The coolest Arduino Lab Platform ever...???

Using and Programming Arduino and other microcontrollers
vimes79
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The coolest Arduino Lab Platform ever...???

Postby vimes79 » Wed Nov 21, 2012 4:34 pm

Just a quick one, after browsing Etsy a couple of days ago for some inspiration, I stumbled across what I think is the coolest and best looking, as well as versatile and very useful Platform/Lab to mount various combos of an Arduino Uno (or anything with the same footprint) and either a breadboard, shield etc and 2 handy kit drawers for components.
Its designed and built by a guy in the US who has a bunch of 3D ABS Printers running 24/7 (I think in one of his videos he said he had 6 printers).
I think it looks awesome and is super practical if like me you like to have your most used Arduino (in my case, my Uno R3 SMD), a Breadboard and your most used components all in one place where you can quickly go and know that you will find a strip of resistors or a 10k Pot etc... This case is the perfect thing for the job!
It is seriously strong and very clever in the way its been built.
The best thing... It costs just £12.90 and then £5.12 for shipping via USPS Priority Mail to the UK, tell me that's not a bargain for such an item! Take Ladyadas Otterbox kit for example.. that's £30+ it is a little bigger but is no where near as cool looking as these!

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I ordered mine on Monday in the "Wild" Colour scheme and had shipping confirmation this morning and it should be here in 5-10 working days.
Once it arrives I will of course do a write up and some photos.

I really love these kinds of places like Etsy, Kickstarter and Indiegogo for finding great ideas people have come up with as it gives them a simple and effective way to bring them to market and also raise funds to expand so they can mass-release.

The page with details and ordering instructions is here : http://www.etsy.com/listing/114702458/arduino-folding-lab-version-2

There is a good you tube video made by the maker here : http://youtu.be/hA5m9EN-Muo

If you want one of these I would hit the Etsy page soon as these fold up labs have the potential to really sell and being essentially home made by just one person and 6 3D Printers (which are definitely not known for being fast) I cant imagine more then 2-3 a day of these being produced due to the part count and complexity of the hinges.
I would say if you want something to keep your Arduino, Breadboard and a bunch of parts in then this is the kit for you!
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Re: The coolest Arduino Lab Platform ever...???

Postby vimes79 » Mon Nov 26, 2012 5:12 pm

This sweet piece of kit arrived today just 7 days after placing the order which is pretty quick for $8 USD Shipping (US - UK).

It is a great unit for storing your Arduino that you use for Breadboarding or take off your bench, the most. It has plenty of room for a Breadboard to be securely mounted or for a large shield to be left on the 'duino whilst it is shut up. It has 2 fair size drawers for keeping small amounts of those things you always find you need.. LED's, The usual value resistors, a 10k Pot, Jumpers and whatever else you want, even a 9v battery. It has plenty of space for everything you need.

I would recommend this to any Arduino owner, for $20 plus $8 for Worldwide Express shipping its an absolute steal!

The only downside I have found is that it needs the odd bit of plastic filing down, but that's nothing new for a product made on a 3D ABS printer and is about 10mins work to get all the little strands and overflow cleaned up.
You have to remember that this is a product made by just one guy in the US wo has set up his own 3D printer production line in his basement each part of the kit takes from 3 - 8 hours to make!!! I really hope someone with injection moulding or another way of producing a higher volume of these, spots them and does a deal to produce a small production run of them.

You can get one through Etsy here : http://etsy.me/Zq7Cuo

And here are some pics of mine : https://www.dropbox.com/sh/7cuzo8ub59m39w5/xOQoxvR-Tu
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dec0y7
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Re: The coolest Arduino Lab Platform ever...???

Postby dec0y7 » Mon Nov 26, 2012 11:28 pm

Its an amazing bargain and for that price even better plus the fast delivery on top is the icing on the cake.

With the work that goes into them for one person on 3d printers I can't see how he's making anything on them.

The only problem I can see is that when someone/business gets hold of one and see's the profit then they will mass produce them in china.
tis Better to have tried and failed than never to have tried at all

I blame spelling errors and my writing skills or lack of...... On fred!!!!!! My blood clot (yes I really did name it lol)

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Re: The coolest Arduino Lab Platform ever...???

