the perfect phone cradle for my car

One of my early goals for learning FreeCAD was to make the perfect iPhone cradle for my car.

This is for the new iPhone 12 Pro Max phone which has the new MagSafe wireless charging. Fully parametric including the angles:

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It took a couple of tries to get the phone facing me perfectly. The magnetic charger might have been enough to hold the phone in place, but I figured the feet would make it more stable and will make it easier to drop it into place without hunting around for the magnetic alignment.

Printed in PETG.

Yes, I left room for my dirt shell I posted a while back.

Well done!!! Among us, there are people that would like to know the print setting you use to print this project out as well as some photos while being printed to show supports ( if any ).

Impressive. I agree about including the feet. I don’t use Apple products, and I would find it awkward having something attached to the emergency brake arm, but that’s the beauty of personal 3D printing – you can make the perfect thingi for you. :slight_smile:

I used all the Cura defaults for 0.16mm dynamic quality except:

  • flow for inner walls: 90%. <---<<< my default profile
  • outer wall layers: 6
  • infill: 35%
  • supports turned on
  • support z-distance prioritized over x/y
I printed the loft part vertically, and here is a picture of the supports.


Funnily enough, the only pictures that I kept for the cradle supports was for the first print where I tried printing it vertically with tree supports:

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That came out good, but for the second print I printed it horizontally with normal supports to holding it up everywhere except where the dove tail is. The back surface is textured because of the supports, but all the visible surfaces are nice.

I like printing in PLA much more, but the PETG isn’t fine and I needed the extra temperature tolerance for the car.

Yep. Granted it is a bit awkward having it on the hand break handle, but in my small Fit every other possibility is even more awkward.

It worked great on my 70 mile commute today, but I came up with an idea that will work better I think. I’m going to redesign it. <—<<< another thing that is the prerogative of a maker. ?

For sure you need better heat tolerance. Also, I am now printing almost all PETG. As you get used to it, you will get better prints. Just be methodical about any print quality troubleshooting.

Yep. Suddenly, one-offs are a real possibility. :slight_smile:

As far as design goes, I have an Elantra hatchback. I would design a phone holder so it fits a convenient part of the dash, and then I would attach it using 3M VHB adhesive tape. That stuff sticks better than baby sh$t sticks to a blanket :smiley:

Really great work! Interested to see what your solution would be for not mounting on the e-brake. I’m not really familiar with the inside of a Fit, but looking at photos there doesn’t seem to be a really obvious mount point other than the vents. There aren’t any posts above the shifter either. Maybe somehow right in between the e-brake and shifter, if you can figure out a way to avoid the shifter when it’s all the way down?

Just looked at some interior shots of a Fit. There really isn’t much room. Maybe the only other option would be to use 1 of the cup holders, but that may not be viable for you.

It has been a busy couple of weeks with work and such, but I finally got my iPhone mount redesign done. Designed in FreeCAD:

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This photo shows the side that was facing down on the build plate for the printing, so most everything visible here was resting on the supports or the build plate:


The next photo shows the main idea with the redesign. I wanted to get the base of the loft out of the way of my hand so that I can still operate the emergency brake normally if I need it in a pinch. The loft base is on the left side instead of the right like in the first print, so now the loft is not in the way of me grabbing the brake handle and operating the release button. Now it just feels like I have a big cylindrical knob on the end of the handle.


The other thing I wanted to do is make the clamping system more efficient. It only needs a single screw, and the internal threads the screw grabs are printed. The screw head is oriented at the bottom. The lighting in this photo makes the supported surface look rougher than it really is. The print is in PETG.


I took the time and made the FreeCAD essentially fully parametric. All the angles, offsets, and even the middle stages of the loft are all parametric. The only aspect that isn’t parametric is that I have to tweak the numbers if the dovetail pocket pokes out of the loft surface. I had to tweak the numbers to get it tucked back into the loft solid.

I didn’t make any changes to the cradle design, so I didn’t have to reprint that part.

Anyway, I’m really happy with the result. I’ll drive with it for a while to make sure it works out. I already have one angle tweak I want to make. It’s so hard to plan the angles perfectly when I’m also planning different offsets. I adjusted the offsets of the dovetail face along all 3 axes, x, y, and z, so that impacts the angles to get the phone pointing straight at my eyes.

If anyone wants the FreeCAD file, say the word and I will attach it.

Awesome design ! The videos your advised were a great help.