About this project
A pledge of $1 or more will help us make this tour a reality. For a pledge of $159 or more we will mail the Cyrcle phone prototype kit to you to assemble at home, on your own schedule and at your own pace. Further, your pledge of $199 or more for a class at a makerspace gives you
- A working Cyrcle phone prototype
- A SIM card with nationwide coverage on a GSM network
- 2.5 hours of information and instruction on how to make a mobile phone
- You are a knowledge-seeker and love trying something new.
- You crave new and unique gadgets
- You adore open source
Then this is the campaign to back.
Why do we want to offer you this class? We want to share with you some things we have learned so far on our mission to make a non-rectangular phone, so that you can build your own non-rectangular phones. It took some work for us to get here, and we want it to be easier for the next person.
What value can you obtain from this class? You will learn how to put together a phone in the shape of a circle, and walk out with a working Cyrcle phone prototype. Based on what we teach you, we hope you will go and use these skills to build your own non-rectangular phones and perhaps even teach others how to build theirs.
What value can you obtain from your Cyrcle phone prototype? If you are into phones that fit nicely into your pocket and hand, or hang lightly on your clothes, you will be delighted with this phone. It is based on SEEED Studio’s RePhone Kit, which can make calls and accept texts, and has both open source hardware and open source software. It does have a small touchscreen, and it is 2G. It will most likely not replace your smartphone or flip phone, but it is a fun phone to build, use, and show around to friends.
Are you in our target audience? If you ever wondered how to put together a phone, this class is for you. If you are an educator or a parent looking to engage youth in STEAM activities, learning how to build a phone in our class is a practical and accessible project you can share with your students. If you are simply interested in trying something new in the maker world, this class is for you as well. If you ever thought building a phone was completely unimaginable, this is the chance for you to learn with us by your side.
Can your child sign up for this class? For multiple reasons, we will not be teaching kids this time around. One reason is we only invested in supplies for 150 phones. We can either teach 150 kids, or we can teach 150 grown ups who can then turn around and teach 150 kids each. In fact, you will need to be at least 18 years old to sign up for our class as you will need to bring a credit card and laptop to register the SIM card necessary to activate your phone.
Where can you take this class? You can take this class at a variety of makerspaces throughout the United States. Makerspaces are creative spaces where people gather to learn and make things. They often have 3D printers, laser cutters, electronics, tools, and more. We love makerspaces and one of the main purposes of our campaign is to highlight them. The details of each makerspace on our tour can be found below.
When can you take this class? We will be visiting each makerspace on a particular day. Please check your reward to confirm the day and time your class will be offered.
What do you get to keep from the class? In general, you will walk out of class with a working circular phone and a great base of knowledge to make other non-rectangular phones. Specifically, you get to keep the following equipment, worth over $100.
- One SEEED Studio RePhone Kit, which includes
- 1x Xadow* GSM+BLE
- 1x Xadow Audio
- 1x Xadow 1.54" Touchscreen
- 1x Xadow GSM Breakout
- 5x FPC Cable 35 PIN
- 1x Battery 520mAh
- 10x Rivets 2032
- 16x Rivets 2040
- 8x Rivets 3035
- 2x Kraft Paper
- 1x User Guide
*“Xadow” is the name of one of several lines of modular components sold by SEEED Studios. The great news is that if you want to add even more functionality to your phone after our class, you can order additional Xadow modules from SEEED Studios.
- One Cyrcle phone prototype 3D printed case (of your color choice from the list on this page)
- The STL files for the three pieces of the case so you can 3D print more of your own.
- A SIM card (not pictured).
What colors are available for your Cyrcle phone prototype case? You can choose from the following colors:
- neon green
- glow in the dark blue
What kind of SIM card will be provided to you in this class? In this class we will provide you with a GSM SIM card which enables you to get nationwide coverage on a GSM network but without the contracts, penalties or overage fees. The monthly bill for these cards is $6 plus whatever levels you reach each month (the total we’ve been experiencing using this Cyrcle phone prototype is typically ~$9/month).
What information will be covered in your class? The final 30 minutes we will show you how to assemble your phone, but the the 2 hours prior to that we will cover the following information.
- Phone kits
- Phone kit parts
- Electronic components
- GSM verses GPRS
- 2G/3G/4G and beyond
- SIM cards
- Building Your Phone
Who are your instructors? Christina Cyr has a bachelor’s degree in physics and biochemistry, a master’s degree in engineering, and an unrelenting passion for electronics. She teaches electronics classes at Metrix Create:Space, a makerspace in Seattle. Linda Inagawa has a bachelor’s degree in computer science and music, and she has international program management experience. She has helped launch several new tech products and projects in both the business and nonprofit sectors.
