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Build Upons are amazingly tiny light up bricks that are LEGO® compatible
Build Upons are amazingly tiny light up bricks that are LEGO® compatible
Build Upons are amazingly tiny light up bricks that are LEGO® compatible
628 backers pledged $40,144 to help bring this project to life.

About

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Build Upons: World's Tiniest Light Up Bricks

$40,144

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We are Lunchbox Electronics and we are creating Build Upons: Light up bricks to build upon your existing LEGO® creations. Light up your robot, house, or spaceship! 

 You can power an LED brick by stacking it directly on top of a power brick, or use the bridge brick to route power to LEDs throughout your design, allowing LEDs to be placed anywhere!

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Our Build Upons are based on the smallest 1x1 brick we could fit an LED into to create elegant and flexible designs. The Build Upons system has three types of bricks: an LED brick, a power brick, and a bridge brick.

                  
 

We are experimenting with LED colors to include in the Limited Edition Kit! Get the Limited Edition bricks before they run out! 

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 The Team

This was the only photo that Puppet had her eyes open.
This was the only photo that Puppet had her eyes open.

*Alicia Gibb* Alicia Gibb is the CEO of Lunchbox Electronics. She has been playing with LEGO® her whole life, but started research on lighting them up in 2007. Alicia has a Masters in Information Science, focusing on physical computing and interaction design. She is also the founder and Executive Director of the Open Source Hardware Association (OSHWA), an organization to educate and promote building and using open source hardware and wrote Building Open Source Hardware. She is a member of NYCResistor, founded and co-chaired two Open Hardware Summits and directs the Blow Things Up Lab at University of Colorado Boulder. Her work has appeared in Wired magazine, IEEE Spectrum, Hackaday and the New York Times.

*Jason Brownstein* Jason Brownstein is the Mechanical Engineer of Lunchbox Electronics. He has also been playing with LEGO® his entire life! He graduated from the University of Colorado Boulder with a Masters in Mechanical Engineering. Jason has prior experience with product design, manufacturing, and design and fabrication of interactive art. Building things to withstand all human conditions is his jam. On any given day you can find him playing with the 3D printer, on the phone with manufacturers, making 3D models, or cuddling baby bunnies.

*Puppet* Puppet is the Marketing Director and Customer Service at Lunchbox Electronics. She has been doing comedic relief all her life. Puppet has an honorary PhD in Antics and Tomfoolery. Talking in a high pitched voice is what she does best. She is also Jason's boss when Alicia is out.

*Our Networks* Our team spreads farther than just who sits in the office everyday. We leverage advice and learn from notable figureheads within the hardware and electronics communities including Nathan Seidle of Sparkfun Electronics, Eric Schweikardt of Modular Robotics, Amanda Williams of Fabule Fabrications, Kipp Bradford of KippKitts, our friends at Sketching in Hardware (where this concept was presented in 2013), and all the friends at NCYResistor (where you can view really early prototypes of this concept).

Technical Details

The bridge bricks allow for flexibility within the design. The bridge bricks route power from the battery pack to the LED bricks, wherever the LED bricks happen to be.

  • The bridge bricks function even when turned 90 degrees! 
  •  Stack up to 10 LED bricks per battery pack. 
  •  The batteries last approximately 120 hours using LEDs of the same color. 
  •  Battery pack uses 3 AA batteries (not included)
Here is a walk through of our design changes in R&D.
Here is a walk through of our design changes in R&D.
This product will be released as open source hardware upon shipping! Trust us - Alicia wrote the book on it.
This product will be released as open source hardware upon shipping! Trust us - Alicia wrote the book on it.

Risks and challenges

The risks and challenges of any hardware project is in the manufacturing. We already have manufacturers lined up for this product who specialize in precision manufacturing and are confident they can achieve the tolerances needed for a good fit. There are often delays with hardware, but we believe we've found manufacturers who are prepared to create our designs and work through changes quickly and effectively. They are responsive to our design changes, give great feedback and work well with us. We have already manufactured a less complicated through-hole LED brick as a trial run: http://www.lunchboxelectronics.com/product/build-upons-pth-edition. Manufacturing the previous brick allowed us to prove that we could create interlocking bricks compatible with LEGO®. Our current challenges are the cost of injection molding and die casting, but that's where you come in!

