The design was created in Corel Draw X4, the design can be adjusted to suit other iPod models.
The dock design uses the original USB Sync cable that was supplied with your iPod.
Step 1: The Inspiration
Step 2: Rough Design
I started this design by deciding how to locate and fix the sync cable. The design basically forms the cable in to a wave that has a few pinch points designed in that hold the cable firm. A few measurements with the Vernier Calipers revealed that my iPod Nano is 6mm thick, this was great as I could employ two 3.0mm thick plates as the centre section and sandwich these with a further two plates of the same thickness. So now I knew that I was making a design from 3.0mm plate, the material was unimportant.
I needed a way to hold the four layers of plates together! I decided to use a number of methods. Firstly the plates slide into two perpendicular parts that form the 'legs'. There are two small blocks that sit into slots in each sheet, these link the sheets and stop any movement between them. Finally the legs have two nodules that link into the hole where the peg goes, this is an interference fit that creates a clip together design. Confused? look at the photos and design file.
Step 3: Vectorise the Design
You will need to check the file settings for the laser cutting service you are using. This product was made by me ( HiTech Antics ) but I only service Australia, if you are in the United States you could use Ponoko or Pololu Each company will have a specific set of rules to set cutting and engraving.
Before going any further, review your design. Visualise the assembly in your mind. Try and make sure that there isn't anything you have forgotten or overlooked. If possible, print the design out 1:1 and cut out each piece, this will give you a good feel for the scale and other things that can't be achieved by staring at the screen. It is also a good time to fill up your sheet with other nick-nacks (like keyrings or jewelry), I added a zombie head, just because!
Step 4: Upload to Your Favorite Laser Cutter
In the case of HiTech Antics you will need to select the material, thickness, sheet size and then upload the file, before paying. Other services work in a similar way.
The parts will be made and shipped to you.
Step 5: The Parts Get Lasered
Step 6: Remove Tape & Review Your Parts
Step 7: Assemble Your Dock
To link the pieces together drop the two small pegs into the two matching holes. Now slide the two 'leg' pieces on. The legs have vector engraving that should be on the outside. You may need to pry the slot in the legs apart as this is a snap fit (the lugs are an interference fit with the holes).
Step 8: Finished - Enjoy!
The file (in CDR & DXF format) have been added to this Instructable. Feel free to use & modify. Please let me know if you enjoyed this Instructable!