I wanted a place to mount my phone, to use for navigation, a bluetooth music player and handsfree in my Audi TT. The sloping windscreen makes it impossible to mount anything and the curved dashboard makes it difficult there too. Plus I wanted something neat, not a naff eBay mount and also an excuse to toy around in SketchUp.
I first came up with an aluminium plate, to slot between the vent body and dashboard (you can slide the vent pods out) that I would mount a 3D printed gripper to. The problem with this was getting the aluminium cut. I then thought about 3D printing as one piece but after recently being inducted to use the laser cutter at the Bristol Hackspace, I was inspired to use that instead.
The final design uses 3mm Walnut, which I’ve prototyped in Plywood. It’s a car with a lot of unique design and I think the slotted wooden mount compliments this. I’ll probably print it at some point too, just to see how it looks and also refined the wood one a bit more. I’ve considered fully enclosing the vents but think it looks to bulky.
UPDATE – 01/15
My first solution worked well enough but sliding the phone in and out wasn’t exactly quick and had to be with care. The other problem was the it only worked with the iPhone 4.
Having upgraded my phone, rather than update the claw dimensions – limiting it to one phone again – I decided that a new grip design was in order. I wanted something that could scale to any phone, whilst still holding it securely, and to still be simple to make.
I came up with opposing claws, with the top slotted into slightly wider slots that allow them to move laterally. To provide a force to keep the claws together and hold the phone in place, I looped a couple of o-rings between the claws.
My first attempt, the grip was good but not great enough to hold the phone in a moving car. By using heatshrink on the claw tips, the grip was improved but still not great. My final version has a chamfered edge to the surface touching the phone edges pinching the phone in place.
.dxf files in zip below if you want to cut them for your Audi. Supply for personal use only and with attribution under CC.
Audi TT Wooden Phone Dock by John Whittington is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.
Based on a work at http://engineer.john-whittington.co.uk/2014/04/audi-tt-vent-iphone-mount/.