The Car Vent Phone Mount is all in the name. Only recently have cars come equipped with Bluetooth and CarPlay, so the CVPM is the perfect, low-cost improvement to your driving experience by making your phone easy to see and use. Great for delivery drivers, anyone using GPS, and for listening to music.
Works with Face ID!
Don't drive distracted. Minimize phone use by using hands-free, voice-activated features like Hey Siri and Dictation. Enable Do Not Disturb While Driving so that fewer notifications pop up on the display. If you have the iPhone X or later, consider turning off the Require Attention for Face ID setting so you can keep your eyes on the road.
I loved tc_fea's "car air vent mount for Iphone 6 plus" project, but I wanted to try making it better for my 2000 Honda Accord's centre-left vent.
My design constraints were:
- 98-02 Honda Accord
- Official Apple Lightning cable (charging and audio)
- One-handed use
- iPhone Plus (no case; I live on the wild side)
- Not blocking the air vent
Since my needs were so specific, I really customized the design. As I browsed the different fundamental car phone mounts on Thingiverse, it became abundantly clear that everybody's preference is different. Some use CD slots for their mounts, some go wireless, some like a looser fit. Plus, everyone's grilles are different, and it took me almost a dozen iterations to find the fit that I liked. I really considered making the design more appealing to a wider audience, but there isn't even a Honda group on Thingiverse where I can share this design. That freed me up to make things just the way I wanted.
- Point the vent as low as possible.
- Slide the lower arm underneath the bottom vent grille.
- Then point the vent as high as possible while simultaneously pushing the mount inwards. This final step will make the top arm snap into place.
Roll Your Own CVPM
It's been relatively painless designing this project for iPhones, but there have been limitations as far as other smartphones go, even iPhones with cases. I remade the Car Vent Phone Mount in OnShape, so any user can copy it and customize it to their own phone. With their free account, all designs are open to the public, so feel free to copy it and customize it for your personal, non-commercial uses.
To copy the project, make a free OnShape account, open the link, select the hamburger menu in the top left corner, then select "Copy Workspace."
OnShape - Car Vent Phone Mount - iPhone Plus
If you end up making a new CVPM model for different phones, please share them on Thingiverse and link back using the Remix function!
2018-10-28: Added link to OnShape project.
2018-10-24: Added iPhone SE model. Redesigned it from my previous lazy version, which had a lot of extra material relative to the SE's much smaller frame. Added a new cover photo.
2018-10-18: Added iPhone XS model. Just realized that the iPhone Max and Plus are really close in size, under 1 mm difference in all three axes, so you should be able to use the same file. Re-uploading the same Plus model with a new name.
2018-10-16: Added iPhone 8/7/6s/6 model.
2018-10-15: Updated iPhone Plus model. After my previous dock softened over the summer and fell off the vent, I printed new ones twice but accidentally broke them because the design wasn't super rigid against the process of removing the big chunk of supports. Added stabilizing bars to both break up the supports in the vent through hole and to stiffen the overall mount. Now it's rock solid, no more wiggling whatsoever, which is better than I could have imagined. Changed the way the Lightning connector is inserted, and there are only two cable hooks now so that you loop it in a circle. I also flipped it so that the left side prints at the top. Since we drive on the left in Canada, wherever the model prints on top of the supports, it will now face away from the driver's side. At some point in the distant future I'll update the other models and add some for the new iPhones too, Xs Max and Xr.
2018-03-13: Added models for iPhone 8/7/6s/6 and iPhone SE/5s/5. Untested so far, including the X, but I will try them out now that I have them uploaded.
2018-03-12: Added preliminary iPhone X model.
2018-03-01: I'm transferring the design over from TinkerCAD to Fusion360. Sooo much easier to work with, so I'm making a few changes. This update isn't final as I'm still figuring out how to implement some old ideas with the new software since it's so much more powerful, but alas, there were a few problems in the last design that I simply wasn't happy with once I had to replace my stolen mount. Expect another update within the next few weeks as I keep testing in my own car, but for now, please accept this little update. Securing the cable should be easier, and should fit the official 1 m cable. I was using the 0.5 m cable before, which has a smaller connector body and jacket, but now it'll fit the wider connector of the 1 m. Audio ports are now wide open; I wasn't happy with removing supports from such tiny holes. Changed the slopes of the mounting arms to 45 degrees to remove the need for supports. Only updating the Plus version of the design for now, but I hope to add support for the 4.7" and the iPhone X. Maybe with Fusion360, it'll be easier to add versions for phones with cases as well.
2017-12-30: Apparently this dock is so nice that when my car got broken into a few weeks back, the only thing they took was the dock and the cable.
2017-01-17: Added new version for iPhone 4.7" size! It's untested. Added new iPhone Plus with slightly wider grip. Made the sidewalls thicker, iPhone corners rounder, and slightly increased the size of the Lightning connector holes.
2016-12-26: Added ports for speaker and microphone, fixed some small symmetry discrepancies.
I recommend using ABS, PETG, or other heat-resistant material because of PLA's low softening point of ~55 C. It's not hard to see those kinds of temperatures in the car, even in Canada during the summer when the car sits in the sunlight for hours or in the winter with the heat blasting.
Printing it on its side makes for a sturdier grip on the claws. Printing on its face works too, but it's not as snug a fit.
Printing on its side, it generates quite a bit of supports. It can connect through the middle hole where the Lightning cable rests, so careful when removing them. In Simplify3D, there is an option to combine supports every x number of layers, so set that to 2. I use a low support infill, 10% rectilinear, in combination with dense support layers, 4 layers at 70%.
When removing the supports, start in order of the phone area, then the cable hooks. Then use your pliers to snap and rip out the middle section between the Lightning jack mount and the leftmost cable hook. Finally, remove the supports where the Lightning jack sits.