The Laser-Cut Phone Stand Process Blog

The challenge

Design and build a cell phone stand for shooting video of an object below it using a laser cutter.

Constraints

  • must be cut from a single sheet of 18" x 24" chipboard
  • must not use any glue, tape, or other fastening materials to assemble and use
  • must be able to be dissembled into pieces that can be stored flat and transported

Main functionalities

  • Height |The cell phone stand has a suitable height that allows the phone to shot videos of the object below it
  • Weight|The cell phone stand can hold the weight of the phone
  • stability| The cell phone stand can stand stably on the table
  • adjustability|The cell phone stand can adjust its height and shape to accommodate different shooting purposes

Thinking about questions

How big an area underneath the phone? How it will be supported? How will the stand support itself?

I begin my design by testing it on my paper fold box and some random item.

figure 1: testing the height with the camera on figure 2: testing the height with a mockup box

With the testing, I found that

  • the minimum height would be 11cm for shooting object below for the camera to focus
  • the minimum area would be 4cm*4cm without too much effort to put on
  • the box wouldn’t be steady enough since the paper is too thin

Sketch and Laser-cut Prototype

figure 3: sketch and rhino file of the prototype
figure 4: laser-cut prototype

Analysis

  • The phone stand could hold the weight of the iPhone 7 plus
  • The height of the phone stand is high enough to shoot the object below it
  • the phone stand is really steady and stable
  • The phone stand doesn’t achieve the flexibility of changing the height
  • The design of the phone stand seems a bit mundane

Therefore, I begin my second iteration with the 2-pile chipboard Andy provided

Without the constraint on the very thin 1-pile chipboard, Thinking about flexibility and adjustability, I came up with the design with a spark of inspiration.

figure 5: the user-customed cell phone stand with joint pentagons

Reflection

  • The phone stand is fully customed
  • The height and the shape of the phone stand could be adjusted by the users according to their needs
  • The look of the phone stand could be adjusted by the users’ preference
  • The pentagons are stable and quite artsy when chipped together
  • The process of constructing your own phone stand is very fun
  • For first time users, the construction of the phone stand might be difficult. might need examples or instructions shown to the users
  • It might be tedious for users to make their own phone stand

Conclusion

The design of the cell phone stand using the1-pile chipboard stand could effectively complete its task of shooting videos of the object below. However, it might lack adjustability for its height and shape with the constraint of the 1-pile chipboard.

The iteration of the design of the cell phone stand using the 2-pile chipboard is more creative because of the reduction of the constraint for thin paper. Users are able to create their own cell phone stand with the stable shape of the pentagons and adjust its height and shape to accommodate their needs. The full customizability provides users with the fun experience of making their own things. However, for first-time users, it also probably brings some confusion. Providing users with an instruction manual with different examples of the cell phone stands would be helpful for them to understand how to use the product.

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Ziyue Li

Ziyue Li

Shero for fun

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