Portable Copier / Projector Using Smartphone (Made in TechShop Detroit)




Introduction: Portable Copier / Projector Using Smartphone (Made in TechShop Detroit)

This is a portable copier using your smartphone. Nowadays, a lot of people take pictures of the articles they want to read using their smartphone. Then browse and read the articles electronically. One primary reason is that they could zoom it to those tiny prints.

Using these simple laser cut parts, one could create a portable copier. When done, the parts could be disassembled flat and stowed away.

Further, multiple jpg files could be combined into one pdf file. Here's the instruction to combine jpgs into one pdf file (in Windows 10 or other version).


This stand could also double as a portable USB projector when hooked directly via USB to your PC (deesktop or laptop). In your PC, select to the DCIM Camera folder. Just take a photo or video of a print or object, the folder will update with the latest photo or video.

I added the Corel Draw file so you could cut them on 1/4" plywood. The dimensions are made for iphone 5s and Samsung Note5. You are free to use it, modify it and share it. Just remember to acknowledge and attach link of this original work.


Thank you for viewing my work. All feedbacks are appreciated.

Step 1: Smartphone Support

Cut these 2 parts and glue them together.

Step 2: Two Legs

Cut this part 2 times to form the two legs. They are 12 inches long and raise the smart phone about 10 inches.

Step 3: Base

Cut this part for the base.

Step 4: Assembly Steps

First is to insert the legs fully to the top support. Spread the legs. Insert one leg into the left slot of the base. Stretch the right leg and insert to the right hole. Do not glue the joints unless you want it to be a permanent fixtures. Nonetheless, try it out before gluing them permanently.

Step 5: Setup

Place your smartphone on top. Turn on the camera. Place your original on the base. Make sure the original is aligned to the camera. After taking the shots, you could choose to edit the photo (such as crop it).

Enjoy your new Smartphone copier.

Please remember to vote for my project.

Step 6: Update

I added 1/2" slot for charging cable pathway.

Updated Corel Draw attached.

Step 7: Users Feedback Update With LED Holes and Narrower Base

From viewers feedback, I did some verification checks. The original simple design is working. However, not everyone has access to a laser cutter. Individual customization may be needed.

I verified that the legs, narrower base and cradle could fit FEDEX, UPS or USPS Flat Rate envelopes. I will add additional picture by tonight.

I added 0.5mm diameter holes to fit 3mm or 5mm legs. The holes are 0.1" apart.

I added 3D Bracket Autodesk Inventor File that could be glue on current cradle and base. It would add height but making the legs shorter (better for shipping in flat rate envelope). Before you 3D print these parts, let me update you once the finished.. WIth the bracket, need for 3D laser cutter is not required. Just plain bandsaw would suffice.

Note that I did not apply the angle of the leg orientation. The 3D prints completed last night. I verified the CAD attached would work. I am not sure glue alone would be strong enough. 2 wood screws could be used if needed.

I added 3 photos with dimension. I was not able to save on pdf and verify if it could print with exact dimension.

Thank you for your interest.

Step 8: Update for Makers Who Don't Have Access to Laser Cutter.

As you know, the original design has laser cut rectangular holes that hold the legs to the base and the cradle.

I made a design of the legs that could be done with saw. I used the table saw in my case. But one could sand it down to 15-deg, manually, belt or disk sanders. It would just take more time and effort.

I used 0.5-inch diamater wooden rods. I cut them to 11.5 inches. Make sure you cut along the straight portion.

I cut 3 inch by 1 inch from a larget stock of wood, 2"x4"s. Make sure you have squared parts. I used planer (optional). I marked and center punch the center and drill 0.5" holes.

I set the table saw to 15-deg. I test fit them and they look fine. Make sure you drilled the holes prior to this step.

The cradle could be just plain rectangular surface. Glue the 4 support brackets (2 legs) to the base and cradle. When the glue hardened, you could add some brad nail or short wood screw for reinforcment. Pre-drill holes for the wood screws.



