HCDE 498 A3 Blog

Introduction

For this project I developed a 2d-3d model of a phone stand that was laser-cut out of mat board and assembled into the final prototype. The base of the structure was modeled using the golden spiral and the rest of the model was created to fit the functionality of a phone stand. The structure easily holds the weight of an iPhone 6 and 6+. Sliding the two side panels closer together allows the stand to fit multiple phone sizes. Additionally the two side panels can be easily pulled apart so the stand can lay flat during transportation.


Design

The accuracy of the laser cutter intrigued me in my initial design ideas because it would be possible to cut out a shape and etch patterns into the prototype that I would not normally be able to create by hand.

My initial concept was to have two pieces of mat board that slid together to form a simple stand that could have an adjustable angle. After doing more research on the capabilities of the laser cutter I decided to focus on creating a design that had more intricate parts. Ultimately I settled on a combination of the golden spiral and my initial concept of using the slits to piece the stand together.

I created my 2D mockup in Rhino and edited the pattern and camera icon in illustrator.

Rhino has some trouble importing models from Illustrator, so there ended up being overlapping lines on the etching. This caused the laser cutter to do multiple passes, which cut the piece into small segments. This problem gave me a lot of experience testing for overlapping lines in rhino, as well as designing models in Illustrator that will function correctly for laser cutting.

Analysis

Instead of using the golden spiral as a structural component I would like to have used the geometry for inspiration. I found the final form factor to be a a little over the top, looking more like a sleigh than a phone stand. The beauty of using mat board and a laser cutter to prototype is the speed and small price to take a 2D prototype and develop it into a 3D model. Putting together a physical model gave me a new perspective on the form factor that I would not have been able to experience by examining the 2D model in Rhino. Another change that I would make is the thickness of the mat board that supports the phone. After multiple uses the corners started to bend, and if the prototype were made out of a ridged material the pointy edges could be dangerous. For a 2.0 version of the prototype I plan on creating a more organic and rounded figure for the design, as well as stronger structure to support the phone that has fewer components.

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