Applications and Implications

The FabAcademy is coming to the end, but there are still many issues to be resolved.


Here are some questions that serve as guidelines for the development of the final project.

What will it do?

Brainbox is an ambitious project that aims, inside FABKIT, to be an educational tool useful in contexts in contact with refugees.

It provides a series of tutorials with which to have a first contact with digital manufacturing technologies. There are also sample objects that show the final result. The two have in common a series of RFID linked to them that allow the printing of specific information, such as, for example, vademecum and checklist.

Who's done what beforehand?

There are some examples of educational platforms dedicated to learning, among which we find:

What will you design?

The project includes a container divided into sections to contain the sample objects and the thermal printer associated with an NFC reader, also there will be a simple interface to verify its right operation.

What materials and components will be used?

The main structure will be made of multilayer wood panels to which are added a transparent plexiglass cover with hinges printed in PLA and a white plexiglass panel to cover the electronics and act as a user interface. Inside there will also be the thermal printer, the NFC reader, some LEDs and buttons, the PCB with the microcontroller and the power supply.

Where will come from?

The idea is that the materials to be processed are easily available on site, while for the PCB I will use only components present in the stores of major electronics retailers.

How much will they cost?

The cost is mainly divided into the structure formed by multilayer wood panels (about 60€), plexiglass panels (about 8€) and electronic components (about 10€). The cost of the hardware and plastic required for the hinges is insignificant, while the cost of the machines is assumed to be zero as they are part of the FABKIT project.

What parts and systems will be made?

Inside the FabAcademy will be realized the structure and a printing demo via NFC. In the future it is planned to create a series of tutorials with examples of objects.

What processes will be used?

The pantograph milling machine will be used for the structure, while the lasercutter will be used for the processing of the plexiglass. The hinges of the cover will be made by means of 3D printing. For the production of the PCB with the microcontroller, the same process of the week of Electronic Production will be used.

What tasks need to be completed?

Considering that the structure was realized in the Computer-Controlled Machining week and the electronic board in the Output Devices week, there are still to realize the sketch for the microcontroller, the interface and the hinges of the cover. In addition, the range of tutorials and sample objects needs to be expanded.

What questions need to be answered?

The whole system would have to be integrated with a series of guidelines: assembly and use for the toolbox, design guidelines for good documentation, guidelines for icon design.

What is the schedule?

It still remains:

The first two points are to be done before the end of the FabAcademy, the last two as soon as it's over.

How will it be evaluated?

It is a technologically very simple project, but it works a lot on the gradual acquisition of skills. Evaluation parameters can be:

It could have a lot of space for development and optimisation and encourage people to use it in their laboratories. Behind the "banality" of the solution there has been a great process of simplification to make this object accessible to all.