3D Printed HandleStand for iPad

Posted by MacGyvrBot on Sat 06 April 2013

If you have access to a 3D printer you can make this!   

HandleStand, 2

This is an Open-Source design, and the STL files can be downloaded from Thingiverse:  http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:64811

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The HandleStand is hacked from an inexpensive protective case by adding a pair of 3D printed handles.

Stand and case

As the name implies, the accessory provides both a handle and a stand function for the iPad, but it is also quite portable, and the handle can be folded out of the way.

smart cover 3

keyboard 1

keyboard folded

The assembly also accommodates a shoulder strap, a magnetically attached "Smart Cover" or keyboard.

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 The A-Frame stand gets the iPad screen up to a comfortable eye-level.  A recent study at Harvard concludes: "Head and neck posture during tablet computing can be improved by placing the tablet higher to avoid low gaze angles (i.e. on a table rather than on the lap) and through the use of a case that provides optimal viewing angles."  http://iospress.metapress.com/content/x668002xv6211041/fulltext.pdf

ergonomic stand

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"But how can I print a handle big enough for an iPad on my little printer that has a 6" x 6" bed?" you ask.


Well the answer is: "solvent bonding"...  I use Oatey cleaner that is sold in hardware stores to be used on plastic plumbing pipes.

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The trick is to design the device in pieces that are small enough to be printed, and they** also must fit together precisely.**  Then you print them in ABS plastic which can be bonded with solvent to form a solid piece of plastic!* (Please see the WARNING below!)

Exploded 1

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I carry my HandleStand with me everywhere!

Travel with MacBot

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With the HandleStand, an iPad can be adjusted to any position about the horizontal or vertical axis, so it is great for FaceTime or shooting video.  

HandleStand as tripod

The iPad is protected when conveniently carried using the handles or when on a shoulder strap or when folded and stuffed into a backpack or briefcase.

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Hinge set 3

Handle set 1

Handle set 2

The iPad HandleStand is made up of parts that are small enough to be printed in 3 runs on a PrintrBot LC (which has a usable print area of 120mm x 130mm). The plastic parts are solvent bonded to create handles that are too large to fit on the printer bed.

The Hinge Set contains 2 brackets and 2 sets of A-Frame hinge members. The brackets are screwed onto a polycarbonate protective cover such as the Poetic Basic Smart Cover Slim-Fit Case.

Hinge assembly 2

Each bracket is also screwed to a pair of the A-Frame hinge members with o-rings providing the controlled friction for the hinges. Locknuts insure that the hinges stay adjusted and don’t come off.

The Hinge Set takes about 2hr to print on a Printrbot LC with ABS. Handles each contain 3 handle parts and a Microbeaner, and they take about 1hr 20min for each to print (for a total of about 5hr printing time). ABS is recommended because it allows the parts to be solvent bonded together. If PLA or other material is used, then superglue (cyanoacrylate) can be used to bond the parts.

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A shoulder/neck strap that is made from printed “microbeaners” and Parachord can be attached.


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Parts list:

parts 1

-(1) Hinge Set (containing 2 brackets and 4 hinge members).

-(2) Handles (each containing parts for a 3-piece handle and a MicroBeaner for the shoulder strap).

-(1) Polycarbonate iPad case that snaps on at the corners such as amazon.com/PoeticBasic-Smart-Cover-Slim-Fit-Crystal/dp/B007JBN6NQ

-(2) Stainless steel 6-32 x ¾” oval phillips machine screw (attach hinges to brackets)

-(2) flat-head 6-32 x ⅜” machine screw (attach brackets to polycarbonate case)

-(4) 6-32 lock nuts with nylon inserts

-(4) #6 o-ring provide friction for hinges

-(4) #41 o-ring provide friction against a table

-(1) ⅛” parachord   5’  long

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-Drill with ⅛” bit and countersink bit

-Solvent to bond ABS such as Oatey cleaner (yellow label white can) made for ABS plumbing pipe (or use acetone or superglue)... See warning below!

-Use match or lighter to burn the cut ends of parachord

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-Use CAUTION during solvent bonding!

-Use eye protection.

-Work in well ventilated area!

-The solvent dissolves many things, and the wet plastic stains whatever it touches!

-Use latex NOT vinyl gloves!

-Use aluminum foil on work surface!

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-Use great care to go back and coat the whole part for a uniform glossy finish (especially if parts were sanded), but do one end and hang to dry (for a few minutes) before doing the other end!

-The solvent can also be used to heal delaminated parts, but BE CAREFUL!

-Countersink the holes drilled in the Poetic case so that the screw heads will not touch the iPad.

-A large rubber band can be added to keep the the Ultrathin Keyboard or Smart Cover closed while the assembly is being carried around.

Enjoy the HandleStand!