I recently got a case for my iPhone and it’s the kind that precludes the use of the dock. I kind of like the dock concept, but instead of taking a Dremel to the existing dock, I spent a few minutes drawing up a replacement that could be cut from acrylic scraps on the laser cutter. Here’s the result: (click for higher-res)
It is made of four slices of 1/4″ acrylic (actual width 0.22″). The top two slices have an oval opening just snug enough to fit the ipod connector and keep it in place with friction. The third slice has a channel for the cable to escape out the back, and the bottom slice keeps the cable from falling out and provides some pushback when the iphone is inserted. It’s held together by four 1″ 2-56 machine screws with nuts. I was a little concerned with the nuts scratching the table, so I’ve since added little hot glue feet to the bottom of each nut.
I didn’t add an additional layer at the top to provide lateral support of the iphone because I didn’t have long enough screws. And besides, it doesn’t seem to need it. If I get longer screws, I might make one that has the extra layer, which would also make the dock bigger, to encompass the bottom of the iPhone. And that would be good because it adds more mass to the dock, making it more stable.
If you want to try making one yourself, here are the files: