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    A family is looking for a tablet style case for an 8” Amazon Fire iPad. The key is to get a case that is wide/thick enough that the child cannot bite over it. His teeth are hitting the screen and causing damage. They have tried commercial options, but they seem to not be strong enough. The family had created a wood version, almost like a picture frame. This one was screwed together and the tablet wouldn’t come out without taking off 2 screws. This option also failed as it ended up breaking from being dropped and there was difficulty when the wood got at all wet.

    Just want to see if anyone has any other ideas or options to try?


    Hello there,

    I have a few questions and possibly an idea. It sounds like there is a material choice risk to the child’s teeth in addition to protecting the screen. Was there a width that they are targeting or have a rough estimate of the thickness of the wood? Any pictures of the wooden one would be very helpful. Ideally there would be some kind of tooth safe foam covering but that could be dangerous if broken and ingested. Are there other concerns that go along with this? Is there a want for the exterior shell to go over an off the shelf waterproof case?

    A 3d printed design is possible, I found dimensions for the tablet online (7.95 x 5.39 x 0.38 in). 8 inches is a fairly typical limit in printable size in home/hobby 3d printing applications but the practical limit is around 6.5-7 inches. Larger than that size in a particular dimension leads to printing errors or defects. That being said, the design is probably best split into two parts so the tablet is removeable. I imagined something like a sliding top with an Egyptian/Assyrian style lock. If you google “Egyptian lock” it will show a very simple cross section of a lock. I could design something which was only one tumbler and needs to be pushed flush with a finger or a long 3d printed bar shaped key (no pointy parts) to unlock and slide the top off. That way it would be hard for a child to open but easy for an adult.

    3d prints can crack when dropped but given the correct interior structure they can still handle damage even when cracked. The other benefit is that 3d printing is reasonably cheap and can be reproduced quickly by anyone unlike the wood solution.



    The exterior shell could go over top an existing case.  This is essentially what the parent has tried to create so far.   Whatever is created needs to withstand biting and throwing.  The idea of an egyptian lock sounds like it would be worth considering.  I have attached a photo of the wooden case made by the family, as well as the newest creation by his mom.  She zip-tied the tablet to a cutting board.  However, the child can still get his teeth on the edges of the case.  Plus, this is a large item to carry around!  They are thinking that something like the cutting board idea could work, as long as the tablet could be inset into the board far enough so that the top of the tablet case is below the edge of the cutting board.  His mom was contemplating using a dremel tool to create this inset into the cutting board, but this would take a long time.  A 3D printed design would be much preferred!

    I will ask the parent for exact dimensions of the current case, including depth.


    Firstly I’d like to recognize the ingenuity behind both ideas. That is excellent work and parents always amaze me, I would never have come up with the cutting board idea. Building off of that to keep cost down I think would be a great idea.

    Most local wood shops (cabinet makers/woodworkers etc.) have a tool called a router or routing table. That tool would let the worker cut an inset hole into a thick wooden or bamboo cutting board for fairly cheap and at exactly the right depth fairly quickly and cheaply. That would allow the tablet to be seated in and possibly zip tied or mounted in with fair ease. They would likely be able to mill a slot in the board to allow it to be charged while still secured. I can also see a solution to keep it mounted where a similar piece of clear plastic is mounted to the front of the board using magnetic locks like two Rev-A-Shelf-101 locks, one on each side. Notches cut into the wood take the locking mechanism which is screwed into the clear plexiglass. Then to remove the plexiglass and the tablet you put a magnet on the specific spots it and it will release. The benefit there is that it is easy to open and putting a magnet on a chain on your keys makes it always accessible.

    If it is possible, knowing the brand of case they are using would be helpful in making a more convenient to look at 3d model. For now I sketched a rudimentary model of what I described above and put it into this pdf. Unfortunately this does not help the size issue but that may have to be a necessity to keep the tablet safe. This board in theory could also be designed, printed in parts, then assembled together. If you can please try to share this conceptual drawing with them. Again excellent work on the parent’s part.



    Thanks for this information.  Yes, the parent is very inventive!  The parent has replied with information about the tablet and case.  I have copied photos of the tablet and case they are using.  She is wondering if the 3D printed case or routered case  is provided, whether the current tablet case would be needed at all.



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