PIXL: A Magnetic Building System
An infinitely expandable magnetic building system designed for 2D and 3D creations. Let your creative side out to play.
This project will only be funded if it reaches its goal by Sat, December 15 2018 2:00 AM UTC +00:00.
From The McLachlan Brothers, the team that brought you Fidget Cube...
What is PIXL™?
PIXL™ is a magnetic building system that allows you to create almost anything you can think up, in either 2D or 3D.
The PIXL™ community is growing every single day, and you can help grow it even more! Hit one of the buttons below and tag a friend or coworker who would build something #PIXLperfect with PIXL™.
How do I use it?
It’s as simple as it looks. Start with one PIXL™ block (patents pending), then place another PIXL™ block next to it. You’ll immediately feel them click together. No interlocking knobs, grooves, or specific sides to line up - it’s really that easy.
From there, it’s up to you. Do you want to build up? Sideways? In all directions? We’d prefer to not tell you how to play. You do your thing.
Thanks to the help of rare-earth magnets that are contained in PIXL™, connecting PIXL™ blocks is simple.
Once connected, you can choose to line up the PIXL™ blocks to be perfectly flush with each other, or you can choose to add some dimension to your model by rotating/shifting the blocks to result in more depth.
On that note, can we point out that we put a ridiculous amount of time into dialing in the right magnetic strength? Too much attraction, and it interfered with building structures. Too little, and 3D structures began to feel a little flimsy.
We should also mention that we designed PIXL™ to not just be magnetic, but to be self-correcting/auto-polarizing. What does that mean? Basically, you can place any PIXL™ block next to another PIXL™ block and it will be attracted to it, correcting the polarity as needed.
Four sizes, infinite possibilities.
Speaking of spending time agonizing over design details to make PIXL™ just right, we also carefully deliberated over what we felt would be the perfect sizes for PIXL™. What we came up with was the following:
It’s fairly self-explanatory, but if you didn't catch it - each 2-block is the same size as two 1-blocks lined up next to each other, and so on.
Inventor’s note: we prefer to use all sizes for 3D models, while using only 1-blocks for 2D models (as we love the visual effect this results in), but you can mix it up and build in whatever way you choose!
For a visual breakdown of how many blocks of each size are included for the 3 packs available as rewards, please see below:
For artists, engineers, designers, tinkerers, dreamers.
We're optimistic about the number of applications that the PIXL™ community will find for PIXL™. We could talk all day about how we love to play with PIXL™, but the real testament will be once we get this out into the world and see how individuals are using it creatively in their workplaces or simply their everyday hobbies and lives at home.
What can I make with PIXL™?
Almost anything you can think up. Start small, but dream big. How about a cute jumping spider, a rocket ship, an apple tree, a creative remix of your favorite family picture, a cozy log cabin?
We designed PIXL™ to be an infinitely expandable building system. In other words, there’s practically no size limit when it comes to what you want to create.
Of course, you’ll play around with how many PIXL™ blocks can be supported magnetically in any particular direction, but we think that’s part of the fun of building. Hint: if your design involves really large overhangs, try getting even more creative by building supporting structures beneath it!
Check out some of the designs we put together while playing with PIXL™:
As we’ve played with PIXL™ throughout the process of developing it, we’ve gravitated toward our preferred styles of building. What we really want to know is this: what do you want to build with PIXL™? We’d love to hear what ideas you have brewing...
I’m not really into building/construction sets. Would I enjoy PIXL™?
We believe in playing. And we think everyone has a creative side, whether or not they’d traditionally consider themselves a "creative person". What we hope to do is provide the world with a tool in PIXL™ that unleashes that creativity.
One of our favorite things about PIXL™ is that there are just no rules. So whether you’re the type of person who enjoys puzzles (we affectionately refer to 2D PIXL™ builds as next-gen puzzles), someone who enjoys making things with their hands, or perhaps don’t even find yourself fitting into any of the aforementioned descriptions, we think you’ll be surprised by just how addictive PIXL™ is to use.
A palette fit for da Vinci.
PIXL™ is available in 52 different colors.
You may feel overwhelmed by the abundance of choices - but there’s no time for that, you’ve got masterpieces to make! We’ve made it easy to understand the palette by breaking down these 52 colors into 13 packs: White, Black, Grey, Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Purple, Pink, Beige, Brown, and Rainbow.
Each PIXL Starter Pack™ and PIXL Builder Pack™ pack contains an assortment of 5 shades based off of the pack’s core color.
Please note these exceptions to the above: the White and Black packs only contain those core colors (without shades of White or Black), and the Rainbow packs include core colors of Grey, Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Purple, and Pink.
Every masterpiece starts with a Canvas.
While PIXL™ can be built and used on just about any hard, flat surface, we knew the moment we used early prototypes that we wanted a magnetic platform as an alternative surface on which we could build our PIXL™ models.
Enter PIXL Canvas™.
