Creative hacking of existing baby products

Dear all,

Seeing the energy of the makers community, I have an idea that you may find stupid or interesting... be indulgent! I have a company that manufactures baby products (MP3 players for babies)... One of the most difficult thing when selling this kind of products is the safety qualification, which mostly depends on the plastic case (shape, robustness, chemical composition... etc...). We have done this, and we could reuse the same plastics for different projects.

Now the idea: do you think it would be interesting to publish the exact shape and mechanical constraints of the PCB that goes inside, so that any maker could create a new product and reuse the same case (which we can provide, at a fraction of the cost of 3D printing)?

Maybe it's just stupid, but if not, I'd be happy to try new things. :) What is your feeling on this?

in my personal opinion it is a good idea to disclose it as you might get valuable feedback for your company.

Thanks for the feedback, Rob. Do you know which place would be the best for this? I don't want to spam this forum if it's not the right place... ;)

As I understand it, you seem to be offering to sell your cases, piecemeal in small quantities, for non-commercial products which “makers” could then use as “project cases” by adopting your PCB size and placement of external components (battery, display, pushbuttons etc.).

Did I get that right?

Doesn’t sound such a bad idea to me. Perhaps not quite so practical for small commercial products as it would not really assist CE much either way.

Dear Paul,

Yes this is the idea... I don't really know what you could do with this, but I can imagine that people wanting to create special gifts for their family would be happy to try... I don't think that anyone would be interested in doing any commercial stuff with it, but we never know. :)

The case contains 8 buttons, and we can provide the conductive silicone rubber that makes it easy to print buttons on the PCB, so you just have to choose what you do with this. Maybe just blinking a few LEDs would be fun.

Oh, BTW, did I mention that the case has the shape of a small teddy bear (see picture)?

Looks great, I will take a set. How much? How long are they?

I suggest you contact Maker Shed with them and see if they want to sell them. It is also the sort of thing that Rapid On Line would be interested in.

Paul - yes it will help with CE because CE is self certificating, I used to be responsible for CE at one place I worked.

Dear Mike,

Here are the exact dimensions : Length: 150.5 mm (5.9 in) Width: 66.5 mm (2.6 in) Height: 39 mm (1.5 in) Plastic Thickness: 3mm (0.12 in)

Unit price for plastic parts + buttons + silicone rubber + screws = 9€. If you are interested you can MP me.

Thanks for your suggestions: I will check these sites.

Dear all,

Here is a suggested PCB shape:

specs.pdf (45.5 KB)

Bump for awesomeness of this. I don't know if I'd use a teddy bear one, FTBug, but I'm going to keep my eyes open for any other shapes.

Thanks for the bump! ;) We currently only have this shape of plastic shell available, but we also have plush toys that can host your electronics box (they have a pocket closed by velcro). Is it inspiring for you?

I can post pictures if you wish... :)

You can place a box of max size around 15 x 7 x 4 cm (it's soft, so a bit elastic) in these soft toys. There is a velcro to close the rear pocket.

Sound goes out perfectly through the plush, LED light may also be visible in the dark, you can imagine many different applications... Just in time for Christmas ! ;)

To answer a question that I got: if you want to make sure that it remains washable, you should ensure that the electronics can be removed from the pocket, but I'm not an expert in washable electronics... ;)

If you find something that can stand the washing process, I would be interested to see how you do it! :)

Just got my bears today, they look great. Thanks for the bonus.

It might be a bit before I get round to doing a project with them though as my wife is currently very ill and waiting for an operation.

The first thing I want to do is to produce a gCode file for my CNC to cut the PCB and touch switch contacts. I will post the file here when I have done it.

I like the parts that are thin surrounded by a thick tube so that LEDs will shine through. Cheers

To help you, here are the exact dimensions of the plastic enclosing:

Don't forget to post your results! :D