If You Build It, They Will Come - Gearbox Lite

After months of planning and coordination, the team were grinning from ear to ear having built the first wall of Gearbox Lite’s new home in the iHub. The facility, located on the second floor of the Bishop Magua building, is phase 1 of Gearbox’s plan to revolutionize hardware design in Kenya. The birth of Gearbox Lite fittingly comes with a new concrete floor and the smell of sawdust from the newly constructed walls. With noisy machines in an office building, extra soundproofing was a must -- the walls are made of two mechanically separated structures, faced with a layer of 18mm blockboard and 12mm gypsum, and lined with insulation foam (tip: scrap foam from a mattress company works almost as well and is a lot cheaper than made-to-purpose soundproofing panels). Check out the video below to see the construction process.

Gearbox is a catalyst for Nairobi’s present and future hardware start ups.

Gearbox Lite Wall Build from Gearbox on Vimeo.

Gearbox Lite will help introduce Nairobi’s growing hardware community to advanced electronics prototyping. The equipment in Gearbox Lite will include a design studio featuring computers loaded with AutoDesk software, an electronics lab packed with soldering irons, testing stations, a pick and place, reflow oven, and PCB fabrication line, and a fabrication shop with tools for working in sheet metal, plastics, and wood.

What's Next? 

Stay tuned for exciting news over the coming months about our launch and how you can use our facilities. We’d also like to invite the community to sign up for our Nairobi Hardware Meet Up which will kick into full gear as we finish our last coat of paint on the new facility!

Written by Ryan Fetterly, Innovation Fellow.