Introduction: Cheap and Cheerful IPhone Tripod Mount
There are dozens of photography and video apps available for the iPhone. Here is a simple, non destructive method for attaching a tripod mount to your iPhone/camera phone to allow you position your device however you like. Ideal for stopmotion and timelapse.
Step 1: Parts List
What you will need:
A hard phone case
A tripod mount from a scrapped camera or a 1/4-20 nut from a hardware store (1/4" 20 thread count)
Polymorph (plastic granules which melt in hot water).
Very hot water
Step 2: Heating the Polymorph
Put approx 1 tablespoon of the Polymorph granules into the hot water and wait for them all to go transparent. They should then
all clump together. You need to remove the molten Polymorph from the hot water and squeeze the remaining water out. CAUTION! It will be hot to the touch.
Then you need to mould it around your tripod mount/nut.
As it cools the polymorph will become more opaque and harder to work but resubmerging it in hot water will soften it up. You may need to refresh your hot water if it cools too much.
Step 3: Moulding the Mount
With the Polymorph still workable, position it on the case where you require it to go( The middle of the side is usually best for balance). Push the Polymorph across and to the sides to create a large amount of surface contact. Also, try to ensure that the mount is vertical and squared to the edge
Step 4: A Note on Position
I've only had to make this once and I still use it frequently so I believe it is a fairly strong design but if I was to make it again I would change one thing.
I'd postition the mount a little further back allowing the phone to stand on its side when I'm not using the tripod. There's been several instances where this would have been useful so it is worth considering.
Step 5: Aesthetics
While it is still warm, the Polymorph can be easily trimmed with scissors. Also more can be added in its warm state.
Keep all your offcuts. It can be all be reused by reheating it.
Step 6: Attaching the Mount
Once it has cooled the mount can be attached to the case. I drilled pilot holes and used small flat headed screws to attach mine. Countersink the screw heads or they could damage the phone. You could also use glue as well as the screws but I didn't find that necessary.
Step 7: TaaDAAA!
That's it! Click your phone into its case and your done (just make sure it's dry first).
I wouldn't recommend this method for mounting a phone to a bike. The vibrations and the forces suffered could cause the case to come apart or the mount to fail. But for timelapse and stopmotion (which is why I built this) it works a treat.
Here's a link to a very short animation I made using my iPhone on this tripod setup.