2D Object Prototype -

Phone Stand/Tripod

A3: 2D Object Prototype , HCDE 498


For our 3rd assignment we were tasked on using the laser cutter to design and build a 2D object. The challenge that we were given was to design and create a phone stand that will firmly support my smartphone for the purpose of shooting a video. It should be able to be used for documenting a paper prototype, interacting with an application, or any product demonstration. The assignment itself is very unspecificied and we were given a lot of flexiblity on what kind of 2D phone stand we create. The only requirement was that it must be designed so that it will be pieces apart and be able to assemble it so it stands on the fly this way, we can store it in our backpack without destroying it.



I wasn't sure where to start or what direction to go in so I started playing around with the 3d modeling software Rhino since we just recently learned it for this assignment. After feeling comfortable with the software, I started my ideation phase on what kind of design I wanted to do. I first looked on the internet to see what kind of phone stands and tripod exist out there and to also get inspiration.


After looking for inspiration, I decided that I wanted to make a phone stand/tripod that was self-erecting and simple. This is where I got the idea of creating a triangle shaped object. This triangle shaped object will support it’s self which will heavily reduce the amount of material needed and also make the whole object small and simple.


1st iteration

I decided to test if my idea will work. I started by sketching out the shape of the object and then I used cardboard from my apartment to manually cut and build the object. I used tape to hold it together which is not allowed in the final prototype but since it’s only an iteration, it was fine. It turned out pretty well but I knew I would have to redesign some things because of the material we will be using on our final prototype and the way the laser cutter works.

Here is my first prototype of my object prototype. I mostly used cardboard and tape and some things to add weight to it so that it could support the phone. It was simple but still gets the job done of allowing videos to be recorded.

2nd iteration

After creating my first iteration, i decided to go ahead and start designing a design that would work with the assignment. This meant using rhino as the program to design it and using 2d objects to create the phone stand. This was a little tricky since I used a lot of folding techniques with my cardboard, and you can’t fold matboard the same way as cardboard. I eventually came up with a design that has 3 main parts. The bottom, the ramp, and the support. The bottom is just a long triangle cut out that has holes for slots so the support can latch onto it. The ramp also has holes so that the support can latch onto it, and it also latches on to the bottom part. The pictures below shows my 2nd iteration, unfortunately it wasn’t what I planned and therefore I decided to redesign my phone stand.

This is my second iteration, as you can see it uses the bottom part as a way for the ramp and the support to latch onto something so it doens’t slide off. The holes were a little too tight in relation to the material thickness which is why you can see some kind of bending on the second picture. When the support latches on to the ramp, the latch also serves as the stand in where the phone will be resting. Unfortunately it was not as successful as my first iteration because I overestimated the matboard and it’s sturdyness. The phone would bend the matboard when it uses the phone stand/tripod.

Final prototype

For my final prototype, I decided to stray away from the pyramid/triangular shape because the matboard is not sturdy enough to support it. This is why I ended up designing a box shaped design that took advantage of slits and parts connecting to one another.

This is my final prottoype for my phone stand/tripod. As seen in the pictures, there are three different angles you can choose from and you just rest your phone on the angle you want. It’s very sturdy because it uses a lot of small parts that connect and help reinforce the whole object. This design itself accomplished the goal I wanted of being simple and effective at the same time. It’s aesthetically pleasing and you just move the phone to the angle you want to record.


  • why you chose to create what you did
  • challenges / frustrations you experienced
  • what you wish you had known at the outset
  • things you enjoyed about the process
  • pros and cons of the software you used

While doing this assignment, I really learned a lot about 2d object modeling and using the laser cutter. It’s really cool how accurate and fast the laser cutter is and I definitely saw a lot of the many possibilities you can create with the laser cutter. A challenge I experienced was that I was new to the whole process of laser cutting and therefore it took a lot of time figuring out how to design an object in terms of 2d and laser cutting. A frustration I experienced was that the lab hours are so limited that it made it really hard to finish your assignment since you had to go the lab to print it, I was only able to go on tuesday and it took a very long time to print because there’s only 1 print and a lot of students.

Something I wish I knew before doing this assignment is that the matboard is not very sturdy at all. This way I could have avoided redesigning my model or designing a model like I did on my 2nd iteration. I could have also bought wood if I knew matboard was too unstable. I actually really enjoyed the process of figuring out how to design a phone stand, it really made me think in a way I wasn’t used to (in parts and in 2d designing). I didn’t have much problems with Rhino except that I didn’t know all the commands, but other than that it was simple and really fun to use.

Overall I really enjoyed creating this type of prototype since it’s a first time I have done something like this and I am looking forward to laser cutting many more objects in the future.

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