R

ackstuds™ were conceptualised in 2000 after fighting to install a 15kg computer in a small under-bench rack. An installer and on my own, I ended up having to stack telephone books underneath the computer to get the mounting rails to align with the cage nuts.

I remember thinking…why doesn’t someone just reverse the nut and bolt so I have something to hang the computer on? Surely that would make life much easier?

And so the journey began. After using cage nuts for many years and struggling to get them in, dealing with cut hands and fingers and losing a fair few down the back of racks, I believed I was well versed with the issues but could I come up with a better solution?

The design mandate was simple:

  • It must go in from the front
  • It must be simple to install
  • It must be simple to remove
  • Ideally it would not require any special tools; not even a screwdriver
  • It must be strong enough to hold a 20kg (44lb) piece of equipment
  • We must be able to make it affordable so it could become a natural replacement for the cage nut over time

The ‘insert from the front’ bit stumped us for a very long time; years in fact. We tried dozens of different designs all without success. Then one day, eureka, an idea!

Unlike a wall fixing, Rackstuds could go in from the front but they don’t have to come out from the front. This simple realisation that we could get in behind the ‘wall’ afforded us a solution. That night, a bout on Google Sketchup and we had a rough draft. Files off for a bit of 3D magic and a few days later, CAD versions were being emailed to our local 3D printing firm for SLA prototyping. Within a week of that ah-ha moment, we had parts in our hands. Thirteen revisions later and nearly two years in the field, we have the products you see today.

Originally Rackstuds were designed to go in from the top down but feedback from field trials revealed that installing another one directly below was almost impossible due to the protruding nut. Back to the lab and force gauge testing revealed that the Rackstuds were actually strongest when installed sideways!

The knobs are also significantly smaller now than those shown in the video. Feedback from the data cabling fraternity indicated that passing multiple UTP cables between the (existing) knobs could be an issue. A quick redesign and they’re now 30% smaller.

We are confident you’ll find the new Rackstuds a joy to use and a quicker and easier solution than cage nuts.

Rackstuds are proudly designed, manufactured and packed right here in New Zealand.

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