Despite the title suggesting that this is a desk mounted clamp, the professor gave to OK to create any sort of clamping device to hold an object. So instead of making another phone dock, I decided instead to make a bike mount for my phone.
So as always, the project started with some sketching. Seeing as the clamping mechanism itself was the most important part, I decided to start my sketching with the mechanism. The screw-assembled pipe clamp mechanism is probable the simplest, go-to method, but I wanted a way to be able to take off the clamp and put it back on without tools. A cam-locking type device could have done the job, but I decided against it, because it required too many parts. The sketch on the right is similar to what I eventually settled on.
The next step was to CAD it up and print it off on my 3D printer! Except…this first design ended up sucking pretty bad. The dimensions were all a little out of whack. First off, it didn’t fit around the handle bar, because the diameter of the clamp was too small. Also, the holes for the pins were much too tight, preventing any of the parts from pivoting. Even if it the parts did fit, the straight clipping pieces (the parts that look like a link in a bike chain) would not have had enough flex to allow the clipping pin to snap into place.
So next, I decided to make a sort of hole sizing tool. I made a bunch of different diameter holes to figure out what would be the correct size for a pivot, and what would be good for a press fit.
This time, instead of making all the holes the same size, I made all the holes on the outer faces of the clamp press git holes. The two inner holes allow for parts to pivot more freely. The pair of part for clipping are now bow-shaped instead of just straight, allowing for enough flex for the part to snap into place.
Having learned my lesson with the poor fitment of the pin holes earlier, I printed off a smaller part to test fit around my phone. This was nice and snug, so I went ahead and made the full version next.
All the pins were made with a Dremel and file. There isn’t much more satisfying than cleaning up a rough Dremel cut with a file and the brushing the file clean.
And there’s the part! The standoff block that interfaces between the phone holding parts and the handlebar clamp also helps to offset the phone such that it site centered on the handlebars.
There’s the clamp on my bike! The phone is inserted into the holder by sliding it in from the bottom. This ensures that if I do crash my bike, my phone will most likely stay with the bike instead of being ejected forward.
Hope you guys enjoyed looking through this again!