Instructables

I recently got an Ipad 2 as part of an education grant.  The teachers were required to supply their own case for the Ipad, so instead of purchasing a regular run of the mill case, I decided I would build one of my own to demonstrate to my students some of the things we are capable of doing in my classes.

I *love* working with metal.  I wanted my case to be strong enough for use in a shop environment, so making the case out of metal  made sense.  The purpose of this Instructable is not really to explain how I built the case.  My main purpose is to describe the DESIGN PROCESS using this case as an example. 

To start us off, I'm going to give a little background on how I teach the design process.  I use what I call IGSBEP.  This is a simple way to remember the 6 steps of the design process:

I.G.S.B.E.P.

Identify
Generate
Select
Build
Evaluate
Present

Follow along as I explain the steps of the design process and build a zombie-apocalypse proof Ipad case.



 
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Step 1: Identify the Problem

Picture of Identify the Problem
The first step of the desing process is to Identify and Understand the problem.  It is very important that all issues are understood BEFORE coming up with ideas and building your project.  It is a lot easier to plan ahead than it is to re-build a project to meet specifications you "forgot" about...

So for this project, Identify the Problem:  I need an Ipad case that is durable enough to permit use of the Ipad in a shop environment.  In addition, the case must be able to be manufactured using existing tools in the shop, must be totally functional, must look good, and finally must use only materials available to my students.  It would be NICE (but not required) if the case also permited the Ipad to be stood up at two different angles, one for typing and one for viewing.  It would also be NICE (but not required) if the case had a pocket to carry papers and writing utensils.

In list form:

Case must be:

1.  Durable
2.  Built using only tools in the shop
3.  Built using only materials available in the shop
4.  Totally functional
5.  Aesthetically pleasing

If possible, the case should:

6.  be able to stand Ipad up at 2 different angles
7.  be able to hold papers, pens, and pencils


Alright!  Now I have a basic guidline for what the case needs to do.  Time to start figuring out how to make a case that does all these things!

robotman91 year ago
dear dorkpunch if you could make one for the ipad mini i would be willing to buy for a reasonable price.
robotman92 years ago
can you make one for the ipad mini
Try to engineer in solar charging. A great project
czarnian2 years ago
its very cool for a prototype. nontheless, I would have the rivets on the screen zone removed somehow, in case of operational or transporting pressure applied to the structure, the rivets surely will pierce trhough the screen rendering it useless. have you tried replacing the leather for "piano" strip hinges? and copper rivets, you can easily "cook" them to make them malleable enough for joining aluminum. just thought on a very cool project.
dorkpunch (author)  czarnian2 years ago
Some of the rivets are covered by the leather flap on the inside. That was a big worry of mine, but I usually have several pieces of paper covering the rivets. Piano hinge would have had the same problem with the rivets unless I welded it.

I would love to make one of these out of aluminum, and I did pick up some aluminum piano hinge but havent picked up any aluminum sheet. I will keep your suggestion in mind! The current version is Stainless Steel.
criggie2 years ago
Your leather will tear with age - this can be reduced by using a leather conditioner/treatment, or good old fashioned shoe nugget and buffing.

How much does it weigh? Have you dropped it yet?
dorkpunch (author)  criggie2 years ago
I did treat the leather with super sheen. I figured this was my prototype, to see what worked and what didn't. I plan on making another eventually to resolve a few issues.
The leather seems to be holding up well so far, after almost a year of solid use.

It is pretty heavy. It weighs 2 lbs 13 oz with the Ipad. I havent had a hard drop yet, and hope not to! The upper right corner of the Ipad is sort of exposed, which I have a plan for on the next version.
eljohn32 years ago
A piano hinge instead of the leather may have been a more rugged hinge for this application.
dorkpunch (author)  eljohn32 years ago
Yes, I thought about using that for awhile, but the piano hinge wouldn't have given me the ability to open the cover 180 degrees without making the cover a lot more complicated. The leather gives a lot of flexibility, which is both good and bad...
erisraven2 years ago
I thank you for your clean conceptualized ideas for the design process in general. The case itself, I look at from an enthusiast's perspective and want to 'steampunk' it. It would lend itself very well to such treatment. Thank you for taking the time to share both with us.
Thorsword2 years ago
hear=here
Thorsword2 years ago
Good idea hear...altho a minor improvement might be to use washers between the rivet and leather. The local hardware/Lowe's watever, can give you good ideas.