DIY iPad stand for developing

The iPad finally arrived in Australia this week. Some of us uber-geeks have had them for awhile now. (i got mine by calling my mom in the states and having her send one out for me, thanks mom!!)

Anyhow, it seems like everyone is showing off their clever and not-so-clever custom stands and cases for the iPad, so to day I figure I would throw mine in the ring :-) (plus it is sunday, and I don’t want to work right now)

When I first got the iPad, I had it propped up like how most of the stands work (ie like a picture frame sitting on your desk) However, this put it out past my mouse pad, and was a stretch to reach it. Since I mainly use the iPad to develop games, this solution was not ideal. (After about two hours of going back and forth between Unity, XCode and stretching to tap on the iPad, my shoulders were fooked)

Instead I needed something to get it closer to me. This meant getting it up above my mouse pad. This works well since the mousing area takes up a not insignificant amount of desk space, but not very much height. So I went scrounging in my big piles of junk. looking for a good solution.

Here is what I came up with:

This stand didn’t cost me a single cent. However, if you don’t have esoteric camera support gear lying about the house, then it might be a wee bit more expensive. (like, prohibitively so :-)

You will need:

1 x Magic arm (Manfrotto makes them)

1 x Super Clamp (also by Manfrotto, altho there are plenty of other similar clamps that work just dandy)

You will also need some way to attach the magic arm to your desk (or in this case the shelf that is just above my desk. )

I have chosen the tried and true method of: find a clamp in the shed, and clamp the bastard to the shelf. However, if you are starting from scratch there are actually many better ways of doing this (for instance, maybe get two super clamps, and just use that. It would definitely look less terrible, but again, this was just what I had around the house)

The last thing you need is some spare bits of wood. I used a bit of 1×2 and some plywood.

The design is very simple, just a single cross piece screwed to the plywood (with a nice groove cut out where the charging cable fits) and a few bits on the back to give me some clamping options.

(note I am lifting the iPad so you can see the groove, it doesnt sit up like that)

(I find the top one give me lots more ‘reach’ with the arm, but is a bit wobbly. The center clamp point is more stable)

The stand works well in both portrait and landscape mode:

As you can see, it hovers right over the mouseing area. This means I can go from typing/mousing to iPad testing by just lifting my hand. Much more ergonomic! This is a perfect solution to keep the iPad in a useful position for coding and testing. At some point I might go out and spend the extra cash for a better mounting solution (either a mounting plate, or another super clamp)


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