LEGO® is a trademark of the LEGO® Group, which does not sponsor, authorize or endorse this project or web site.

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    Sticker Pack!

    You'll get assorted stickers from Lunchbox Electronics.

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  2. Select this reward

    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    *Starter Kit*

    This kit includes:
    3 white LED Bricks
    5 Bridge Bricks (brick color TBD)
    1 Power Brick (brick color TBD)
    1 Battery Pack

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    Pledge $35 or more About $35

    *EARLY BIRD*
    *Build Upons Aficionado Kit*
    Jump the line! This group will be shipped first. You will receive the first bricks hot off the press! (They are literally hot when they come out of the mold... but they'll cool by the time they get to you.)

    This kit includes:
    5 white LED Bricks
    10 Bridge Bricks (brick color TBD)
    2 Power Bricks (brick color TBD)
    2 Battery Packs

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    Reward no longer available 100 backers
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  4. Select this reward

    Pledge $40 or more About $40

    *Build Upons Aficionado Kit*
    MOAR LEDs, MOAR power.

    This kit includes:
    5 white LED Bricks
    10 Bridge Bricks (brick color TBD)
    2 Power Bricks (brick color TBD)
    2 Battery Packs

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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge $45 or more About $45

    *GHF Partnership Kit*

    Get the Aficionado Build Upons Kit with more LEDs! 2 purple LED bricks and 2 green LED bricks will be added to the kit to represent support for the Gifted Homeschoolers Forum!

    This kit includes:
    5 white LED Bricks
    2 purple LED Bricks
    2 green LED Bricks
    10 Bridge Bricks (brick color TBD)
    2 Power Bricks (brick color TBD)
    2 Battery Packs

    Check out GHF at giftedhomeschoolers.org!

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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge $60 or more About $60

    *Limit Edition Aficionado Build Upons Kit*

    This is the Build Upons kit with voting power. At this level you get to vote on what color plastic will be used for the bridge bricks and power bricks. In addition, we will upgrade your LED bricks to super fun colors. The LEDs might be purple, blue, blinking or peach! It will be a surprise!

    This kit includes:
    5 Surprise! Various color LED Bricks
    10 Bridge Bricks (brick color TBD)
    2 Power Bricks (brick color TBD)
    2 Battery Packs
    Voting Power

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  7. Select this reward

    Pledge $85 or more About $85

    *Get One, Give One*

    Get 1 GHF Kit and Gift one back to GHF. Donate to education!

    This kit includes:
    5 white LED Bricks
    2 purple LED Bricks
    2 green LED Bricks
    10 Bridge Bricks (brick color TBD)
    2 Power Bricks (brick color TBD)
    2 Battery Packs

    Check out GHF at giftedhomeschoolers.org!

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  8. Select this reward

    Pledge $150 or more About $150

    *Super Bling Build Upons Kit*

    The ultimate in blinky bling. You'll also get to vote on the color of plastic used for our bridge bricks and power bricks.

    This kit includes:
    10 white LED Bricks
    10 red LED Bricks
    10 blue LED Bricks
    5 limited edition LED bricks
    35 Bridge Bricks (brick color TBD)
    7 Power Bricks (brick color TBD)
    Voting Power

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    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    *The Customizer Kit*

    You get to customize your entire kit! Choose up to 200 bricks, mix and match LED bricks, Bridge Bricks, and Power Bricks (Each power brick will come with a power supply)! You can even customize the color of LEDs in your LED bricks! You'll also get to vote on the color of plastic used for our bridge bricks and power bricks.

    This kit includes:
    Your choice of 200 bricks
    Voting Power

    Your kit will be delivered in a lunchbox shaped box.

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Funding period

- (29 days)