Fab Academy 2017
Learn how to make ALMOST anything!

KidoFAB: Fabbing for Kindergarten!


(Slide) (Video)

Educational Background

Psychologists have determined that a child’s brain development is influenced significantly when a child acts on or manipulates the world around him or her. Puzzles provide that key opportunity. Children learn to work directly with their environment and change its shape and appearance when they work with puzzles!

Puzzles helps develop skills and character aspects like,

  • Problem Solving and critical thinking
  • Fine Motor skills: fine motor skills require small, specialized movements that puzzles provide. Fine motor skills are necessary for handwriting and other important achievements.
  • Hand-Eye Coordination.
  • Shape Recognition.
  • Memory development.
  • Self Esteem of setting small goals and achieving them.


Project Idea:

My idea for the final project is pretty simple. Serving as educational tool, my idea is to make a digitally fabricated puzzle for kindergarten kids, by wich they can learn numbers, letters, animals, objects.. anything! as Shown in above picture. Simply, the idea is to have a board with grooves of the required lesson in which fit 3D printed parts.

My Plan is to do it with animals. So, the kid would have 3D printed animals (which actually is an education part itself, for the kids to have a sense of the animal with his own hands). Moreover, under each groove, the name of the animal will be engraved, so that the kids learn it all.

Adding to this, by simply adding a sensing circuit in the back of the puzzle, the kid while playing whether he got it right or wrong. When perfectly fit, a green light will go indicating correct position. When wrong, a red light and a buzzer will go indicating misfit.

The idea is simple and covers laser cutting and engraving, cnc cutting, 3D printing (or 3D Milling and casting), and electronics as input and output.


Main Modules, Fabrication methods and skills used:

While doing the tasks, I was pretty oriented toward using them to help with my final project. The main modules for the projects are:

1. The piece border.

2. The puzzle piece itself.

3. The Input circuit for sensing whether the piece is in its right place or not.

4. The output circuit: in form of Green LED flashing when in right position.

4. The Power circuit: to deliver power using a switch.

Module: Description: Fabrication Methods: Skills:
The piece border: The piece boarder is actually pretty simple. it is made out of laser cutter. I used Corel Draw to design the box, I added some kids and animals drawings. You can check it in the Laser Cutting week Laser cutting. 2D Design.
The puzzle piece: Made using Molding and casting, I used the assignment week to develop it. After doing it, you can spray it by whatever colors you need. For me, I used "Blue", "Red" and "Green" to match the LEDs. When I tried it, It was a little bigger than the box, So, I gave it another shot and also made the pieces on laser cutter as another way you can do it. Molding and Casting; laser cutting 3D design and 3D Milling
Input Circuit: The input circuit is simply a switch and voltage divider. When each place is at its position, it gives a distinguished value of volt. Electronics Production Electronics Design, Production and Embedded Programming.
Output Circuit: The input circuit is simply a switch and voltage divider. When each place is at its position, it gives a distinguished value of volt. Electronics Production Electronics Design, Production and Embedded Programming.
Power Circuit: to deliver power to the 2 boards using a switch.  


Electronics Production Electronics Design


Bill of Materials:

Material: Cost: Where to get it:
One 50x30 Plywood Sheet 10 EGP (almost $0.6) Any Wood supplier.
Machinable Wax around $10 per piece but depends on the piece size. www.machinablewax.com.
SMD Electronics (ATTiny, capactiors, resistors) around $10 DigiKey (Also your Lab Inventory).
Electronics (3 LEDs, L7805, switch, Jumpers, battery) around $10 Ram Electronics or Future Electronics(Local Electronics vendors).
Total Cost: around $30 the total product will cost around $50


Type of License:

For the Project prototype, I chose it to be an open source. All of it. CAD files and Codes. It can be hosted on servers like Thingiverse and Github. When Turning it into a product and updating it, I believe updates will be closed source and has a trademark and copy rights.



Last thing I would like to add is a "Thank you" to my colleague Mohamemed Abul Haggag and my friend and lab pal in New Cairo, Omar Okasha, for their help especially in the electronics and the coding parts.



1. DXF Case file.

2. Circuits.

3. Codes.

4. Pieces STL files.