Introduction: Scanstand-tablet Holder for Ipad Pro 12.9”

Visually Impaired who use their large Ipad combined with OCR (Optical Character Recognition) applications as a reading aid are faced with the rather heavy and impractical size of the large tablet when attempting to make a good picture of the printed text they want the app to speak out aloud. Taking a good picture is very important for good OCRquality. Most mobile devices also have a camera positioned in the above-right corner making it not easy to aim with the device.

For most of the smaller tablets and smartphones the solution is a scanbox but the larger tablets makes these kind of solutions very impractical due to the size and weight of the tablet and the camera being off center.

The specific user, Lieve, for whom I have designed this solution also wished for a solution for taking the pictures combined with a tablet holder for her tablet wit sleeve, avoiding the need to move the tablet when wanting to use OCR. Lieve is an elderly lady with a severe visual impairment but also suffers from poor grip in her hands and lifting power in her arms. She also wishes to be able to use the device while remaining seated at her table.

At first she only wanted to make use it for A4sized documents but after testing the first prototype for a couple of weeks she was also using it for thick books of different sizes. This resulted in the need to tilt the paper holder more backwards to make sure most page sizes would get captured in the snapshot without needing to adjust the paper holder for every paper size. Tilting it back also prevented the books from sliding of the holder. She did not want the adjustments I had suggested for more optimal document placement and adaptations to different document sizes. More on this further down.

She had no specific wishes regarding the material used but wanted it not to stand out too much on her wooden diner table. A version made from MDF (prototyping) and Multiplex Poplar (final product) was made for her.

This project is my first one starting from zero experience in prototyping, computer 3D/2D drawing and lasercutting. Feel free to send me your feedback, tips & advice!

Step 1: Supplies


· MDF, Multiplex,…: 600x450mm ,6mm thick.

· Woodglue


· Caliper

· Computer with 2D or 3D editing software

· Designfiles

· Lasercutter

· Sanding block P150

Step 2: Measuring

Use the caliper to determine the thickness of the tablet+sleeve. Here it measures 13mm.

Step 3: Adjust the File

Change the 4 tablet slot’s width in the file. The current file is drawn for 13mm.

Step 4: Optional: Adjust File for A4 Document Only


(not included in this instructable): if the user only intends to use it for single sheet A4 sized documents you could adjust the angle of the slots for the paper holder to a less backwards tilted position. Make sure to measure it up correctly, in my specific case it would need to be about 20 degrees more forward to match the A4 into the field of view of the camera of the device. Pay attention that when matching the angle to the full field of view will result in zero tolerance for error when placing the document (not an easy task for the visually impaired). One could solve this by adding borders on the sides of the paper holder where the A4 document “slides” in between.

Step 5: Lasercutting

All prototypes and the final version were made with a Universal Laser Systems VLS 4.60 lasercutter at the Industrial Design Center Howest Kortrijk Belgium. Remember to set material type and material thickness to the correct values (6mm).

Step 6: Preparing for Assembly

Small laser burns or irregularities can be sanded using a fine P150 sanding block or sanding paper.

Step 7: Assembly

Use woodglue to assemble all parts except for the paperholder and the slots for the paperholder.

This makes storing the stand easier.