HOW TO – Make an iPhone stand with a laser cutter

Computers & Mobile Craft & Design
HOW TO – Make an iPhone stand with a laser cutter

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If you have an iPhone and watch long movies (usually from ripped DVDs) leaving the phone in the dock doesn’t cut it, the iPhone needs to be horizontal. I usually have CNN, ABC or a few hours of news on my phone and like to leave it on my desk while I work but you can’t watch these in the dock since it’s turned the wrong way. Long plane / train trips with a tray made me want to make this too.

So – here’s an iPhone stand I made, you can take the file to a place like TechShop in SF or anywhere there’s a high powered laser that can cut acrylic. Believe it or not there are lots of these lasers in most cities, definitely at a lot of campuses now too. Universal and Epilog are usually the only two brands you’ll come across.

I figured this is a good beginner project for getting starting with your own little “FabLab” like project. Variations on this model will work with other phones too, all depends on the size and dimensions of your phone of course.

I made this stand as a snap-to-together / press fit and it can be reproduced cheap, if anyone designs a better version send me the file and I’ll post it up here on MAKE. I put a hole on each leg so the USB cable could fit through, it seems to be a better way to hold the sync/power cable.

Here we go… Get some acrylic, I bought a sheet of 12″ x 12″ clear acrylic (1/8th” thickness). You can get these sheets at local plastic stores in most big cities or online – Link (McMaster-Carr $6.48). Cast (not extruded) tends to be more scratch resistant and better for projects like this.

Download this file, it’s an Adobe Illustrator file (black and white vector line art, included are other formats if needed) – Link (ZIP with AI//CDR/DXF). If you want to make a lot of these just copy and past the 2 shapes over and over.

Open this file in your laser cutting application, I use an Epilog mini and use Corel Draw. The artwork is just “hairline” if you modify the template make sure to specific the hairline line setting, this is how the laser knows to vector cut as opposed to just etching.

Set the area of the work to 12″ x 12″ and place the art where you plan to cut. You can fill the sheet for just do one.

Settings – the settings for a 35W Epilog mini are 12% speed, 100% power and 5000Hz. Consult your laser manual for the specific settings for the laser you’re using.

Fire! Cut your shapes!

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Pop the parts out and snap together your new iPhone stand!

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Add a logo if you want, just make sure to change the settings so the laser cuts and etches.

From here you could make a ton of them and give them away, or try out that new site “Ponoko” which allows you to have someone laser cut your stuff out (It doesn’t appear to be accepting new accounts at this time, so try back later and report your results). Next up I might make a headphone wrap / holder, or combine that with the stand, stay tuned!

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