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$530
pledged of $10pledged of $10 goal
16
backers
23hours to go

All or nothing. This project will only be funded if it reaches its goal by Wed, October 16 2019 4:03 PM UTC +00:00.

MOFITI: What's Your Inspiration? Next Level Fuse Beads

This time, we are taking Perler fuse beads to the next level with a concept we call MOFITI.

MOFITI: What's Your Inspiration? Next Level Fuse Beads

This time, we are taking Perler fuse beads to the next level with a concept we call MOFITI.

$530
pledged of $10pledged of $10 goal
16
backers
23hours to go

All or nothing. This project will only be funded if it reaches its goal by Wed, October 16 2019 4:03 PM UTC +00:00.

About

This project is a test for the type of support we can garner for using Perler beads as a medium for teaching basic STEM and design principles. Any share or support will help make a great case for our ongoing 2-generation outcome oriented classroom development!

Perler fuse beads are a classic crafting material. They are super fun when they come in large buckets with a bunch of different hues and colors. Coming up with great designs is challenging though and after thinking through a great pattern, it often turns out that you don't need very many beads at all to get started.

We have published a simple calculator tool with Code.org which helps you design a simple pattern online or on a mobile app. There are plenty of other tools online that help you create a Perler bead design but since there is not a universal way of exporting and importing fuse bead designs, we'll have to use our own very simple language to get Mofitis made called JSON. Play around with the above tool. You'll see that in order to create a duck:

Design code that designs a duck using Code.org

... you will need: 5 orange beads, 3 green beads, 19 light blue beads, 34 red beads, 8 yellow beads, 1 black bead and optionally 186 clear beads.

JSON format showing how many beads you'll need for your design

It can be difficult to do this work by hand if you are playing with a huge bucket of Perler beads without the aid of a calculator. That's why it can be useful to learn how to use these basic software tools to help you design and express your creativity!

Once you have made your design, we will go through the process of: obtaining beads, sorting through the beads, counting up the numbers that you'll need to make your design and making sure that it all fits in a cheap envelope using 1-2 United States Postage Stamps. All you'll need at home is an iron.

Of course, the hardest part is coming up with a cool design worth spending your Kickstarter bucks on. That's why we are testing out curriculum development skills via a published walkthrough which uses Perler beads as a medium for building STEM-based design tools. We are deploying a curriculum-based approach (kind of like the Raspberry Pi code club projects: https://codeclubprojects.org/en-GB/webdev/pixel-art/) to introduce to designers of all ages how to express creativity using Perler beads as a medium.

With the help of ours or your own program calculator, you will know exactly how many Perler beads you need. Send it to us in JSON format. We'll include the correct number of beads and you can assemble your very first Perler bead creation to see what the experience is all about. While you focus on creating your perfect design, we'll be busy figuring out how to package your perfect number of beads. 

138 Beads would be considered a Small Piece of Mofiti
138 Beads would be considered a Small Piece of Mofiti

Based on what you come up with using the Mofiti Calculator, you can order your Mofiti in one size: Medium. That means there should be more or less 250 beads in your design. If you are curious: 500 Perler beads weigh about 1 oz which is the maximum weight that you can mail in a United States Postal Service envelope with just one stamp. If you are curious about what 500 Perler beads look like, here is a snapshot:

On the left is what 500 Perler beads look like (which corresponds to about 1 oz: the maximum weight supported by 1 USPS Postage stamp)
On the left is what 500 Perler beads look like (which corresponds to about 1 oz: the maximum weight supported by 1 USPS Postage stamp)

Of course, if you are not very creative but want to show your support for this method of spending time with little ones, you can purchase a leftover piece of pizza for $7. Depending on which beads are leftover, your slice of pizza could really look like anything. Here's one that we just made using the prototype Mofiti Calculator: 

Not the most impressive pizza but it contains: 16 crust pieces, 21 cheese pieces, 7 pepperoni pieces and 4 mushroom pieces. That's a total of 48 pieces.
Not the most impressive pizza but it contains: 16 crust pieces, 21 cheese pieces, 7 pepperoni pieces and 4 mushroom pieces. That's a total of 48 pieces.

Actually, we are just kidding. If you would truly like a slice of said pizza, our fuse bead pizza chef on deck (Andy) will bake his best single slice of pizza using a circular base rather than the default square base provided for our Kickstarter prizes. When you receive your special pizza slice, you can make Andy's pizza spin or use it as a coaster or drink cover. Here's a demo of what happens when you give out the same number of ingredients with two different bases:

Avocado Four ways: 15 dark green pieces, 9 light green pieces and 2 brown pieces results in 4 very different avocados.

We'll be using all sorts of software tools to get to new creations but it all starts from learning about the basics. Here's an example of sample code to draw a virtual circular baseboard exactly like the physical baseboard in the picture above: 

https://repl.it/@radishpower/RoundGreenBaseBoard If you already know something about how to program, see if you can use Turtle to draw a square baseboard exactly like the one above! If you know absolutely nothing about how to program, see if you can figure out how to click run to get familiar with the cloud-based Coding Environment. We regularly use this tool in introductory Computer Science classrooms to complete homework assignments. Once you get familiar with drawing squares and circles, you'll start getting all sorts of ideas like how to make silhouettes for lions, tigers and bears!

repl.it is a cloud-based prototype tool that's great for cutting back the time it takes to set up a development environment on your personal machine. We used it here to demonstrate how to set up a basic circular baseboard.

