GitHub Repository: here

This work was done in the context of a Stanford Senior Design Project, specifically to mount a tablet being used for Smartphone User Interface Cloning.

3D Printed Tablet Mount 3D Printed Tablet Mount

The 3D printed tablet mount is a way to hold a variety of smart-devices in a solid and safe position, symbolically hiding the infotainment features that the smart device replaces. The configuration shown is holding a Google Nexus 10 tablet in a SYNC 1.5 Ford Mustang.

The big picture motivation including explaining why good smart device integration is important, is discussed in Stanford Senior Design Project. There’s also the added bonus of making it easier and safer to use existing OpenXC projects!

The design attempts to focus on three key ideas beyond simply holding the tablet/device in position and giving you access to charging ports/buttons:

  • Hold the tablet as near as possible to the driver’s field of vision. The design is off-centered towards the driver and even juts out beyond the top of the dash.
  • Demonstrate the user experience of a car that was designed from the getgo to work with smart devices. This car would have a dedicated space for devices, and would not come equipped with redudant features.
  • Allow device upgrades: let the car’s electronics be as new as the user’s phone. New devices can be used with the existing setup by 3D printing an adapter for the new device.
  1. The mount was printed on a Projet from CAD files you can download from github.

    Exploded View of Mount

    • joiner refers to the part that is screwed onto the car’s center stack itself. mount refers to the part that interfaces between joiner and the tablet. As joiner was too large to print flat on the Projet, it was split into joinerMiddle, bevelLeft and bevelRight.
    • As we did not have access to CAD files, most dimensions and curves where estimated to varying degrees of accuracy. Notably, the bevels are too large and had to be sawed/filed down.
    • The total print cost on the Projet was around $300. If printed on printers of lower resolution, it could be roughly 50% cheaper. However, it would first be advisable to simplify the CAD to have more planar surfaces rather than curved surfaces.
    • Both parts of the mount share a common hole which is hidden when the tablet is inserted. This is to allow for a handhold for easy removal of the entire center stack+mount assembly.
    • If making a mount for a different device, be sure to orient the buttons facing the driver, and also give access to charging ports and buttons.
    • The T-slot interface between joiner and mount could be improved by opening it (removing the back face), making it easier to remove filler.
  2. joiner is attached to the car with 4 bolts through the back of the center stack into brass threaded inserts which were melted into joiner.

    Brass threaded inserts Bolt hole in panel Joiner bolted to panel

    • To work with the car’s center stack, you’ll have to do some dissassembly of the dashboard. See further below for detailed instructions.
  3. Spraypaint is a nice finishing touch.

    Complete joiner+mount+panel assembly

Mounting the assembly required nearly no modification to the center stack, with the acception of drilling four holes. Removing the center stack was a very quick and easy process and required nothing but a 7mm socket wrench.

  1. Unscrew the top of the gear shifter.

    Unscrew Gear Shifter

  2. Lift up the center console, pulling initially from the cupholder region.

    Lift Up Center Console

  3. Using a 7mm socket wrench, remove the bolts at the bottom of the center stack. Then pull the stack from the dashboard.

    Detach Center Stack