A prototype is a preliminary model of something. Projects that offer physical products need to show backers documentation of a working prototype. This gallery features photos, videos, and other visual documentation that will give backers a sense of what’s been accomplished so far and what’s left to do. Though the development process can vary for each project, these are the stages we typically see:
Proof of Concept
Explorations that test ideas and functionality.
Demonstrates the functionality of the final product, but looks different.
Looks like the final product, but is not functional.
Appearance and function match the final product, but is made with different manufacturing methods.
Appearance, function, and manufacturing methods match the final product.
475 Kits is a start-up company offering a monthly subscription service of educational electronic kits designed to harness moments of inspiration and offer an open invitation to engineering.
Each kit will include three projects that teach users to integrate many different technical skills.
The project theme is different in each kit, so every month users will engage with and learn new mechanical and technological principles and skills.
By backing this Kickstarter you are supporting the design and development of new kits. Backers at the $70 level are purchasing a one month subscription and will receive our first kit, the Home Audio Kit, in December. Backers at the $120 level will have a two month subscription and receive the Home Audio Kit in December, and our Animatronics kit in January. Up to a one year subscription of kits are available through this Kickstarter. Additional backing options include interacting with our team, let us call you and inspire you to create. If you’re an educator, back us at the $500 level and we will send you a classroom kit package and work individually with you to develop a lesson plan, or back us at the $5,000 level and our whole team will come to you and lead a demonstration on a kit of your choosing.
Our mission is to create kits that inspire a new generation of makers, offering learners of all ages an open invite to engineering.
475 Kits makes learning fun and not something that must be monitored or facilitated by adults.
475 Kits are designed to remove the learning barrier of getting into tech and engineering fields to provide a more informed and diverse workforce to the industry. We’ve designed it this way so users can first engage with the core concepts, familiarize themselves with the technology itself, and then be able to manipulate the technology independently. After completing these steps, users are encouraged to challenge what’s provided and use the materials to create a new, next step for themselves.
At 475 Kits we aim to change the way we think about learning, and provide the tools and opportunities for learners to take their education into their own hands. The importance of technology and demand for technological skill is only increasing. Through exciting new projects and an engaging interactive community, we want to help learners acquire the skills to develop new technologies, not just operate existing ones. We want you to have the tools to create your own robot, not just use one.
The kit includes three projects that build on each other so that each success inspires and propels you to further learning and greater enthusiasm in the following projects.
Materials for the Month
Difficult to find mechanisms
3D printed parts and more
Step-by-step example projects
Pages to record your discoveries
Makers! Grab your kit and your imagination and then just play; follow step-by-step instructions, refer to the resource map for new ideas, or jump right into designing your own creations. Keep notes to share your ideas with other makers.
Enjoy the self-taught, intuitive learning process of creating; no guidance or Internet access required.
Level 1: The CollabBoard
The CollabBoard project is a social platform for both mixing music and learning about how resistance is used in electronics using graphite pencils.
After working together to assemble the board and drawing custom slide potentiometers, up to four participants are invited to plug their Aux cords into the board and fade in and out their music to allow for a collaborative audio performance. The board also supports splitting each audio input into treble and bass.
Level 2: Electric Ukulele
This customizable ukulele uses a piezoelectric pickup to amplify the sound so makers can turn anything into a string instrument. This flexibility allows for experimentation with different instrument shapes and features; for example, the included sample project is a ukulele that folds in half for maximum portability.
The Electric Ukulele can also be plugged into the CollabBoard as an Aux input.
Level 3: DJ Mixing Station
The third enclosed project is a DJ Mixing Station with spinners made from CDs and bottle caps. This active mixer project touches on basic audio concepts as well as detailing how analog and digital input is received.
Users can load up to four tracks and use the CDs' spinners to fade and mix them together. We also include a four-button “sampling panel” so you can add your favorite siren noise, additional track, or even create a custom drum machine. The design supports the addition of other sensors as well, so you can have endless possibilities regarding what you can do to manipulate your music.
