Introduction: Cardboard IPhone 3Gs OCR (Optical Character Rcognition) Stand

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I love cardboard and hate having to type up something that has clearly already been typed and since I work in 6 different locations during my normal week, need to scan text fairly regularly, and don't have a scanner (in my tiny apartment in Tokyo >_<) I need something mobile, light, easy, and cheap.

I had some downtime and noticed a stack of broken down cardboard boxes ready to be recycled at work. In the course of 30 minutes, I had taken an A4 sized box from refuse to reuse.

Step 1: Find an Old Box and Cut!

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There are always packages coming into my schools.

Find a box that has one side the same width as your iPhone. This way you're working with nice machine folded ends. Then cut flaps on either side of the fold roughly the length of your iPhone.

Remember, this is for OCR, not copying full sheets. This distance gets nice clean pictures of text that apps like OCRTOOL can read.

Then use your iPhone as a template to trace out the window you'll be shooting through and cut it out.

Remember to ask your parents' permission before using scissors or box cutters. ~_^

Step 2: Support Bar

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Now its time to add a bit of support to this thing. Cut a thin strip to connect the two legs together. Mine is roughly the length of the center and one flap.

I was going to use two, but I decided that one was enough and i didn't want to block any incoming light at the camera end.

Step 3: Rub and Draw

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Eyeball where you are going to add the notches to slide your peices together and pencil them in. I've found that rubbing the edges against each-other at 90 degree angles will leave a visible mark to guide your marks.

Step 4: Cut It Out and Put It Together

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At this point i put the dern thing together, i liked how it held up and it easily supported my iPhone with its Mophie Juicepack case. But i wanted more light and to get a little closer to the text...

Step 5: Make a Windo and Spred Your Legs

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...so i decided to cut out windows and widen the stance.

When you put windows into cardboard, make sure that you are far enough from the folds to keep from ruining your support. This is a good (read "annoying") lesson I learned when building a macro studio from http://strobist.blogspot.com/2006/07/how-to-diy-10-macro-photo-studio.html

Step 6: Test Shots

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The images came out OK, but i decided to take it one step further (and keep construction cost at ¥0)

so I pulled out a CD case from my bag and laid it on top of the paper.

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