    • Tiny Home Contest

      Tiny Home Contest
    • Metalworking Contest

      Metalworking Contest
    • Fix It! Contest

      Fix It! Contest

    18 Discussions

    Yours looks nicer , but for home dorm
    use this might be easier to make You don't need a laser, just hack saw and
    files or fancy people like me, can use a dremel, glue fittings and pipe.

    I do like yours as well and for a back pack I think yours will fold flatter and you can adapt it for use as a microscope I am sure! But the one below is sweet as well.


    2 replies

    1 year ago

    Nice project but simpler approach is to buy app like CamScanner which cares about alignment of scanned document and about combining output images into multiple page PDF etc.

    1 reply

    you could cut this out of a piece of wall paneling with a utility knife or coping saw. maybe I make one fer my wife and kiddies. I, a long standing luddite, use a flip phone. AAAARRRRGGGGHHH

    same bed can be used with an add on lens to make a microscope, double duty , great for the field person who wants to see the protazoa in the water he/she is about to drink, or not!

    1 reply

    Yes. Nowadays, camera resolution are so high, you could zoom directly to small object placed under it. For microscope, you would need strong light downward or strong ambient light... depending on the object in question. I like to view insects close up with it. Thank you for your valuable suggestion.

    Hi as I may actually cut one out is it possible for you to put up a simple full sized drawing that is not in a format that I can not use. As a luddite I do not get out much, this would be helpful!

    1 reply

    I think if I put it in pdf format, you might be able to print it to exact scale.

    Let me think if I could help make a design that does not require laser cutter or 3D printing. I will update and reply here again.

    Now I want a laser cutter. I might 3D print out though. Great Job

    2 replies

    Another desirable feature of this design is that the parts could be disassembled and transport flat. I will made another version with a narrower base so that it could fit USPS Priority Flat Rate envelope. If you know someone who has access to laser cutter, the part could be cut and shipped to you.

    Thank you. You could 3D print the top cradle and 4 brackets that connect the legs to the cradle and base. The brackets could be permanently glued to the base and cradle. The legs and base could still be made of cheap plywood and stained. The legs could be just rectangular and narrower. For the brackets, note there is slope angle. We could design one bracket and make 4 parts. If you need help creating the brackets drawing, I could make them for you using Autodesk Inventor. I could share both Inventor and STL file.

    Fantastic! I've been thinking of a similar setup for some time now: i often need to copy items while on trips. I think i might add a small "satellite" light source (book lightish perhaps?) for dim situations.

    Thank you for sharing your design!

    1 reply

    Thank you for your comment.

    Since the legs are offset to rear side, the LED holes (for the legs) need to be close to the front edge of the legs (not in the middle of the leg). I think about 1/2 way vertically. One easiest way is an LED taped to CR2032 hack. https://www.instructables.com/id/LED-Throwies/.

    Use velcro or masking tape and tape the "Throwies" along the leg downward and directed to the center (along fore-aft direction). You could play with the optimum placement.


    1 year ago

    Nice idea - especially the portable part. Thanks for including the CDR files!

    Any tips on having good lighting source for this setup?

    1 reply

    My Note5 seems to work well under strong room lighting. Don't use flash. Allow the stronger light rays to come from the front side. If come from the other direction, an unwanted shadow could be cast. You would not want LEDs directed downward because your picture would have bright spot(s). Best is increase room ambient light or during daytime. You could put one or two LEDs on each leg. For each LEDs, add 2x 0.5mm diameter hole 0.1" apart. You could insert the LEDs and legs going outward. Use 5mm straw hat white clear glass LEDs. Straw hat has widest view angle. If you use CR2032 cell, you won't need serial resistor. Thank you for your interest.

    i love it .the time ive tried to copy something and its all shaky .

    going to make one of these thank you

    1 reply

    I added the original and revised version of the Corel Draw. Thank you for your appreciation.