Postby vimes79 » Tue Nov 27, 2012 4:13 am

If I had come up with a design that good, I would get it priced up for a production run using a company that do prototypes etc... have all 11 pieces made up with injection moulded plastic or similar to give it a smoother and nicer finish, replace the plastic hinge pins with metal ones and then get it patented or what ever you need to do, straight away.

It is a real nice Duino kit and well made, the only let down is the normal layering effect on the plastic and small defects you get with these 3D ABS printers (unless you have super expensive ones). This guy has 6 or 7 setup working on different parts with some taking an hour to the big parts taking 7-8 Hours+, I think for printing with those machines requires alot of patience, I couldn't do it, sitting there seeing the nozzle going back and forth and not really looking like its doing anything...

It does still look good close up tho, I put a really fine file to some of the defects and some of the corners to tidy it a bit and will pick up some mega fine wet and dry tomorrow to smooth the few bits that are obvious.

It is an absolute steal for that kind of money and he is sitting on a gold mine if he had 100 made up and got on eBay, go to the US MakerFaires and such then he would sell out in no time! I haven't seen one like this that looks that good for such a small amount of cash before.
Normally people avoid Arduino cases due to the amount of headers and access you need as well as the breadboard to keep wired in transit so they have never been a big seller, this case is different and does all that easily and opens up to still keep your duino and breadboard and parts in place and you can continue working then clip it shut and its all away,throw into your bag, get home and open up and its all back how you left it. Its precision is surprisingly good too, the breadboard clips in without any moving fixings or sticky, the duino mounting screws are all in the perfect places and the drawers actually click shut and open and wont move or open in transit. It even has grooves in place to accommodate the header solder joints on the bottom of any Uno layout board and the same for the power and USB connector legs and solder joints.

I like it alot, I have mounted my main Arduino Uno in it and a bunch of components into the drawers that are always needed. Im thinking I might mod it and add a LiPoly battery which has the wires or even a power adaptor that can be easily bought out to power everything and mount a mini super slim LiPoly charger (have seen some really good slim (12mmx30mm) around that would work well) so you can just plug in the mini USB cable when it needs charging without taking anything out or apart.

I just wish I knew someone who works with plastic who could help build one of these using a smoother technique. Its not laser cuttable, far too intricate and difficult to mill some of the parts with anything but a real professional CNC mill, the only way to make one without moulding is a 3D thermal ABS Printer, but only the very best most precision printer would do the job with out any defects and leave a totally smooth finish.

Maybe I will buy 5 from him and knock them out on eBay for £25 + Postage each but ensuring its stated clearly that they are classed as handmade and are made with Thermal ABS Printers so may have the odd defect. Its not much but its £12 profit on each once both postage charges are paid.
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Re: The coolest Arduino Lab Platform ever...???

Postby vimes79 » Thu Nov 29, 2012 1:34 am

I now have the 3D CAD files for the Platform the project file and the individual part files. Also have permission from designer to have some made up, he has released the files as open source so its time to get a few knocked out and see how they look in moulded plastic form.

Does anyone know of or can recommend a company in the UK or Northern Europe that does rapid plastic prototypes? I have found a few to submit the files to for quotes but would rather go with someone who is recommended if possible.

With these moved from 3D ABS Printing to regular plastic moulding techniques they should be 10x as awesome with nice smooth curves and no steepling effect.

Image
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Re: The coolest Arduino Lab Platform ever...???

Postby dec0y7 » Thu Nov 29, 2012 8:08 am

Sound like you could be onto a winner with this one! I can't help out as I don't know anyone that could mould it for you but if you do need any help in any way then please do ask.

Wonder if a Seeeduino v3.0 will fit in on?
tis Better to have tried and failed than never to have tried at all

I blame spelling errors and my writing skills or lack of...... On fred!!!!!! My blood clot (yes I really did name it lol)

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Re: The coolest Arduino Lab Platform ever...???

