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What is Gearbox?

Gearbox is really two spaces - Gearbox Lite and Gearbox industrial. Both are spaces around which a supportive ecosystem for hardware entrepreneurs is availed, granting SMEs, startups and entrepreneurs access to tools that would typically be beyond their reach, thereby creating a pipeline of inventors and invention-based businesses by removing the key constraints to developing innovative hardware products in Kenya. 

Gearbox Lite is operational and is a prototyping facility specialising in the fabrication of printed circuit boards (PCBs) for electronics. Gearbox Industrial is a larger space (35,000 sq ft) that will do the same but cover all types of manufacturing processes, from metal fabrication to plastics and composites. It will also feature co-location with local and international manufacturing firms, creating a culture of openness and collaboration and exposing newly trained engineers and entrepreneurs to global opportunities.

A learning centre will bring cutting edge knowledge of design and fabrication techniques to the local community, while incubation, investment, and business development services will help entrepreneurs bring new inventions and products to market quickly and efficiently. In addition to these core services, a contract manufacturing facility will give many of Gearbox’s members their first exposure to the world of professional manufacturing, while a research program will build a replicable model for supporting hardware entrepreneurship in developing countries.

 

"Gearbox sees itself as leading Kenya's charge into the 4th Industrial Revolution"
Kamau Gachigi
 

Design

Our members will have access to both design software tools as well as rapid prototyping equipment such as 3D printers, 3D scanners, laser cutters, industrial sewing machines and vinyl cutters. Human-centered design and product design will feature prominently in both the skills attained as well as in developing prototypes of products that best reflect the users’ needs.

 

Engineering

Whether you’re making a robotics arm, solar-tracker or automatic ugali cooker, we have the right set of equipment for you to work on in taking your innovative idea from conception, through design into several iterations until you get to the final working prototype. Rapid prototyping and product testing remain at the core of what we do.

 

Electronics

The makerspace will provide hardware tech enthusiasts with equipment for basic electronics fabrication and testing. The in-house Gearbox Shack, an electronics store, will be a fantastic avenue makers to both purchase hard-to-find electronics as well as sell their small-scale products for with potential to scale up.

 

Fabrication

Rapid prototyping, taking it from concept to prototype in preparation for prototyping to product. Capacity building and training programs for members on the use of different tools and machinery that will be available. In-house product designer experts will be available to assist in and provide prototyping services to the public.

 

Arts & Crafts

The tools and equipment in the makerspace will be ideal for artists looking to improve the finish of their products. What’s even more exciting is the possibility of merging arts & crafts in developing interactive electronics-based products.