For Christmas I had a set of 4" square photographs printed and mounted under acrylic as a gift. I had intended for them to be the start of a photography wall collage or something similar, but the recipient really wanted to bring one into work and have it displayed on their desk. They had mentioned setting up the photo on some kind of easel, so I decided to 3D print one for them.
Before beginning to create a model, I looked at images of easels. The most simple designs have three legs with a single pivot point for the rear leg. Some also have a chain or bar that limits the angle of the easel. There were more complex designs, but for the purpose of this display, I felt things like height and angle adjustment would not be necessary.
As first, I was intent on replicating the look of a traditional easel but changed my mind as I began to model. The easels I used for reference were limited in their construction because they were assembled from wood sticks. With 3D printing, however, the shape could be much more fluid and complex without additional machining. The result of this realization was a final design that has several features not seen in many standard wood easels. All of the pieces are printed together, so the easel is ready to use with the removal of support material. Rather than model several chain pieces to restrict the movement of the back leg, I instead used a slotted bar that would tuck into the leg when the easel was folded, reducing the chance of it accidentally snapping off in transit.