Introduction: IPhone Stand (great Professional Looking)

Picture of IPhone Stand (great Professional Looking)
I own an iPhone 4 and I very like it. Being manic, I take great care: protective shell, film on the screen and back plus a pouch for travel.

The problem is that in order to recharge it, or I have to remove the protective shell to use the Dock as it is intended only for the iPhone, or I simply connect manually through the opening of the shell and lay it flat on the desk, and in this case, I can't use the upright position "screen toward me".The "dock" of other companies available on the market pose the same problem.I own an iPhone and I very like it. Being manic, I take great care: protective shell, film on the screen and back plus a pouch for travel.

The problem is that in order to recharge it, or I have to remove the protective shell to use the Dock as it is intended only for the iPhone, or I simply connect manually through the opening of the shell and lay it flat on the desk, and in this case, I can't use the upright position "screen toward me".The "dock" of other companies available on the market pose the same problem.
 
That's why I put myself ahead of producing a medium that allows me to recharge my iPhone without removing the protective shell while being in a position giving me access visually on the screen without twisting my neck.

Step 1: The Brief

My brief was as follows:
- can connect the camera without removing the shell
- enjoy the up-right position "screen toward me"
- have 2 positions: portrait and landscape
- can easily answer calls
Access to buttons and mini-jack must also be preserved.

Step 2:

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I began to scribble a few sketches in my notebook... the most appealing design has proved to be that of his older brother: the iMac. This has the added advantage of giving the appearance of "floating" in air. In my favorite vector drawing software, I planned my support, making it as convenient and unobtrusive as possible. It does, indeed, not "pollute" the visual aspect of the device.

Step 3:

The dimensions of my protective shell are 60 x 112 x 12 mm.
There are hundreds of different protective cases (if not thousands !) available on the market, so, after measuring yours, customize the design to adapt it to your very own model.

The choice of material has imposed itself. Since I wanted it discreet, crystal clear 3 mm thick acrylic is perfect. 2 mm is too flexible and fragile. You also can prefer colored acrylic. There are many beautiful ones available on the market. It depends of your supplier's choice. Aluminum would have been appropriate, but it is more difficult to work. This doesn't prevent you, if you have the capacity, to produce it with metal (aluminum, brass...)

Step 4:

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To make that stand, you will need:
- the pattern enclosed (Illustrator) ;
- supplier making custom laser cuts (who preferred to use a Zing laser cutter) ;-)
- a wooden clip or a clothes peg ;
- a heat gun ;
- a metal rod of 15 cm long and 7 or 8 mm in diameter ;
- a metallic pieces of angle iron. I used the one at the bottom of the sliding doors of my bathroom ;
- an acrylic waste, approximately 50 x 100 x 9 mm ;
- cyanoacrylate glue (aka super-glue).

If you're careful, you can also cut the pieces manually. Acrylic is very easy to work. It can be sawn, cut, filed very easily. However, beware of scratches! Also take care to use all necessary protections.

Step 5: The Pattern

Picture of The Pattern
I tried to make it as convenient and functional as possible. It consists of 4 parts: the foot, the "cradle" and two pieces for the fastening system. On the map, the black lines symbolize the cutting while the red lines symbolize the engraving. Because the foot is not a cuboid but trapezoidal, the 2 red straight lines will serve as benchmarks later. The other red lines are mounting keys.

You only need one piece of each shape. The 4 small left pieces are here to help you practice the gluing step.

Step 6: Once All the Parts Gathered It Is Time to Build It!

Picture of Once All the Parts Gathered It Is Time to Build It!

First, we need to thermoform the pieces that must be. For that, we'll use the wooden clip (I used a clothes peg) and the heat gun.
Why a "wooden" clip? Acrylic is a soft material. It scratches easily. If we used a metal clip, we'd inevitably scratch our parts. A plastic clip couldn't fit because it might melt while heating parts for their shaping. The ideal is a bamboo clip. It is easily found in any good Asian grocery store. You also can easily build one with 2 chopsticks and a rubber band, in case of emergency.
Heat a little bit your heat gun before you tackle your parts.

WARNING! A heat gun is not a toy! It is a dangerous tool. It can cause serious burns if not used correctly. If you are not comfortable using it, get help from someone competent!

Step 7:

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Let's start with the easiest: the foot. Since this element is symmetrical along its length, we can bend to any side. However, laser cutting "nibbles" slightly side closest to the nozzle (front) and gives a "softer" edge, while the edges of the back are more "sharp".
 

