Introduction: Tinkercad Phone Connectors
My church has a very good youth program. Members volunteer to teach various skills like gardening, woodworking, swimming, singing etc. This year was challenging because of Covid-19 and we had to plan more remote activities. I decided to engage some of the older children with a project on Tinkercad. I was able to teach them the program using Zoom meetings. After learning the basics we were ready to focus on creating connectors. The goal was for every student to create a connector that would allow them to add an object of their choice to a phone. We began by creating a basic phone case. To do this, I demonstrated to them step by step how to make an iPhone 7 / 8 case on Tinkercad. It was then the student's job to innovate onto this phone case. I will begin this Instructable by detailing how we created the phone case so that the reader can take a shot at this fun project as well. I will then showcase the amazing pieces of student work that resulted from this assignment.
We used the following:
• Internet Browser
• Tinkercad account
Step 1: Phone Case Base
We start with a basic rectangular prism base with the dimensions: 71.00mm x 140.00mm x 1.25mm. This piece will become the back plate of the phone case! (Please note we will being using metric millimeters as our units).
Step 2: Phone Case Walls
Next, we create a series of three rectangular prisms around the upper perimeter of the base with a thickness of 1.25mm and a height of 7.75mm above the base.
Step 3: Phone Case Corners
Then, we create blocks in all of the four corners with the dimensions of 7.75mm x 9.75mm. These will be flush with the top of the case walls outlined in the step before and will be cut in the next step in order to make corner fillets.
Step 4: Phone Case Rounding Corners
Next, we cut away from the corner blocks we made in the previous step using a meta fillet for the outside and an inverted meta fillet for the inside, of the dimensions: 11.75mm x 11.75mm. We leave a gap between these two cuts to create a curved corner wall.
Step 5: Phone Case Clasps
Now we can add the clasps which will allow the case to securely attach to the phone. These clasps, seen in blue, are created by extruding a rectangular prism combined with a solid meta fillet beneath it. The clasps are 4.00mm tall and extend from the walls of the case by 1.50mm.
Step 6: Phone Case Cutouts
Then, we cut the appropriate slots out of the phone case. This includes a large slot on the left for the silencer and volume buttons along with a small slot on the right for the power button. In this step, we also cut a hole from the back of the case for the camera.
Step 7: Phone Case Filleting
Finally, in this rather tricky step, we fillet the rough edges of the case using a series of meta fillets. Outside we cut away in this fashion, and inside we add material the same way. This results in smoothed edges around the base of the phone.
Step 8: Phone Case Finished
At last, we have our finished product. I cannot guarantee that our dimensions are absolutely perfect although they are based on very careful caliper measurements. The finished phone case is now ready to be edited by students as was done in the examples below!
Step 9: Phone to Forearm - Prosthetic
The first example of student work is this prosthetic arm phone case created by one of the older students. This creation connects a phone to the arm of a forearm amputee. The conical piece attaches to the forearm of the individual and holds their phone for them via a series of adjustable struts. Obviously, this design is very thoughtful and the student explained that he was thinking about how difficult operating a phone must be for amputees.
Step 10: Phone to Chest - Phone Holder
This next design connects a person's phone to their chest. The student created this contraption which wraps under a person’s arms as well as around their neck and allows the wearer to adjust the position of the phone in front of them. I was really impressed with the hinges in this design which are located at the base of the joist holding the phone case and on the neck loop. I wish I had such a holder for myself!
Step 11: Phone to Bowl - Gyroscopically Stable
This participant decided to make a phone to bowl connector. What makes this design so clever is the gyroscopic ability. No matter what angle or position the phone is held at the bowl will never spill! This is because the nested rings rotate as to allow the bowls center of mass to position itself right side up at all times. This clever creation is meant for snacks but can also be used to toss and catch a ping pong ball.
Step 12: Phone to Shopping Cart
This design, created by a student with a younger sibling connects a phone to a shopping cart. According the the student her younger sister likes to play on their mothers phone when sitting in the shopping cart but once dropped it and caused a crack in the screen protector. As a solution, she created a design capable of connecting the phone to the handlebar of the shopping cart. Should the toddler drop the phone the chain connected to the shackle on the handlebar would catch it. As an added bonus she created trapezoidal ridges to protect the phone further.
Step 13: Phone to Hand - for Running
Another member of the group created this hand to phone connector. The goal of this design is to help make running with a phone safer. With five loops and contouring for the hand, the user can get a firm grip and wouldn’t have to worry about the phone slipping out of the hand during a jog.
Step 14: Phone to AirPods Case Storage
For the final design showcased, a student created a connector between the phone and a storage container for an AirPods case. Using a well designed hinge the case can be flipped open to insert/remove an AirPods case. This creation is very helpful in preventing the loss of the earpieces with their charging case
Third Prize in the
Distance Learning with Tinkercad Contest