When tablets were first released, users had two options: 1) hold it or 2) lay it on a flat surface. If you’ve used an Apple iPad or other tablet for any length of time, you know that neither of these choices is ideal. If you hold the device, the hand doing the holding can get tired and even “fall asleep” (e.g., experience inadequate blood flow). If you lay the device on a desk or table, glare from overhead lights can cause problems and the severe angle of the screen can make for an uncomfortable viewing position.
What’s more, holding the device means having one hand occupied at all times and necessitates repeated putting down and picking up – not ideal for marathon work sessions. Laying the tablet on a desk takes up valuable work space and introduces the risk of something heavy falling or being set on the device – not ideal for any work situation (or your wallet).
Enter the tablet stand. This little piece of furniture quickly became a necessity for every tablet owner because it provided users with a third option that did away with the problems of the first two. Now, iPads could be displayed (i.e., taken out of the user’s hand) at an optimal viewing angle (reducing or doing away with glare) with minimal footprint (hello workspace, goodbye risk of falling objects).
Unfortunately, many tablet stands are uninspired hunks of material that don’t reflect the creativity and elegance of the tech they hold. Fortunately, independent designers like those over at Shapeways.com are creating stands that are both beautiful and functional.
Here are 5 iPad stands you can’t buy in stores.
iMac Inspired iPad Stand
This design by maker flip_ideas is so inspired we wonder why Apple didn’t come up with it (although I guess they sort of did come up with it). The 3D-printed pedestal that both holds and charges your iPad mirrors the sweeping, minimalist design of the iMac we’ve all grown to know and love.
Order the iMac Inspired iPad Stand at Shapeways.
Infinite Sisu iPad Stand
Just because the bulk of the stand is behind the iPad doesn’t mean it can’t look really cool. Maker SaGaDesign took that idea to heart when he created his Infinite Sisu iPad Stand. According to his description, the design was, “…inspired by the Finnish concept of ‘Sisu’ which roughly translates as ‘determination’ or ‘grit’.” It certainly appears that the human figure is facing a Herculean task. But what is bad for him is certainly good for you as this sculpture adds a bit of life to what might otherwise be a drab work environment.
You can find Infinite Sisu iPad Stand at Shapeways.
From pure art to pure function, iPad stands can run the gamut. And while most stands only do one thing – hold your tablet at a certain angle – ApexStudio’s design seems to do all things at once. It straddles the line between art and tool while at the same time providing multiple options for your viewing pleasure. Position your iPad at near horizontal, near vertical, or in between depending on what suits your mood. The Apad dock accommodates various sizes of charging cables and even “incorporates a sound directing platform to push sound towards the viewer.” For those who want it all, the Apad dock may be your best choice.
Looking for the Apad Dock? Right over here!
PadFoot iPad Stand
You want minimal? This is just about as minimal as it gets. Designer MichielCornelissen has come up with a design that does what it’s supposed to do while being small enough and cheap enough that you can have multiple PadFoots for every situation and location – one on your desk, one in your bag, one in your car, one at work, one in your pocket, one in…the list is literally endless.
You can order the PadFoot iPad Stand at Shapeways.
Octopus iPad Stand
For those of you who want a bit more levity in your iPad stand, designer notcolinforreal has just the thing for you. The octopus tentacles rise from the depths (of your desk) to support your tablet (with or without a case) at just the right angle for viewing. Aren’t cephalopods wonderful!
If you’re interested in purchasing any of the stands or seeing what these and other designers have to offer, surf on over to Shapeways.com and search iPad stands.
Click on the link to the Octopus iPad Stand over at Shapeways.
License: The text of "5 iPad Stands You Can’t Buy In Stores" by All3DP is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.