I have been looking for a while for a decent iPhone dock or stand that would be compatible with my iPhone 4 with bumper case. After my internet searches came up short, I decided to design one myself. I already had some clear acrylic, so I chose to use this as the main material.
The result is a stylish, modern and useful iPhone stand that both looks good and is functional. This is my first instructable
Step 1: Tools and Materials
- Acrylic sheet
- Wooden blocks, for holding while heating and bending
- Heat gun
- File or grinder to smooth edges
- Bandsaw, jigsaw or manual saw and patience
- Scroll saw or coping saw
- Drill and drill bits
Step 2: Design Process
I designed the stand in SolidWorks 3D CAD software. Once I had finalised my design I used the 'Sheet Metal' tools to convert from a 3D object to a net. I then created a drawing with this net and printed it off one a 1:1 ratio. Attached are both the SolidWorks files if you have SolidWorks and want to modify it, or a PDF to print off if you don't.
Print this, ensuring that page scaling is turned off. Glue onto the acrylic. If the acrylic comes with a plastic protective layer, stick it on top of this, do not peel it off.
Step 3: Cutting and Smoothing
Cut around the edges of the template using a bandsaw, or in my case jigsaw. Do not cut right up to the line. Once it has been cut around the edges, smooth it up to the line with a grinder or file. It should be perfectly symmetrical with smooth edges. Find a drill bit approximately the size of the diameter of the dock slot and drill at either end. Cut through with a scroll or fret saw, then smooth with a file.
Step 4: Bending
Clamp the acrylic between two pieces of wood, as demonstrated in the first photo. Allow the acrylic to overhang by approximately 2-3mm. Heat with a heat gun on a medium to high setting. The paper will singe slightly, but this does not matter.
The acrylic will eventually become soft and malleable, which can be determined by pressing against it with a bit of scrap wood. When it becomes soft, carefully bend it up, then clamp it in position. Allow around 3-5 minutes for this to fully cool before removing clamps.
Repeat this for all of the bends.
See photos if this doesn't make sense.
Step 5: Finish Off
At this stage the shape should be complete. You can now begin to peel off the paper and protective coating. This has been kept on up until this stage to prevent scratches. If this does not peel off easily, try using the heat gun on a low setting. Any glue residue can be removed with meths or rubbing alcohol. Some seams may have bulged slightly from the bending process, these can be smoothed with either the grinder or sandpaper.
Rub all of the edges with some fine sandpaper to achieve a 'frosted' effect.