Create An iPhone Document Scanner From Cardboard

Create An iPhone Document Scanner From Cardboard

You might need a scanner every so often, but they’re far too big for their occasional usefulness. If you’ve got an iPhone and some time to cut cardboard, you can ditch some paper and capture documents without the glass bed.

University of Cincinnati student Kyle A Koch frequently synced his iPhone and backed up his iPhoto library, but wasn’t so hot with the paper and study material organisation. Since he knew he was reliable with iPhone images, he put his industrial design studies into practice and crafted cardboard-based docks that elevate the phone just enough to properly frame and capture 8.5×11 documents.

You can order a customised, pre-assembled version of Koch’s scanner apparati in cardboard or medium density fibreboard, but Koch also includes a free EPS file for downloading and DIY building. It builds roughly 15 inches tall and long, and would seem to be pretty cheap to build. Combined with a universal capture/OCR tool like Evernote and the powerful camera on an iPhone 3G S, it’s definitely a workable scanner solution for those who only need a few documents in digital form now and again.

iPhone Document Scanner
Ponoko showroom – iPhone Document Scanner [Kyle A Koch via Twitter / Kevin Lim]


  • What a shame all the other millions of people with *other* phones can’t do this!
    It OBVIOUSLY only works with iPhones…


  • the iPhone 3G S camera is not that great.

    “…the powerful camera on an iPhone 3G S…”

    but that is a cool way to do it. also, Why don’t you think another phone could do that?

    3.15 MP – not the best

  • The iPhone 3G, and even more the 3GS, works exceptionally well as a document scanner when combined with a mobile copy service such as the free qipit —

    I now sign and return all my NDAs and most contracts using it, as it is more convenient and much faster than regular scanning. For full rez upload I use the ShoZu uploader where I have set up a qipit b&w and a qipit color connectors.

    And when, from time to time, I need to fax stuff back, qipit offers a few pages fax capacity.

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