Introducing Gadgeteer's FEZ building block

We see that most of you have been using $12 plastic plates to hold your designs. We wanted to make this easier to prototype and make the cost lower. We can simple offer a plate for about $4 that is same as the ones you guys buy for $12 but we think we can do better than just a flat board. What if this can be extended or made so you can build an enclosure out of it. We have been thinking about this for a while and made few prototypes. Over all, we love the idea but we see room for improvement.

We have created a packman-xbox-ddr demo for maker fair. Kids should have a lot of fun moving packman using DDR dancing pad. We used this first demo to test out the new FBB, FEZ Building Blocks.

Some insiders have tried these physically already and we received some valuable feedback.

Here are some pictures for you to take a look. Comments are welcome.

Edit: these were updated with newer and better version that is mush easier to solder.


DDR and Pacman!? Brilliant!

Take a lot of pictures/videos at Maker Faire

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[quote]We see that most of you have been suing $12 plastic plates [/quote]…
Haha. no we are not suing.
Jokes apart. I love this concept. I bought 4 of those Tamiya plates, only if this was available earlier :frowning:

Very nice! When will be able to order the FEZ Building Blocks?


Yep ditto. Nice job on the enclosures and the pacman game. Way more fun than dancing on that pad.

It would be cool to have a thin solid cover plate that could be installed on top of a FBB for added protection from the elements (and secrecy!!!). Maybe with four corner holes for mounting.

Maybe some female only standoffs for makin it look pretty on the outside and holdin the plate on.

Cool! When will they be available?

I’ll see if I can mock up a part and print it out this weekend on the replicator.

Do you just want press-fit “studs” or do you want to be able to screw in a #4-40 button head screw into it? (or both?)

Cool. As a hobbyist, for my application either would work. If press fit are easily removable and sit nice and flush, that would work and look good. However, seems like the screws would give added mounting flexibility since a cover plate hole could be used for both a gadgeteer module/main board mount and for holding the plate on. If I’m picturing it in my head correctly. :slight_smile:

Cool, I’ll see if I can come up with a method that does both, if not, will do one of each version.

Here’s a sample drawing of the press-fit module. I’m having a little issue getting it to 3D print reliably without using supporting material, so the “nubs” aren’t coming out uniform in size. Will work on it more this weekend.

I’m considering taking the top nubs off and making those tapped holes that so that you attach/detach the top easier than having to use “brute force” to remove the lid. That would also making printing likely easier as I can print it upside down and have the top be completely flat.

Nice idea, Steve. I like that much better than having to solder the plates together. What would really top off your part would be threaded 4-40 screw holes in the middle of the nubs to secure it for a slightly more permanent installation. I understand that would likely be quite a challenge with a Makerbot :wink: Will there be flat pieces also for joining horizontal flat surfaces?

We really just need to convince someone to change the Gadgeteer standard to align with Lego bricks. That would be huge… :wink:

Yeah, I actually have that in the works, and may end up making them all that way if I can get the printing more uniform. Printing the screw holes isn’t actually as much of an issue as you think it would be. As for your second thought…

I actually had that thought too, and plan on making a “lego” flat connector plate to connect two FBB plates in the same plane (an extender plate if you will). I can cut those on the CNC and won’t have to worry about droopy plastic being printed.

If I can get the design down and tolerances set, I think these would be much better made using plastic injection than extrusion (3d printer) or milling (CNC). Have my eye on a workbench sized plastic injector, just need to convince myself that I really need to spend 4-6 grand to make tiny plastic pieces. An order for say 10,000 of these would help me sway my purchase :wink:

BTW, I’m thinking of calling these FBBC - FBB Connectors :wink:

Moved the FBBC discussion here:

We received the new version of these with plated edges. Those plated edges cost more but make soldering them side-by-side SO EASY! This was one of the main problems for not pushing these through production. Now that this is resolved, we are looking for a place to make them CHEAP. We know you like them cheap as these are disposable :slight_smile:

Not too long, you will have awesome way to build your own gadgeteer projects and build your own plates any size, tiny to huge!

@ Gus - Yay!

Hopefully now we’ll be able to solder them without burning up the substrate. :slight_smile:

Looking good!

How are the tolerances? Looks like alignment is a bit off.

@ devhammer - Oh yeah they solder up real nice. :slight_smile:

@ ianlee74 - Yeah was in a hurry to test it out. :slight_smile: But there is a little play in them.

Before I buy some more Tamiya plates, what’s the status of the building blocks?