Introduction: How to Make Acrylic IPhone Stand

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
- Printer
- Glue
- 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
- Sandpaper
- 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.

Good luck!

Comments

author
CagedChimp (author)2011-01-06

Great ible. I decided to make this this evening and it turned out great, though I used a torch instead of a heat gun to melt the plastic.

author
phib3r_0ptik (author)CagedChimp2011-01-06

Glad that it worked out for you. Any pictures of your result?

author
CagedChimp (author)phib3r_0ptik2011-01-07

Heres a pic of the finished product. It was a slightly modified version of yours since I have a Droid Incredible and thinner plexi.

IMAG0287.jpg
author
vwluvrs (author)2011-01-06

You could polish the edges, either by using polishing compound, or with a torch...
Info here:
http://www.plasticsmag.com/ta.asp?aid=1944

Great able though!

author
Armagedonx8 (author)2016-12-30

very nice

author
shtihl (author)2012-02-16

that bending with a heat gun is great. i made a TV button shield to keep my little ones from change the settings on the TV using a busted document stand sign thingy (real technical, eh?) i used a painters heat gun that i bought for $20 at the orange signed big box hardware store. only issue i had (tho i did not care) was the cracking look in the acrylic where i bent it. any suggestions on how i can improve this?

author
capoeira4u (author)2011-01-28

Here's one I'm using. It's just an acrylic name card stand you can buy at any stationary store for $1 :)

name card stand.jpg
author
TabbyDeAnne (author)capoeira4u2011-11-30

Nice! Thanks for the great idea!

author
angeldiazg (author)2011-07-18

If you cut the lower part of the "wings", you will be able to use the dock with iphone in horizontal mode. The upper part of "wings" will still hold the phone when in vertical mode.

author

Designed Solidworks = Awesomeness

author
loudambiance (author)2011-03-14

Love your idea. I may take the Solid Works file and scale it up to be usable for an iPad, foot would need to be larger to support the extra weight, but shouldn't be too difficult.

author
WVvan (author)2011-01-06

Double Plus Good.
I didn't realize you could use a heat gun to soften up the acrylic to where it would bend. That gives me a few ideas... (cue mad scientist laugh).

author
akoutdoors (author)WVvan2011-01-13

neither did i on the heat gun... that makes sence. oh the possibilities

author
loadboard (author)2011-01-11

ha-ha!
I like it!

author
Lindie (author)2011-01-06

Great idea! Nice!

author
roftranspo (author)2011-01-06

Thanks for the info. Going to use this to design a stand application that has been in my head but didn't know how to implement :)

author
agguilar (author)2011-01-03

GOOD ONE

author
milesduggan (author)2010-12-31

I am so going to make a mac mini mount because I have a bunch of leftover acrylic from another project! Thanks for the ideas!! Keep it up!

author
Diabloscope (author)2010-12-31

I like it , Nice

author
kikkoman7347 (author)2010-12-30

Awesome job!

Add a bit o' Velcro to the bottom of the stand, your car dash, the phone and the stand again - and you have a cool removable car dock.

author
NatNoBrains (author)2010-12-30

Very, very nice and simple!

F

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