Follow the directions for submission. From there, after receiving your package in the mail, all you'll need is an iron at home. We will include a small piece of parchment paper and a fuse bead base to make your design come to life.  There are many ways of assembling your Perler beads. One of the more sophisticated methods is to actually use them as beads. We won't go into that here but will at least demo two ways that fuse beads can be fused:

On the left, we have some pizzas that were slightly (over-)baked by Grace. On the right, we have a pixelated heart made using micro fuse beads by an actual expert fuse beader. We'll be shipping out ordinary fuse beads for most of the rewards but the hand-crafter option will be at the discretion of the fuse-bead artist. 

Baked pizza on the left. A micro fuse bead creation on the right.

Get inspired for free by watching that video we made exclusively for Kickstarter or check out some of the neatest pins on Pinterest by typing in "Perler bead creations". Some of my personal inspirations have been pinned here:

https://www.pinterest.com/grace3816/perler-fuse-beads/

As you make your design, don't worry if it doesn't end up being absolutely perfect. I started out wanting to make a silhouette of Baby Hitchcock. Instead, I ended up with a Yin-Yang sign.

It's not what you do that matters, it's how you do it!
It's not what you do that matters, it's how you do it!

What happens if we get a billion orders? If you must know our factory secret: we plan to do much of the sorting by hand (until your orders surpass our expectations). It is an educational approach and it is our culture. In fact, we are developing great curriculum around how to make a Perler bead design mobile app. With enough support, we hope to use the process of virtually designing a Perler bead app a starting point for learning how to build apps that make apps that result in beautiful physical creations!

Learn how to make your own special Perler bead designer app.

If you want to learn how to make your own mobile app using Javascript (like the one here) and want to stay up-to-date with local activities around curriculum design and classroom deployment, consider making a small contribution to stay up-to-date about our ongoing plans.

Perler beads are way cheaper when you buy them by the buckets. Then, we have to sort out the colors.
Perler beads are way cheaper when you buy them by the buckets. Then, we have to sort out the colors.
The app analyzes and counts the beads. You can learn how to make your own app locally.

We have enjoyed coming up with designs with our kids and sticking their creations all over the place. Maybe you will go all out and use your Perler bead creation for all sorts of advanced technological innovations. If so, we at Pixels.IO will be there to help too. What's your inspiration?

It looks like a duck!

Special thanks to: Code.org for providing curriculum building guidelines and an environment for building a basic mobile app. Flipgrid for providing a great social media sharing platform. Repl.it for providing a starting point for learning how to render bead creations.

A special note about our Patron reward 

Participants in the Patron reward option will receive a personal video shot in ASMR style. The bead session will be led by a surprise expert fuse beader (She is behind a lot of the beadwork that you will find online). ASMR stands for Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response related to the sounds associated with the process of putting a Perler bead creation together as in the demo-ed frames of our inspiration video above.

We are currently speaking with a number of groups for our Patron reward option. This option will fund a 2-3 hour session with mothers, moms-to-be, caregivers and young girls who have the ambition to learn how to code and pass on their skills to their peers. Funders of this reward will get matched with a paid fuse-beader and receive a video documenting the process of putting together a piece of Mofiti. Funders will also receive the opportunity to continue working with PixelsIO in the future by keeping up-to-date with ongoing curriculum development and local courses related to this Kickstarter:

THIRD HAUS - A space that sponsors creative experiences for children

City College of San Francisco Take Five - An extracurricular informal group run outside of the traditional classroom

City College of San Francisco - Introductory to Computer Science 2020

My Mom: Eva - A piano teacher who has taught hundreds of students (including myself) in DeKalb, IL over the course of 25+ years

Risks and challenges

We'll take on and document any big challenges that come upon us as a result of big orders!

Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

Environmental commitments

Visit our Environmental Resources Center to learn how Kickstarter encourages sustainable practices.

Long-lasting design

Your virtual design which you need not share with us will stay with you forever in your memories.

Reusability and recyclability

We are recycling materials that still have a long long life ahead of them.

Sustainable materials

Each of our baseboards will be hand-made using sustainable (perhaps even food-grade) materials if we reach an appropriate number of orders.

Environmentally friendly factories

Your best factory is your own creativity. Nurture it and then use the iron and/or heating element to construct your design.

Sustainable fulfillment and distribution

We will start out by using fuse beads as a medium for introducing STEM concepts. If successful, we will turn our attention toward sustainable materials.

Questions about this project? Check out the FAQ

Support

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    Pledge $7 or more About $7

    Leftover Pizza

    You don't consider yourself a creative person but want to show your support for MOFITI. No worries, we'll have ready made *baked* pizza slices with a fun physics twist!

    Includes:
    • A Slice of Pizza Mofiti
    • An Unused Stamp
    • A Folded Unused Envelope
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    Pledge $11 or more About $11

    14x14 = 196 piece Medium Mofiti

    Create your medium Mofiti using the design tool of your choice and receive all the Perler beads you need to make your design. Receive 1 square 14x14 Bead Base.

    Includes:
    • Bead Base
    • All the Perler Fuse Beads You Will Need for your Design
    • Parchment Paper
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    Pledge $35 or more About $35

    4 Baked Bead Bases + Recipe

    4 Bead Bases in 4 Different Shapes: a square, a circle, a heart and a hexagon with just enough Perler beads to get started (You can order more beads on your own from Perler in the US). Receive instructions for how to make your own custom bead bases. Plus, get 2 hours of multi-generational friendly curriculum introducing Computer Science topics using Perler beads as a medium!

    Includes:
    • Bead Base
    • Parchment Paper
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    Pledge $60 or more About $60

    Mofiti Patron

    Fund a 3 hour long course with a fuse-beader who will realize your design. This local participant will test-run 2-generation outcome Intro to STEM programming curriculum. In return, you will get a ASMR-style video documenting the beautiful process from start to end for completing a piece of Mofiti. For this option, you can come up with your own design to see come to fruition. Or, let us surprise you with a twist.

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