This is a versatile and compact smartphone tripod support able to hold recent and old models, from the small iPhone SE (1st Generation) to the large LG V60 ThinQ 5G and iPhone XS Max, even with a case adding up to .3 inches of width on each side.
This support gently immobilizes the smartphone both vertically and laterally, using screws and a top plate. It leaves the whole screen area uncovered, supporting the phone only on its back side with two rectangular rails. The top plate slides onto these rails and holds the phone with two small ribs, when the vertical screw is properly tightened into the tripod base. The phone rests on two other small ribs in the horizontal channel-base, which itself is to be set into the tripod base. These ribs prevent the side buttons from being pressed by the support. For other tripods we only need a different base. The parts have been designed with Autodesk Fusion 360, with simple operations of sketching and extruding, and using the thread feature.
The assembly starts with the top plate. We slide it onto the two rails of the channel base:
Then we place the flat nut into its notch of the tripod base, thickest side down:
Now we vertically slide the channel-base onto tripod base, right where it needs to be:
This way, the flat nut is lodged between the channel-base and the tripod base, and cannot move. Next comes the red screw, to be gently threaded through its nut, while passing through both the tripod base and the channel-base:
For the last step, we only need to pass the long vertical screw through the top plate and thread it gently into the tripod base, behind the vertical rails.
All parts have been designed and can thus be 3D-printed with regular PLA. The “delicate” part was the small red screw with its square nut. A few prototypes had to be tried out. Fusion 360 offers a nice thread feature, where we simply need to pick the dimensions around the shape (cylinder, hole), and it generates the right profile, for real-world threads which do work, if printed with a good resolution (for instance 0.1mm).
The small square nut ends up between the support-base which is to be affixed on the tripod and which holds the large “tray”, holding the phone itself.
The support-base has another threaded hole, for the large vertical screw which presses the top plate, to hold the phone.
Finally, the top plate has guiding small backplates, which press against the big vertical rails, to prevent it from tilting when the large screw is tightened
The base 3D model is shown below:
The top piece 3D model is shown below: