There are already a lot of smartphone/tablet stands out there that [I] [really] [like]. (Here’s [my favorite].) But I wanted to make my own, and I wanted the design to have all the features I felt were essential to a good iPad stand:
- Stability: I want to be able to tap the surface with confidence.
- Selectable view angle, including a very steep angle (~80°).
- Foldable/collapsable so it can fit in a drawer.
- Usable with every iDevice in my household: my wife’s iPhone 5, my iPhone 6s, and our first generation iPad Airs.
- The stand should not excessively extend beyond the device.
Here’s what I came up with:
Without the device:
I measured my 3/8" dowel stock with calipers and did a test cut of a pattern of hole sizes (attached) ranging from the largest measurement taken of the dowel down to, say, 1.5 mm smaller than the largest size, which turned out to be way overkill. I used Adobe Illustrator’s Blend Tool to do this easily. I ended up with a bespoke measuring device for 3/8" dowel stock that looks like this:
This gave me the exact sizes I needed for different kinds of fits. The stand uses at least three sizes of holes, one each for: hard pressure fit, loose fit for moving “hinges,” and very loose fit for the catch slots. Despite its appearance in some of the pictures, no glue is necessary for this design.
The typeface I used for the angle labels is probably my new favorite typeface. In fact, I won’t even tell you about it here, because it deserves its own post.
Room for Improvement
I am not sure how well I achieved my goal of “foldable/collapsible,” because even when folded the stand is a bit big. This is my biggest gripe. I am also annoyed that the 0° label is incorrect—the angle is obviously positive!
I deliberately chose a “squared” platform for the iPad to sit on, as opposed to a curved rest seen in other designs. I now think the curved rest is probably the better choice, because at steep angles, 80° for instance, a little bop on the top of the iPad is enough to get it to slide off. Not a huge deal, but still…
Dowel 3-8 Inch Test.pdf (17.5 KB)