Postby vimes79 » Thu Nov 29, 2012 10:54 am

dec0y7 wroteColonSound like you could be onto a winner with this one! I can't help out as I don't know anyone that could mould it for you but if you do need any help in any way then please do ask.

Wonder if a Seeeduino v3.0 will fit in on?


Yeah It does, my boss has one and he tried it in my case yesterday, fits well but would just need a tiny modification to extend a groove that has been cut into the Arduino holding plate/frame to accommodate an extra solder joint that the Uno doesn't have. Without the extra bit filed or cut out the corner with the USB socket on sits slightly higher then the rest as one of the soldered legs fouls the plate/frame. It would be a 60 second job with a file and could be accommodated into the design really easily if I get some of these prototyped. I need to test it with other popular clones too in case any others have long legged components soldered in that protrude even when snipped down as close as possible.
I have found a few places that offer the kind of service I need, just need to submit the files and get a quote based on different amounts.

This is the original Arduino Cradle/Frame :
Image


This is roughly how it would need to be modded or adjusted to fit the seeeduino (Top left of cradle):
Image
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Re: The coolest Arduino Lab Platform ever...???

Postby dec0y7 » Mon Dec 03, 2012 8:48 am

You will have to keep us up to date with this as I can see it being a big thing and with just a small change it can be used to other types like the speeeduino.

If needed you could try a kickstarter or Indiegogo to get it funded and out there in the public interest.
tis Better to have tried and failed than never to have tried at all

I blame spelling errors and my writing skills or lack of...... On fred!!!!!! My blood clot (yes I really did name it lol)

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Re: The coolest Arduino Lab Platform ever...???

Postby vimes79 » Tue Dec 04, 2012 12:53 pm

Yeah its pretty cool.
I have thought about Kickstarter etc BUT the thing I am very wary of is that its someone else's design... They DID put it up in the public domain and gave me access to all the files needed to manufacture (which IMO was kind of silly without testing the market first) and although it is of course legal to copy and build a bunch of these with a much better process, If I can avoid it I don't want to do over the original creator despite it not having any kind of copy protection.
It is certainly something I am thinking alot about but I really need some help from someone with experience in creating and launching products like this.

Im kind of busy for the next few days with doing paperwork etc to come to an end on my job and get everything done so im ready to start my new job in January and also in the midst of moving (only 20 or so miles), BUT I am working on a redesign of the original to improve some flaws I have found and to make it easier for production in fewer pieces (which = cheaper). Once I have a design Im happy with I will get some quotes for a limited production run from fast prototype plastics companies.
I submitted the files for the version I have posted above to a couple of places and am awaiting a price from them, but from doing a little re-search I think because of some of the factors on the current design, its going to be more then I want.
I need some advice from some experts or at least people that have taken something like this from prototype where it is now to first batch and then possibly production and find out what I need to be doing. Also I need to find out properly what the legal standpoint is on this design - Its someone else's, but they put it out there on a sharing site, they are not making any real effort to market the thing or improve the quality and its an excellent design that I think and others think will benefit Arduino users by selling it as a (Well made) production unit.

If anyone out there can give me some ideas or help then it would be most appreciated. Also if anyone has or has access to a decent CNC Machine that could cut all the above pieces (or most of them) in any medium other than foam then please get hold of me here as it could save a shed load of cash to have a model to have moulds created from (I will of course pay).
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Re: The coolest Arduino Lab Platform ever...???

Postby Almurray42 » Tue Dec 04, 2012 1:13 pm

vimes79 wroteColonIf anyone out there can give me some ideas or help then it would be most appreciated. Also if anyone has or has access to a decent CNC Machine that could cut all the above pieces (or most of them) in any medium other than foam then please get hold of me here as it could save a shed load of cash to have a model to have moulds created from (I will of course pay).


I May have access to a Rapid Prototype machine, either a CNC MILL to make an aluminium version, OR a 3D model of it built up by layers of hardened powder on a 3d Printer... Unfortunately I think it may only be the CNC mill which I can realistically have access to If i ask nicely! I'll mention it when i'm next working!
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