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Engineer a Cell Phone Stand *

Difficulty
Time Required Very Short (≤ 1 day)
*Note: This is an abbreviated Project Idea, without notes to start your background research, a specific list of materials, or a procedure for how to do the experiment. You can identify abbreviated Project Ideas by the asterisk at the end of the title. If you want a Project Idea with full instructions, please pick one without an asterisk.

Abstract

Look around you. What types of objects do you see in the room? Furniture, lights, a computer, a fan, pencils, books, etc.? Where did they come from? Odds are you did not build them yourself. You or your parents probably bought them at a store. Before that, they were built in a factory somewhere. And even before that, they were probably designed by engineers. You might think of engineers when you think of complex machines like rockets or huge structures like bridges, but engineers also design many of the everyday objects that we use all the time and take for granted. If engineers do their jobs well, you might never notice, but you would certainly notice if the chair you are sitting in collapsed or your TV stopped working!

A cell phone stand is one product that might seem very simple, but a lot of thought needs to go into designing one, making it a great engineering design project. You can build a prototype out of craft/office supplies (Figure 1), or even use a 3D printer or laser cutter if you have access to them. Design, build, and test a cell phone stand for your engineering design project. Consider the following questions to get started:

  • Where will your stand be used? Is it a tabletop stand designed to use a tablet to watch movies, or a car dashboard mount so you can use a phone for GPS?
  • What other types of cell phone stands/holders already exist? What purposes do they serve? How could you modify or improve on their designs?
  • Will certain buttons or ports on the phone need to be accessible while it is in the stand, like the charging port?
  • What size(s)/brand(s) of phones will the stand accommodate? Will it be adjustable, or will it only be designed for one specific phone?
  • How sturdy does the stand need to be? What if someone drops it or steps on it?
  • What materials will you use to make the stand?
prototype cell phone stand made from popsicle sticks, rubber bands, and paper clips
Figure 1. An example phone stand made from wooden craft sticks, rubber bands, and paper clips.

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Credits

Ben Finio, PhD, Science Buddies

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MLA Style

Finio, Ben. "Engineer a Cell Phone Stand." Science Buddies, 16 June 2018, https://www.sciencebuddies.org/science-fair-projects/project-ideas/ApMech_p053/mechanical-engineering/engineer-cell-phone-stand. Accessed 12 Nov. 2018.

APA Style

Finio, B. (2018, June 16). Engineer a Cell Phone Stand. Retrieved from https://www.sciencebuddies.org/science-fair-projects/project-ideas/ApMech_p053/mechanical-engineering/engineer-cell-phone-stand


Last edit date: 2018-06-16

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Related Links

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female commercial designer preparing prototype

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Have you always loved art? Do you have a good eye for beauty, balance, and form? How would you like to see your designs show up in toy stores? Or in a sporting goods store? Or at a car dealer? Commercial and industrial designers create the shape and form of every type of manufactured good that you can think of—from toys, sporting goods, and medical equipment to high technology products, furniture, toothbrushes, and toasters. They design the form of new products that are as beautiful and pleasing to look at as they are functional. Read more

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