Why should you back us? By backing us, you will be supporting dTOOR to take the first step in our company’s mission to build non-rectangular devices in order to inspire the current mobile phone industry. Not only are we releasing a product, but we are offering this class along with it to encourage other people like you to build their own non-rectangular phones. We like to think out of the box (or rather, the rectangle), and want to connect with those of you who do, too.
As Seen In: 70+ articles have been written about dTOOR's Cyrcle phone in over 2 dozen languages and countries, but not much in the United States. This Kickstarter campaign is our long awaited home country debut.
Do you want to know more about dTOOR? Our company’s name is dTOOR, an acronym for “Designing The Opposite Of Rectangle,” and our product is called the Cyrcle phone. You will be building the simple tester version of our Cyrcle phone prototype in this class. In the future we will release the model 1.0 version of the Cyrcle phone with our board inside. Until then, the Cyrcle phone prototype with SEEED Studio’s RePhone Kit inside is a great way to share our dream and knowledge with you.
- Model A: Created a screen cover out of the “Hello World” paper of the RePhone Kit, as a nod of gratitude to SEEED Studio. Tab was added to the front to open the case more easily.
- Model B: Added a tab at the top for demonstrations so it was easier to find the front. Added a plastic insert to keep the interior components secure. Hinge gap was too wide, but narrowed in Model C.
- Model C: Tried an inset edge, but 3D printers did not tolerate it very well and it left a rough look.
- Model D: Outside rim thinned 1 mm (notice the insert was not resized and it falls into the case, fixed in Model E).
- Model E: Insert widened and pegs added for additional stability.
Seattle, WA - Metrix Create:Space, Saturday, October 1, 2-5 pm Metrix Create:Space is a modern prototyping and fabrication lab focused on digital and distributed manufacturing technologies in Seattle, Washington. With a complement of additive and subtractive machining technologies, its scope runs from electronics to architecture. With its pcb laser structuring and pick and place assembly equipment, Metrix is the most advanced walk-in electronics prototyping facility in the United States. The primary goal of Metrix Create:Space is to enable the public at large to hack, make, build and create new and awesome things by providing easy access to tools and rapid prototyping services for the general public. Established in 2009, the retail hackerspace has a community of creative engineers, professionals and enthusiasts who push the limits of the technology available and create prototypes, products and businesses. You do not need a membership to hang out at Metrix. Open noon-midnight every day. (Christina has been known to teach electronics classes here.)
Chatsworth, Los Angeles County, CA - HexLab Makerspace, Saturday, November 5, 2-5 pm HexLab Makerspace originally started as a rapid prototyping firm that used high-tech gadgets to help companies realize their vision for new products. Today HexLab Makerspace is a community workshop giving people access to learn new crafts, use specialized tools, and teach classes. Public access is available for their 3D printing, laser cutting, and CNC machines. Further, HexLab MakerSpace is dedicated to education through classes. If you want to teach metal fabrication, woodworking, painting, robotics, drawing, collaging, web design, photography, knitting, you name it, this is the place for you. They will help you iron out your curriculum, get the word out to the community, and split the proceeds with you. You do not need to be a member to teach a class. In addition to the equipment of the MakerSpace, they also have 2 classrooms capable of seating 15-25 students. Open daily.
Boston, MA - Boston Makers, Saturday, March 18, 2-5 pm Boston Makers is a 700 sq ft makerspace and non-profit corporation focused on creating a safe, affordable, and collaborative workspace with access to mentors, peers, classes, demo nights, hackathons, after-school programs, digital tools, machines, social space and other resources for the purpose of cultivating a community of makers who share their work and expertise in art, technology and culture. Boston Makers members will have access to state-of-the-art digital production tools like 3D printers, CNC routers, laser cutters, vinyl cutters, milling machines, as well as small scale fabrications tools, computer stations, soldering equipment, and open multipurpose workstations. Boston Makers will team up with local Boston organizations to design and implement community-based workshops, projects, competitions, demonstrations and other special events to create a vibrant network of makers in Boston. Offers free use of the space for personal or group projects. Open Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday nights 7-9 pm.
Your Makerspace! We can come to any makerspace in the United States and teach you and four of your friends (five phones in total) how to put together phones in the shape of a circle, using dTOOR's Cyrcle phone prototype as an example.
Risks and challenges
Since we already have the equipment needed for our classes, the common Kickstarter campaign worry of wondering when your product will be delivered is not hardware dependant in this campaign. Both of us are trained to teach the class, so we have duplicity in human reserves. Thus, the biggest risk that comes with this campaign is if our flight was somehow delayed by weather, in which case our options would be to refund your money if we could not offer the class to you on a different day.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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