PIXL Canvas™ is the perfect foundation for all of your PIXL™ creations, whether they’re 2D or 3D. It’s outfitted with a magnetic interior, meaning your PIXL™ blocks will sit firmly and neatly on top of it.
PIXL Canvas™ comes in 6 different sizes to accommodate your designs:
The “resolution” of each PIXL Canvas™ is equivalent to the dimensions of how many PIXL™ blocks can be lined up width x length on the surface.
Please note that PIXL Canvas™ sizes larger than 15x15 are not offered in any current reward tiers, but will be available for purchase once backer surveys are sent out (along with individual 7x7 and 15x15 PIXL Canvas™ sizes).
Is it magic? Not quite, but there is a Wand.
Though PIXL™ is self-correcting/auto-polarizing, sometimes you may want to override the magnetic alignment between multiple PIXL™ as you're building. We’ve got you covered.
PIXL Wand™ uses a fixed polarity design, meaning the super strong magnets in each end will essentially force the polarity of an individual PIXL™ block to be aligned in a particular direction when the PIXL Wand™ is brought in contact with the block.
This can be particularly helpful if a block or collection of blocks is being unusually stubborn in its alignment. Hint: PIXL Wand™ is a tool that is situational, as using it too liberally may end up pulling apart your model.
Please note that PIXL Wand™ will be available for purchase once backer surveys are sent out (after the project comes to a close).
While prototyping PIXL™, one of our favorite things to do was to share with each other the designs we had each come up with. We knew this process of sharing ideas and sparking inspiration had to become a central part to the PIXL™ ecosystem.
That’s why we developed the PIXL Companion App™.
With the PIXL Companion App™, you can map out your designs in a 2D or 3D environment before building them in real life (or perhaps digitize a design in the app once you’ve already built it in real life). Then, using the Discover gallery, share your designs with the rest of the PIXL™ community and see what other users are building, too!
Have a picture or favorite piece of art you want to remix in 2D with PIXL™? Simply upload it to the app, which will convert it into an easy-to-follow blueprint, made out of the exact colors from the PIXL™ Palette. You can choose what “resolution” you want the blueprints to be shown in, meaning you can convert the image to be buildable on a 7x7 PIXL Canvas™ all the way up to a 63x63 PIXL Canvas™.
The PIXL Companion App™ will be available for download upon shipping, in the Apple App Store, as well as in a web-based application (depending on demand, an Android version is being considered, too). We’re also playing around with the idea of a closed-beta, available exclusively to PIXL™ backers. Stay tuned...
PIXL™ is available at launch in three different pack sizes: PIXL Starter Packs™, PIXL Builder Packs™, and PIXL Packs™.
PIXL Starter Packs™
For, well, getting started.
We designed the PIXL Starter Pack™ as a great way to get your feet wet with PIXL™. This is a perfect collection of PIXL™ blocks to allow you to make models on the “lower resolution” end of the scale. Don’t be fooled by the “Starter” prefix, though - this collection is seriously versatile and a ton of fun.
PIXL Builder Packs™
For when you’re serious about growing your PIXL™ toolbox.
We put together the PIXL Builder Pack™ for those of you who have big ideas.
For when you want to add to your palette with specific colors in specific sizes of PIXL™. (In other words, each PIXL Pack™ includes multiple PIXL™ blocks of one specific color and size).
Need a handful of 3-blocks in the lightest shade of Blue? No problem. How about a collection of 6-blocks in the darkest shade of Pink that we offer? You got it.
For a visual breakdown, please see below:
You’re the early adopters. The ones who “got it” before the rest of the crowd caught on to what was happening. For that, we want to thank you! You’ll get a chance to snag your own PIXL™ at a discounted price, and will be the very first people in the world to get your hands on PIXL™.
Check out our rewards below and choose one that's right for you.
Check back here later to see stretch goals that, once reached, will unlock additional surprises!
We’re Antsy Labs - and more specifically, the McLachlan Brothers (Matthew and Mark). We’re the guys behind projects like Storm the Gate (which we launched along with our dad, Keith), Duet, and most recently, Fidget Cube.
It is an absolute obsession of ours to see an idea evolve from an intangible state all the way through to launch, and we couldn’t be more excited to be sharing our latest passion project, PIXL™, with you here.
Where are you in the process?
We’re glad you asked. PIXL™ is ready to hit the big-time: mass production.
Tooling is already underway (we’re ready to scale this tooling appropriately as the project progresses), packaging has been designed, and all we’re waiting for is… you.
“So why do you need Kickstarter?”, you may be asking yourself. Great question. After successfully funding and delivering five projects here, Kickstarter has become like family to us. So it only felt right to bring our latest idea back to this community that we love. We wanted to share PIXL™ with you before anyone else.
In addition, the feedback and funding that we receive from our Kickstarter community assists us in being able to place a large enough order for mass production, ensuring that we can make the absolute best possible version of PIXL™.
What does your timeline look like?
We’ve been hard at work on PIXL™ over the last two years. In fact, PIXL™ has its origin in a time prior to us launching Fidget Cube.
