Instructables
Picture of Laser Cut iPod Dock
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This Instructable covers the design and construction process used to create a neat laser cut dock for your iPod Nano.  The dock made in this Instructable is constructed from 3mm MDF, however other 3mm materials can be used (Clear Acrylic etc).

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.
 
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Step 1: The Inspiration

Picture of The Inspiration
The people at Apple are kind enough to include a USB sync cable for FREE with every iPod. It certainly does the job of interfacing the iPod with the PC, but not much more. It tends to just flail around on your desktop looking sad and silly. I decided to design a dock to mount my iPod Nano (Gen IV). By using the original cable I saved cost and simplified the design!
fogman1033 years ago
What laser engraver do you use hitechantics?
dopman4 years ago
 Hey,

I made a new dock for myself, this time I made it in plexi glass!
I'd also put some LEDs in to the dock so that it lights up nicely.

Once again everything is made by hand.

Thx for the great Instructable!!!

-dopman

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dopman5 years ago
Great dock! The only thing that bothered me was that it was made for the iPod nano. I do have a nano but I already own an dock for it. But I didn't have one for my iPhone so I made one myself based on this one!!!
I didn't laser cut it but I did burn in a cool figure in it at the end. The project took me about 2h to draw on "mm-paper" and aprox 6-8h to build, so it is not a so hard project to do!
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hitechantics (author)  dopman5 years ago
Hey,

Good job looks good.  I don't have an iPhone, so so far I have not designed a dock to fit.  What thickness materaial did you use?  Is it a good fit?

Realy good job manualy cutting that out!!

-Mig
The back and front pieces are made of 4mm thick wood, the center pieces are 6mm each and the "feet" are 5mm.

The phone fits very well and is easy to connect.
I could post a video if u want?

And that snake-skull thing on the front, believe it or not I actually burned it there with a "burningpen"

-dopman

thepelton5 years ago
I have a portfolio of my work under my name, Donald Pelton, on www.artbistro.monster.com
thepelton5 years ago
Neat!  Was that 1/4 inch plywood you used?  I have a laser engraver myself and have been making stuff for people on commission, and this looked like something I could add to my arsenal, although I don't have an Ipod myself.  I have been getting by with an answering machine from 20 years ago.
hitechantics (author)  thepelton5 years ago
Actually this was 3mm MDF (Medium Density Fiber Board)  I assume that it has the same name in most countries (I am from Australia).  It processes quite well, however the smoke smells a little and there are some not so friendly chemicals used to make it.  I am trying to source some 'green' MDF - without the nasty chemicals.

Feel free to use the design.  Obviously you can change the engraved image on the front to suit the customer.....

Enjoy!

Neat!  I was wondering if I could use such materials as MDF and Masonite.  I had been using 1/8in. (3mm) birch plywood for a lot of construction with my Epilog.  This gives me more resources.  Thanks.  (I have to test Masonite.)

I looked up MDF on the web, and found that you can get it in 1/8in. (3mm) thickness.  I am going to go look for some, and see if I can buy it locally before I mail for it, but with paypal, that wouldn't take too long.
What I had been using was 1/8 inch (3mm) baltic birch plywood from www.woodcraft.com
hitechantics (author)  thepelton5 years ago
I haven't tried Masonite yet.  I expect it would work well.

Do you have any photos of the birch ply you use?  I would like to find a wood which has an attractive grain pattern that can be clear coated.
Chromatica5 years ago
Thx for the great site
awww... you only ship to Austria
hitechantics (author)  Chromatica5 years ago
Hey,

Actually It's Australia, not Austria.  But from where you live they might both be far away lands!  I am starting with the Australian Market now and might branch out later.  Try the other companies that I listed (Ponoko or Pololu) for international shipping.
Australia is what i meant, spell check changed it and thank you for the site
gmjhowe5 years ago
 Great work, Thanks for not only providing the templates, but giving us a good insight into how you went about designing it.