Fab Academy 2017
Learn how to make ALMOST anything!

Applications: Fab Education - Fabbing for Kindergarten!


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:

The project idea 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 up there. My Plan is to do a prototype with 3 animals: Monkey, Rabbit and Whale.


What will it do?

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 and the name of the animal appears on an LCD screen.


What parts will be made:

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 flashin when in right position.

5. The power distribution circuit: The 9V battery operating input and output circuits.


What processes are used:

1. 2D and 3D Design.

2. Laser cutting.

3. Molding and casting..

4. Electronics Design.

5. Electronics Production.

6. Embedded Programming.

7. Input Devices.

8. Output devices.

9. Networking and communication: between the input and output circuit


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


What's Done before?

I. The piece border

The piece boarder is actually pretty simple. it is a box that serves as a casing for the electronic circuits. It can be made using several methods: Laser cutting, 3D Printing or Composites.

But for Simplicity, I decided to go fro laser cutting

I used the computer aided design task in week 2 to sketch the draft. Then moving further, I changed it a little bit.


II. The puzzle piece:

For the puzzle piece, I had 3 options as well: Molding and casting, Laser cutting and 3D Printing. I decided to go for Molding and casting, as it cheaper to make a number of pieces way more cheaper than the 3D printing.

I used the Molding and Casting to implement that.


III. The Input circuit:

It's a simple circuit of a switching closing a circuit using 2 pads. I began to work on it in the Input devices week, but it still needs some modification


IV. The Output circuit:

It's a simple circuit of a green LED and LCD. I began to work on it in the Output devices week, but it still needs final test and uploading the documentation.

What's need to be done and timeline:

Over the past weeks, I finished the housing design and the molds for the pieces of puzzle.


For the next week, I will working on:

1. Final Housing design modifications and implementation on laser cutter.

2.Cast the pieces.

3.Design the electronic circuits and fabricate them.


Over the week after, I'll be working on:

1. Test electronics circuits.

2. Assembly and Final test.

3. Documentation (The slide and the video)


How it will be evaluated?

The main points from my point of view are:

1. Combination of digital fabrication skills demonstrated.

2. Easy and can be locally fabricated.

3. Functionality and applicability with kids.

4. Good Clear documentation for easy explaination and replication.