About this project
Introducing the PFx Brick! A device which transforms your LEGO® creations with awesome new possibilities for lighting and, for the first time, sound! The PFx Brick was designed and developed by longtime LEGO® fans Jason Allemann and Michael Gale in order to add extra magic to their own LEGO® creations. Using their engineering skills and experience, the PFx Brick has evolved from a concept to a mature pre-production prototype.
Lights, sound, action; these three words perfectly summarize the essence of the PFx Brick. Never before have these capabilities been available on a single device, in such a small form factor, and designed specifically for LEGO® builders. That is, until now!
- The PFx App makes setup and customization of your PFx Brick easy and fast!
- Setup your PFx Brick just the way you want it!
- Easy and secure updates to keep your PFx Brick up to date
- No device drivers required to connect to the PFx Brick
We have expanded our reward tiers to offer a wide range of rewards including individual PFx Brick rewards, value packages with accessories and exclusive limited quantity rewards. When you receive your PFx Brick, we want you to immediately benefit from all of its awesome capabilities, especially for lighting and sound. That is why we have bundled the PFx Brick with both speakers and LEDs into several value packages. We also offer discounted 2 pack bundles which allow you to save on shipping costs.
The table below summarizes the available reward tiers. The pricing shown in USD and EUR currencies is for guidance purposes and you should consult current exchange rates from CAD for the latest pricing.
The design of PFx Brick has reached the point whereby it is ready for volume production. Clearly, the costs involved with achieving volume production are well beyond our means. We have already invested a great deal of time, money, and effort to get the PFx Brick to this stage. We need your help to make this next step a reality.
Volume production of the PFx Brick involves 5 key tasks:
- Procurement of electronic components and printed circuit boards
- Assembly and testing of electronic circuit boards
2. ABS Plastic Brick Enclosure
Production for the PFx Brick enclosure in ABS plastic with 3D printing services from our friends at 4DBrix.
- Procurement of speaker cones, wires, and connectors
- 3D printing of speaker bricks
- Final assembly
PFx Package rewards include bundled accessories so that you can immediately enjoy all of the PFx Brick's capabilities right out-of-the-box.
- Procurement and assembly of Light Accessory Boards (pinLABduo and picoLABduo boards)
- Procurement of LEDs for PFx package rewards (LEDs are picoLED™ products courtesy of our friends at Brickstuff)
Obtaining legal and regulatory certification can be very costly and require the services of accredited testing laboratories and agencies. We intend to acquire certifications for European CE mark, USA FCC part 15/B, and Canadian ICES-003. These certifications verify that electronic products meet the necessary electrical safety, electromagnetic interference and electromagnetic compatibility requirements defined in these standards.
We have put the PFx Brick into many different demo models of all different sizes, shapes, and themes. In addition to our own extensive testing, we have recruited a team of awesome LEGO® builders from different building themes to really put the PFx Brick to the test! Their valuable feedback will ensure that the PFx Brick truly captures the needs of builders and meets our desired levels of quality and reliability.
Check out this awesome review video made by Sariel when he tested the PFx Brick...
1. Are shipping costs included?
No. Shipping costs are added to your reward pledge as part of the Kickstarter checkout process. However, we're able to offer fixed flat rate shipping worldwide of $10 CAD!
2. What about taxes, duties, and other fees?
Canadian customers will be charged HST and provincial taxes as required. Customers in other countries may be subject to import duties and VAT charged at delivery. Shipping packages will have a commercial invoice attached for value declaration at cost.
IMPORTANT FOR CANADIAN BACKERS: The shipping cost charges include the cost of shipping + 13% HST rounded down to the nearest dollar. The shipping charges might seem high, but that is because it is the sum of shipping and HST. We are required by law to collect and remit 13% HST for all Canadian backers--no exceptions.
3. How do I get more accessories for my PFx Brick?
The Fx Bricks web store will allow you to purchase additional accessories such as light accessory boards, speakers, and much more.
4. What's the deal with LEGO® patents and Fair Play?
Fx Bricks respects the intellectual property rights of the LEGO® group. We want to clearly state that the PFx Brick is not officially endorsed or supported by the LEGO® Group and is not an officially supported Power Functions™ compatible device.
The Power Functions™ system is a registered trademark of the The LEGO® Group. Therefore, items such as the Power Functions™ compatible connectors on the PFx Brick are visually different from the LEGO® group implementation (similar to the Power Functions™ compatible connectors on the SBrick and BuWizz products). Furthermore, the electrical design of the PFx Brick connectors is different in that we support a wider range of operating voltages, arbitrary use of the signal pins (both for input and output), and we use gold-plated, hardened nickel pins rather than folded tin-plated tabs.
The infrared protocol used by the LEGO® Power Functions™ system is publicly documented and use of the protocol as described is prohibited for commercial use. However, the PFx Brick does not use the LEGO® Power Functions™ infrared protocol as described. Rather, the PFx Brick is agnostic of infrared protocol detail in much the same way as other universal IR remote control devices such as the Logitech Harmony universal IR remotes. The PFx Brick is capable of operating with a wide range of IR protocols and carrier frequencies. The PFx Brick supports the use of LEGO® brand IR remotes because it has passively recorded the IR signature of each IR action—even from IR remotes not documented by the LEGO® group. This signature is used to trigger arbitrary actions. The protocol detail within the message signature is completely irrelevant and is not even processed by the PFx Brick. The benefit of this approach is the ability to support a wide variety of IR remote control devices. Obviously, our priority is to support LEGO® brand IR remotes since the PFx Brick is focused primarily on the needs of LEGO® builder community.
1. Electronic Component Procurement
Supplier lead times
The electronic component market is very fluid and dynamic. Inventory that was available last week may disappear the following week. It's not uncommon to find lead times for replacement parts well into months.
Discontinued, obsoleted, unavailable parts
For the same reasons, we may find some parts have been discontinued...
We can mitigate some of this risk by identifying form/fit/function replacement parts for as many components as possible. In fact, we have already done this for many of the components. This will allow us to quickly substitute an equivalent part if we find that it's unavailable.
2. 3D Printing
The production of many parts with 3D printing always carries risk. These risks include maintaining consistency of mechanical tolerances, material quality, and colour over the entire production schedule. We have tried to mitigate these risks as much as possible with our 3D printing partner 4DBrix. They have been very helpful in optimizing our 3D models for their process and have printed many prototypes to help validate placement, alignment, and clearance issues.
We are reasonably confident that the PFx Brick will comply with the requirements of CE, FCC part 15/b, and ICES-003 certifications. However, there is still a risk that small design modifications might be required in order to satisfy the test. Furthermore, these certification procedures are burdened with a great deal of documentation and process. This could impact our delivery schedule if the amount of effort required becomes greater than expected.
4. Schedule Risk
As with any engineering project, we have tried to estimate the delivery schedule as best we can with the information available. However, there will always be unforeseen circumstances which can add delay to our schedule. These delays could result from lead time issues, insufficient labour capacity, insufficient inventory, engineering design changes, etc.
In the event of any significant delay, we assure you that we will maintain transparent communication via timely updates to our valued backers.
Risks and challenges
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