Intro: How to Make a Quick Key 'Scan Stand' for IPhone 4/4S/5
I backed a Kickstarter project for a new smartphone app for teachers called 'Quick Key': "Quick Key turns your phone into an optical scanner to grade quizzes, tests, and surveys on paper, up to 30 questions long. Then, Quick Key allows you to run analytics right on your phone, then upload the data to your electronic grade book."
I designed a laser-cut stand for the iPhone 4/4S/5 that holds the phone at the optimal scan height of 9 inches, and leaves space underneath for some kind of workflow (side to side, pile to pile, etc) for when you need to scan a large number of quizzes at once. I made it at TechShop using the Epilog 60-watt Laser Cutter/Engraver and the Formech FLB500 heat strip bender.
Step 1: Laser Cut the Stand
I used 3 mm clear acrylic to laser cut my stand. Laser file was designed in CorelDraw.
Step 2: Bend the Phone Retaining Tabs and the Main Bends of the Stand Using a Strip Heater
Use precaution when dealing with a strip heater since it gives off a lot of heat and can burn you, the acrylic, and your shop to the ground. Your safety is your own responsibility.
There are three tabs for retention of the phone and two main bends in the stand. All of these bends are made at 90 degrees with the exception of the main bend nearest the base of the phone. This bend I would make at 95 or 100 degrees, since the 3mm acrylic will tend to bend a little bit with the weight of the iPhone loaded on it. I find when this bend is made at 100 degrees, then the Scan Stand will operate at a 90 degree bend with the weight of the iPhone 4S loaded on it. If available, use a folding jig with protractor to make sure your angles are correct.
Step 3: Scan Some Quizzes!
The stand is designed to stand upright when a weight is placed on the end opposite the iPhone, like a can of soda, tape holder, or a textbook. This feature minimizes its weight, allowing you to stash it in your bag or briefcase without adding any additional weight to carry around.
Quick Key is currently in Beta testing, so you have plenty of time to get your Quick Key Scan Stand made before the Quick Key app for iPhone is available on the market.