Though we’ve probably made it pretty clear in our words above, we’ll say it again here: the version of PIXL™ you’re seeing today is the culmination of a ridiculous amount of time spent sketching, CAD modeling, 3D printing, building with prototypes, tooling, refining (and repeating this process over and over again).
We can’t wait for you to get your hands on PIXL™. Check out our target timeline - beginning with the initial idea for PIXL™ and ending with your rewards shipping - below.
Help out by sharing PIXL™ with your friends! (#PIXLperfect)
We seriously can’t do this without you. So if you’re digging PIXL™, please don’t hesitate to share it with your friends. We’ve made it really simple. Just hit one of the buttons below (or at the top of the page).
Gifting PIXL™ for the holidays?
We know that many backers of ours will be wanting to gift PIXL™ to their friends or family for the holidays. And while our Christmas wish would truly be granted if we were able to deliver rewards by the time the big jolly man makes his rounds later this year, the reality is that we will always prioritize quality over pushing flawed product out the door to meet shipping deadlines.
That said, we know that PIXL™ will make a great gift for Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanza, or whichever holiday(s) you may celebrate, and so we’ve put together some special downloadables below. If you’re planning on gifting PIXL™ for the holidays (knowing that you will likely be receiving your reward in the new year), feel free to use one of these downloadables as a card to give to your lucky friend/family member to let them know what will soon be coming!
Be sure to check back throughout the project for additional downloadables!
Don’t be shy! Shoot us a message or post a comment and we’ll do our best to get back to you with an answer right away.
On that note, we’d also like to mention that this project is proudly supported by HoneyBrandger™, a passion project of ours that was born out of the many lessons learned over our five previous Kickstarter campaigns. HoneyBrandger™ is a team of awesome people - or HoneyBrandgers - that are super knowledgeable about Kickstarter and PIXL™, and are ready to help answer any questions you may have! If you’re reaching out to us, there’s a good chance you’ll be getting a friendly response from a HoneyBrandger™ on our team. So be nice! (They won’t bite... promise).
Have an idea that you think would make PIXL™ even better? Let us know! The Kickstarter process is one that allows the entire community to be involved in the journey. Due to our current status with tooling already underway, we may not be able to incorporate any changes for rewards that will be shipped once the project comes to a close - but there’s a chance we can file away interesting ideas for future PIXL™ releases!
This project isn't just for backers in the United States. We'll be shipping PIXL™ worldwide!
That being said, there are unique processes that apply specifically to international backers that we'd like you to be aware of. Please note that there is no way for us to charge any additional amount on our end for any applicable VAT/duties that may be a result of a specific country's local tax code. Therefore, these fees may be incurred upon receipt of your reward. These fees are the responsibility of each backer, and additional information regarding VAT/duties can be found in our FAQ below.
We also want to bring attention to the fact that some international locations routinely experience higher rates of lost or stolen packages. If this applies to where you live, please be aware of this and take this risk into account when you pledge.
In addition, due to first class shipping fees and the dimensions of PIXL™, shipping rates may seem a bit high for some international locations. Not to worry though, our awesome shipping partners at Shipwire have ensured us that the current rates we’ve been given for international shipments are the absolute lowest available while still resulting in a timely delivery.
Some final thoughts.
PLEASE NOTE: PIXL™ is a toy for adults (18+) only.
PIXL™ is not a children's toy, and should not be used by individuals under the age of 18. We are not marketing PIXL™ to any individual under the age of 18, and PIXL™ should not be given to individuals under the age of 18. If you have children under the age of 18 in your home, please be mindful to keep PIXL™ entirely out of their reach.
We will be offering a childproof canister for those with children in their lives, which will be available once we send out the backer surveys (after the project has come to a close). We are also exploring the potential of adding a non-toxic bittering agent to the outside of each PIXL block, but we are still working to assess the viability of this process. For a full list of warnings and precautions, please click here.
Finally, as is standard with Kickstarter projects, PIXL™ is in the final stages of development and therefore the prototype product displayed in images and videos shown in this project page (including those displaying software) is subject to change in the final production version.
Risks and challenges
This is our 6th Kickstarter project together (we’ve had experience with 8 projects total). The lessons we’ve learned over the last 8 years of doing this have stuck with us through each project we’ve launched.
Our most recent project, Fidget Cube, ended up getting funded 43,100% of the original goal, causing us to have to rapidly scale our operations in order to deal with the global demand we faced overnight. The relationships we formed as we fulfilled all of the rewards for that project have positioned us to better deal with large-scale production and fulfillment moving forward.
We already have tooling underway, and have confidence that we have worked out many of the kinks that could pop up as we enter into mass production.
That being said, we know that things don’t always go as planned, and one of our biggest priorities as Kickstarter creators is to be honest and transparent with our backer community. If issues arise that affect the target timelines set forth above, we promise to do everything within our power to correct those issues and maintain an appropriate line of communication with the PIXL™ community as we do so.
Phew! You've made it to the end of our project page. Well done. And thank you for your support!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- All gone!