Smartphone/small Tablet Airplane Holder




Introduction: Smartphone/small Tablet Airplane Holder

Through travelling by plane, I came across the difficulty of holding your smartphone while you want to enjoy your favourite Japanese anime episode :) You could hold it by hand but it gets tiring quite fast; I am sure most will agree! So I came up with this simple holder to 'hang' it from the tray table's locking mechanism found on most planes.

I have also entered this in the 3D Printing Contest 2016 (, so if you've liked the idea then you could consider voting for it :))

Teacher Notes

Teachers! Did you use this instructable in your classroom?
Add a Teacher Note to share how you incorporated it into your lesson.

Step 1: 3D Printing All the Necessary Parts

The first bit of work that should be done is of course printing everything that will be needed to assemble this. Note that everything fits together straight after 3D printing! No extra materials or fabrication is needed, apart from a small piece of string (I found that thick fishing line works really well but I will leave this down to your creativity!)

This smartphone base can be used best if printed using flexible rubber-like material. This will ensure that:

  • the parts fit together easily
  • the base does not break (e.g when carried in your rucksack)
  • protect the smartphone from scratches etc.

In total you will be printing:

  • x1 main plate
  • x2 female supports
  • x2 male supports (fit into the female supports)

Step 2: Assembly Time

Now that everything is printed just put the pieces together. You will find square and circular holes on the main plate where the female supports can be fitted. Subsequently fit the male support into the female ones; therefore now the supports are extendable allowing freedom of adjustment to accommodate the various types of plane seat trays.

As a last step you will need to attach a small string in the 2 holes of the plate to create a small loop; this loop will be used to 'hang' the base from the tray's locking mechanism.

Step 3: Can Be Used in Both Open and Closed Tray Positions

Anyone can have a preference of watching something on their phone when the tray is either folded or open. Because the back supports can be extended and the base hangs from the lock of the tray, it can be used equally well in both cases!

Step 4: STL Files: Updated Version

The STL files I am providing feature a slightly modified version of this base. In particular the updates include:

  • a slimmer design using less material and a sleeker look
  • longer back supports for additional flexibility
  • an adjustable 2-position square slot for additional control over fixing the base on the tray

The last point means that the base can now be also used as a tabletop rest for your smartphone in addition to hanging in on you front seat.


Hopefully this will now make your flights more enjoyable! :)

**If you have enjoyed this 3D printable creation I would deeply appreciate if you would vote for it**

3D Printing Contest 2016

Participated in the
3D Printing Contest 2016

Be the First to Share


    • Backyard Contest

      Backyard Contest
    • Silly Hats Speed Challenge

      Silly Hats Speed Challenge
    • Finish It Already Speed Challenge

      Finish It Already Speed Challenge

    3 Discussions


    4 years ago

    Perfect idea! I will definitely have a go! Thanks and good luck!


    4 years ago

    This is such a great idea! So many flights I have needed this on!


    Reply 4 years ago

    thanks troy! :)