New! Professional Project Prototyping System

We will be exhibiting at the World Maker Faire New York, September 22 & 23, 2018.  If you are interested in this product, look us up, or simply register on our "contact" page and let us know you want more information on the Phase Dock Pro3 EcoSystem. 

What inspired this System? 

Watching my fellow Makers struggle to develop, protect, and transport their Raspberry Pi and Arduino projects once they got started.  One friend has two projects on his desk at home -- and hasn't been able to move them for months.  Another friend has taken over the family dining room table and now is threatened with a Thanksgiving deadline to wrap it up!  I've seen enough duct tape, zip ties and rubber bands to know that Makers could use an effective, inexpensive and great-looking solution for their project development, protection and transportation challenges.

My friend has two projects on cutting boards. He is reluctant to move his projects for fear the wires might pull loose. Some of the components are just sitting on top of the cutting board – not screwed down. He considers that tedious and not where he wants to spend his free time.

My friend has two projects on cutting boards. He is reluctant to move his projects for fear the wires might pull loose. Some of the components are just sitting on top of the cutting board – not screwed down. He considers that tedious and not where he wants to spend his free time.

We’ve been asking Makers… Are you working on a single-board computer project?  Are you having any trouble organizing and managing it?  How do you secure the individual components in the right place and orientation?  How do you move it without jostling the connections?  How do you store it when you’re not working on it?  The answers make us confident that Makers want and need a solution.

Phase Dock Pro3 System.jpg

So here is our idea!

Well, it's more than an idea at this point.  We have working prototypes of all the main components.

Your project now looks great, and is easy to protect and transport.  Read more to find out how...

IMG_0267-crop.jpg

Imagine you have a Raspberry Pi.  

Or an Arduino, or a BeagleBoard, or a... 

IMG_0268-crop.jpg

Grab (or print) a component called a Slide, shown here. 

It has a hole pattern with risers to match the mounting holes and protect the underside of the Pi.  You screw your Pi to the Slide.  (Our design actually captures nuts in pockets in the slide, so you can use machine screws or stand-offs… whatever your project requires...rather than self-tapping screws.)

IMG_0286-crop.jpg

Attach the Pi to the Slide with screws.

In the future, the Slide itself will slip firmly into and out of another piece which we call a Click.  Right now this is still a prototype...and the Slide will need to be glued to the Click.  We have a plan to fix that... but for right now, that's how it works. 

IMG_0273.JPG

Grab a Click in the size you need.  

The Click will come in at least four standard sizes to support the most popular single-board computer and electronics projects. 

We are planning a crowd-funding campaign to enable these parts to be injection molded.  They will function better, and be stronger for you.  In the meantime, they can be 3D printed.   

IMG_0275-crop.jpg

The Slide-mounted Pi is connected to the Click. Whoohoo!

See how easy that was?  The prep work is all done.  Now you will see how this makes your entire project so much more fun! 

IMG_0287.JPG

Place the Matrix in your work area. 

The Matrix is made of 1/8” acrylic, with holes lasered in a very precise grid.   

IMG_0276.JPG

Ta da! 

Position your Click-mounted component anywhere you want it on the Matrix.

Gently squeeze the legs and push the Click down until it "clicks" and locks firmly into place. 

Now -- if you want -- you can flip the Matrix over.  Nothing moves.  You can mount it vertically.  All secure.  You can take your project down the hall to show your colleagues.  It still works when you get there.  Ahhh!  Sweet success! 

Oh...but what if you need to re-position the Pi? 

Easy.  You can “unlock” the Click from the Matrix by simply squeezing the legs and gently lifting it.  It releases easily, allowing you to move the Pi to another position.  Or you can move it to a different project board entirely.  It takes about 1 second.  Much nicer than having to unscrew four screws… lose one of the screws…find another screw…drill some pilot holes… grrrrr... well, you get what I mean.

Like I noted, we are currently focusing on developing Slides for the most popular single-board computers, including Raspberry Pi’s, Arduinos, BeagleBoards, breadboards, the ESP family, and other devices. We intend to enable Makers to design and 3D print their own custom Slides for the less frequently used devices. 

With flexibility designed into the Slides, the Clicks will be standardized to integrate perfectly with the Matrix. When we move forward with injection molding, the Slide will attach to the Click without glue – which is not possible with the 3D printed design. 

Our objective for World Maker Faire NY 2018 is to expose this professional project prototyping (Pro3) EcoSystem to many people.  In our exhibit, we want to gather feedback by having a number of Matrixes and dozens of 3D-printed Clicks and Slides available for attendees to try.  

We will collect contact information of Makers who are interested in the Pro3 EcoSystem. We hope to launch a crowd-funding campaign in October or November 2018.  The crowd-funding will help us transition to injection-molded Clicks and Slides. We’re 3D-printing them today, but it’s very slow and the ridges cause some resistance when it comes to inserting them into the grid. 3D printed parts are also vulnerable to heat, and will warp in a hot car.  Not what you want for your hard work! 

We are looking forward to seeing you at the World Maker Faire New York 2018! 

Chris Lehenbauer