with minor changes to accommodate the new thickness of the SP4. Some also asked if we're planning to re-design the 3-in-1 dock around the new Surface Dock that has 2 mini-DisplayPort outputs. No promises, but we're already looking into it and will report our findings when we can.

  16. Jann says:

    It ist an absolute Awesome Idea, especially for tall guys like me.
    But Is there any possibility of NOT DESTROYING A DEVICE WORTH 230€ (!!!!) to get such a station? Do you sell maybe just the core of the dockingstation for a Cheaper Price? I mean we all know that the real hardware value is much lower than 230 €.
    I am a student at Technical University Hamburg, and I can get a 3D Printer and Lasercutters and stuff. But 230€ just to destroy it, is a bit harsh. Is there any way of getting one? As a tall guy that would be so super nice and its exactly what i need.
    Maybe some stations that can for some reason not be sold? Wrong colloring or something like that?
    Would be SUPER COOL if something like that would be possible!

  17. Bob Ruggieri says:

    I use my Surface Pro for our medical office and I would be putting it in the dock and removing it (to take into the exam room) every 10 minutes or so. How easy is it to place in/out of the dock? I am not looking to lock it so I wouldn’t need the lock function. Thanks

    1. Danchar4 says:

      Bob, if you don’t need the lock, then the newer dock is probably better for you and a lot easier to build:

      Without the lock, its a 1 second affair to dock and undock. My wife has been using a hand-built test unit without the lock for over a year and she loves it.

      Unfortunately these are not in production but you can download the open source files and build one yourself. Happy to answer any questions.

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