Aluminum iPhone dock

finished_dock_with_iphone

Last week we mentioned an article to cover up that ugly iPod dock; [Jozerworx] did one better by creating his own iPhone dock entirely. He had access to a machine shop where he combined some spare aluminum with an existing iPhone connection cable, but mentions the dock could probably be created with basic hand tools and a power drill. The design is quite minimalist and we would go as far as to say it has that shiny-and-made-by-apple-so-I-have-to-buy-one look. Alternatively, frosted acrylic with some leds would probably look pretty cool too, maybe it would blink whenever there is activity. What kind of dock would you hack?

Comments

  1. OrderZero says:

    Very simple yet very fitting, I like it :)

  2. nave.notnilc says:

    I don’t understand, is the arduino on the bottom? :P

    But seriously, I do like it, easy to make and customize a little, but still good-looking.

  3. Jack says:

    I don’t really like it that much.. Looks like a piece of sheet metal bent into an iPhone chair… Because it kindof is. But w/e we all have our tastes.

  4. therian says:

    fare from best looking, but practical, good engineering

  5. Hackius says:

    I would have apreciated something more instructional like how he bent the aluminium

  6. therian says:

    Just imagined cheapest (simple tools) version of this holder stand for phones made from coffee tin can, solder and glue together. In Afroman style

  7. Jozerworx says:

    I bent the aluminum in a metal bending press, since I was in a shop. You can also bend aluminum by clamping it between two pieces of wood and pushing on it.

  8. Tim says:

    Hackius: Haha

  9. strider_mt2k says:

    That looks like an excellent start.

    Maybe a tad rough around the edges, but sheet metal is a great medium for getting a job done while lending itself to some creative flair as well.

    Time after time we see stories on the net about incredibly resourceful folks using scrap metal and some surprisingly basic tools to achieve some useful and unique devices that verge on art.

    I also like lego as a medium for device docks.

    Excelsior!

  10. Tomasito says:

    This is a case where you can say “just because it uses aluminum doesn’t make it pretty”, and it isn’t pretty at all (for me at least).

    It is just a aluminum sheet blended with an ipod usb cable hot glued in the bottom.

    If I had to choose between the pacman one and this one, i would go for the pacman.

  11. Jozerworx says:

    Re: Jack and Tomasito

    I agree that using aluminum is not an automatic 10 on the attractiveness scale. I didn’t set out to create the most beautiful or functional iPhone accessory known to man kind, I just had 15 minutes and a sheet of aluminum, and wanted something to sit my iPhone on so I could see the screen while it was plugged in.

    Keep in mind that the camera flash exposes every flaw, fingerprint, and dirt particle on the dock. When seen in real life, the dock looks quite a bit better; it matches the brushed aluminum trim on my dell monitor very nicely.

  12. strider_mt2k says:

    Scotch tape.

    It also exposes scotch tape.

    ;)

  13. Wwhat says:

    Get something brass to fancy it up, that would be better than LED or/and acrylic, mixing metals has a nice effect.

  14. Jozerworx says:

    strider_mt2k,

    Tsk tsk, it is clear packing tape, not scotch tape. They are COMPLETELY different. ;)

  15. medix says:

    Shot blast with glass beads for a nice sheen finish. Any good machine shop has a glass bead cabinet..

  16. Jozerworx says:

    Re: Medix

    I’ve used glass beads, I find the finish somewhat abrasive, and I don’t want to scratch my phone.

  17. Tomasito says:

    @Jozerworx:

    I mean.. you could at least used a piece of aluminum bolted with two screws two the aluminum sheet to hold on the cable connector.
    Maybe you could made someting that actually holds the iphone (other than the connector). A sheet of aluminum in “C” shape might work.

    I don’t know.. I do not want to be pessimist, just this design didn’t conviced me.

  18. strider_mt2k says:

    @medix: -or a jitterbug even

  19. stinkymonkey says:

    @Jozerworx

    steel wool can really polish aluminum with a brushed look, possibly brasso if your looking to omit any imperfections,

  20. Jozerworx says:

    @stinkymonkey

    The dock was polished with a grinder, sandpaper, steel wool, and finally brillo pads, so it is quite smooth and has a nice brushed visual texture. As I was saying, the camera flash highlights the microscopic flaws and fingerprints on the finish.

  21. I like the simple look to it.

  22. Anthony909 says:

    Looks awesome. I think this comes in really handy because it allows you to dock your iphone with a case on it. I find it very annoying to have to take off my case every time I want to dock my first generation iPhone. I was thinking of somehow trying to break apart the original dock that came with it and modifying it to fit with a hard case around my phone…..any ideas??? Below is a picture of the dock I am talking about. Any help would greatly appreciated!

    http://www.geardiary.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/09/iphone-dock.jpg

  23. I’ve used glass beads, I find the finish somewhat abrasive, and I don’t want to scratch my phone.

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