Step 8: Shaping the Foot

Picture of Shaping the Foot

Holding your part with the wooden clip, heat it parallel to the first perpendicular mark (red line), the one near the fastening system, for about ten to twenty seconds while maintaining the heat gun 5 cm away.
The heating time depends on your tool. If you do not heat your part long enough, it will be too rigid and will not bend properly. Conversely, if you heat too long, you might burn it.
A little advice: listen to your part during the heating. When you hear a popping sound, stop everything and do the shaping. Some tests may be necessary to find the proper heating time.
Beware also of the spring: as the thickness of the zigzag is very thin, it will heat faster than the rest.

Step 9:

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When properly heated, place the piece flat on the floor. By helping you from the waste of acrylic and metal rod, bend it until the desired angle. The metal rod is used to round the fold. Press firmly on the waste to keep the flat side of the part. Hold it for a few seconds, then turn it over and place the part you just twist under the waste of acrylic and metal rod. Press hard again for a few seconds. When you obtain the angle you want (it should be around 30º), let cool and move to the second fold by repeating the above steps. If not, repeat the process until you are satisfied.
One advantage of acrylic is that you can undo and redo your folds and/or shaping easily.

Step 10: The Cradle

Picture of The Cradle
use the same technique as above for folding the legs but this time, use only the waste of acrylic, not the metal rod. Beware the side of the part this time: the window for the camera should be on the good side (especially if you use color acrylic).
Acrylic is more transparent than glass, so it does not interfere while using the camera, but it wouldn't look good.

Be careful also not to burn yourself when you heat the piece because it is smaller than the foot.

Once the leg heated, align the acrylic waste on the contour of the cradle, fold it and squeeze everything into the metal bracket to form a right angle. Wait a few tens of seconds, then repeat for the other three legs. The most important one is the lowest since the opening must be perfectly aligned with the connector.
 
Regularly test your work to make sure that your iPhone (protected by its shell) fits properly and that the legs are not too tight.When I imagined this support, I wanted the iPhone to be held firmly (or "clipped") into the cradle. In fact, it is not necessary and not very practical. Due to the inclination of the cradle, the gravity is enough to hold it in place.

Step 11: The Fastening System

Picture of The Fastening System
Helping you with the setting marks (engraved lines), paste the two small parts of the fastening system one on one with Super Glue. Do not put too much because if the glue overflows, your parts will be permanently stuck on the surface you are working on!
Glue these two pieces on the back of the cradle, still helping yourself with the setting marks to put notches in the right place. This type of glue is fast drying: a few seconds are enough. Be careful with your fingers!

Once the fastening system glued together, clean the parts with a soft cloth or with cotton and alcohol.

Step 12:

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Test your new iPhone stand by combining the two parts. Place the crib upside down and align the mounting system with the opening on the foot. Put the pieces into one another, then turn the cradle upside down. The spring helps you find the vertical and horizontal positions.
Since there are four notches in the middle part (the axis of rotation), you can turn your iPhone 90 degrees clockwise or counterclockwise. This fit well for right handed people as well as left handed ones.
The vertical slot in the back of the foot allows the cable and connector in while preventing it from escaping when not connected.

Step 13: Final Step

Picture of Final Step

What remains is just insert your beautiful phone and place it proudly on your desk!

Here we are. I hope my explanation is clear enough and you've enjoyed this first Instructable.
As I am not an english native speaker, forgive my mistakes.
Your reviews and comments are more than welcome.
Thank you for your attention.

Comments

moufal (author)2014-01-29

Hi do you have the A.I file for this stand, how can I download it?

baalkorn (author)2011-12-16

how did you cut the little pieces?

Openyourmind (author)baalkorn2011-12-25

Hi baalkorn, everything was laser cut !
Acrylic is very easy to cut with a laser machine. And, on top of it, it also "polishes" the edges in the same step. It is particularly appreciable for complex shapes. You don't need to sand and heat them. The bad point is that we are limited on the thickness. Usually, laser machines can not cut pieces thicker than 5 to 6 mm.

killerjackalope (author)2011-03-19

Great job - actually looks like a finished product you've bought...

I'm not sure about obsessing over a phone's safety so much but if you're going to do it this is the way...

Thanks for your compliments Killerjackalope.

Actually, I am very manic with ALL my stuffs. I still have my first Apple computer, a Mac IIcx back from 1989, and it is still arranged in its original carton... (I don't use it anymore, of course) but it looks like it's brand new, hahaha...

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