I use my cell phone to stream music and video very often. I used to have a HTC Thunderbolt which has a very useful built-in kick stand which is lacking from my new phone (Galaxy SIII). Currently, I have to prop it up with random items or put it flat on the table which always end up muffling the sound quality and obscuring the screen. There are many desktop cell phone holders in the market right now but many of them don't have the ability to accommodate a charger and most are just designed to be mini chairs. Thus I have designed my own (based on my cell phone's size) and hopefully I'll be able to 3D print it soon!
**note: Not all dimensions may meet minimum tolerances of 3D printer due to lack of information about specific printer to be used.
Step 1: Visual Design
Initial concept sketches. These were done more for aesthetic purposes than actual dimensions. I wanted to get a general idea of what shape this thing was going to be before I started modeling. Iterating is much less complicated with an pencil and eraser than on SolidWorks.
Step 2: CAD Model
The model is made in Solidworks but any CAD tool would be fine. Solidworks is nice because it allows individual part editing in an Assembly file so I used a relative size box to see how my phone would fit in the stand and change features accordingly (see next step).
I designed the stand to minimize the amount of screen being obscured and to prevent the cell phone from falling out of the holder (the hooks in front and an angled dip that the phone sits in). The front hooks are a personal aesthetic preference so they can either be removed or modified at will.
It was important for me that the stand work for horizontal and vertical cell phone orientations to accommodate different uses. Having a mock up shape (as seen in the next step) of my cell phone was really helpful to make sure the stand was large enough to hold everything but not too large as to cover the screen or speakers.
Since I needed the stand to allow the phone to be plugged in for charging, I had to add a clearance feature. It is important to make sure there is enough vertical clearance within the stand (underneath the phone) for the end of the charger than cannot bend. The shape of my cutout was again based on personal preference. In my design, the charger has to be routed through the back before being connected to the phone (in vertical position only). The clearance cut can be placed on the front of the stand as well so that the already plugged in phone can be placed straight into the stand without disconnecting.
**backing pattern has some precarious geometry but every piece is grounded at some point. Diagonals can be shifted to improve support if needed. pattern made using splines.
Step 3: Final Renderings
Solidworks is also nice for rendering pretty pictures =)
The section views show the cutout for the charging chord and the speaker is never covered! I like the pattern on the back because even if the stand is not being used, it will still be pretty decoration for my desk.
All that's left to do is convert the solidworks file to a format accepted by the 3D printer software (i.e. .stl) and run it through! I would recommend using soluble support material (especially because of the swirls) and orienting the print so that the back face is parallel to the build plane. This may require more support material but will hopefully help the pattern print correctly.