The DJ Mixing Station can also be plugged into the CollabBoard, or you can plug the Electric Ukulele into the Mixing Station.
In addition to the projects that we include in our kits we highly encourage you to build beyond the kit itself. We do this by offering additional project ideas and inspiration that spans beyond what is provided in the physical kit or that was later contributed by the community. One example of a Level 4 project is for our Home Audio Kit: an Electric Ukulele expansion that uses LED Strips and a clear plexiglass neck to create a “Ukulele Finger Position Trainer.” We invite you to share and contribute to these ideas.
475 kits are an entry point for learners age 7 and up to dive into the world of engineering and technology. Providing materials and educational resources, 475 kits facilitates intrinsic learning and a collaborative environment where users are encouraged to celebrate their creativity. Each kit is designed to allow the user to create their own path to knowledge and should not require outside guidance. (Young children may require adult supervision when using potentially hazardous equipment such as hot glue guns.)
Risks and challenges
The ability for 475 Kits to manage production for a year is based on the $55,000 goal, which will be divided into approximately 5 categories: cost of production, paying hired contributors (graphic design and web design), shipping, Kickstarter fees, and further marketing endeavors to keep our company thriving beyond our campaign.
The major challenges going forward are as follows: source material complications, increases in shipping costs, and logistical complications between our team that is located in multiple countries. To curb these challenges, we are sourcing materials and have already been in contact with many of the companies we intend to contract. We have given ourselves a cost of shipping margin (built into the cost on Kickstarter) and are in direct contact with two companies to get accurate bids for addresses across the USA. Production of accompanying materials in the kits, such as instructions and helpful videos, has begun and they will be completed at the end of the campaign and provided to backers to preview.
It is entirely possible we will encounter challenges and complications as we continue our campaign and establishing 475 Kits, but we will keep all backers informed as possible as we move forward. We are so excited to have any form of support and are elated to have you aboard.
Get the very first kit we ship! This kit is finalized and will be ready to go in time for Christmas if we meet our funding goal! This will be our home audio kit, featured in our Kickstarter. This includes a CollabBoard, Ukulele, and a DJ Mixing Station.
Get the first two kits we ship! The first kit is finalized and will be ready to go in time for Christmas if we meet our funding goal! This will be our Home Audio kit, featured in our kickstarter. This includes the CollabBoard, Ukelele, and DJ Mixing Board. Next up is the Animatronics kit, ready in January.
Get the first six kits we ship! The first kit is finalized and will be ready to go in time for Christmas if we meet our funding goal! This will be our Home Audio Kit, featured in our kickstarter. This includes the CollabBoard, Ukelele, and DJ Mixing Board. Next up is the Animatronics Kit, ready in January. You'll also get a preview of your next kit the month before it ships!
We will send 30 individual projects with guidelines for leading a lesson and helping to troubleshoot on site. This is designed for educators interested in this project who would like to bring 475 Kits into their classroom or program! Contact us for more information or customization for this reward, as we want to support educators and their classroom goals to the best of our ability.
Get the first year kits we ship! The first kit is finalized and will be ready to go in time for Christmas if we meet our funding goal! This will be our home audio kit, featured in our kickstarter. This includes the CollabBoard, Ukelele, and DJ Mixing Board. Next up is the Animatronics kit, ready in January. Get a preview of your next kit the month before it ships!
We will send a thank you-approved by you-in our kits so our supporters can thank you too! This will be an index card featuring your name, business, or an image of your choosing! We will release each thank you in the order backed.
*We reserve the right to return your funds and choose not to feature you in our kits if the image or company you choose to feature does not align with our kid-friendly goals*
We come to you! We will visit, bring one of each of the first 5 kits in production, and demonstrate with a group of your choosing how to build and create their own projects!
*Only available for the Continental US. (Sorry, Alaska and Hawaii. We love you, but not the travel costs)