The floor plan of the new Gearbox Lite facility.
I'm sitting in the new Gearbox Lite facility. The floors were finished over the weekend and there are gaps in the interior walls which will soon be filled by windows and doors. Dust is in the air from the recently plastered drywall and the new darkroom is taking shape.
Many of you share the raw excitement of construction, designing a product and making it happen. That is exactly what Gearbox Lite will be bringing to Nairobi and with each passing day walls are soundproofed, floors are painted, and we publish more information about our upcoming facility!
As you could see in our recent post about the construction things are moving along smoothly. We can now share the floor plan (below) and provide a glance of what our amazing workshop will resemble weeks from now.
When designing the space, we drew on months of research into what people are making in Nairobi, how they are making it, and what they need to be able to take their prototypes to the next level. We held roundtables with local entrepreneurs to find out what they would like to make and what's preventing them from making it. We visited some of the best prototyping labs around the world and consulted experts from companies like Autodesk, PCH, and GE, and top universities including MIT and the University of Edinburgh.
Gearbox Lite is the first step in bringing our dream of a world-class prototyping space, open and available to anyone in Nairobi, to fruition. The space is dedicated to the design, prototyping, and fabrication of industrial and consumer electronics, something we've witnessed an incredible and growing demand for. Let's start the tour at the entrance (which can be seen in the upper right)...
The start of your Gearbox experience will be with a warm welcome from our receptionist who will help sign up new members and provide information on trainings for existing members. On your left you'll see shelves displaying some of the current and future award winning products to be spun out of our facilities. Straight ahead you'll see the design studio -- PC workstations with CAD, CAM, and ECAD software will allow members to add structure to their ideas before building.
The true magic of Gearbox Lite will be the combination electronics lab and fabrication shop. The fabrication shop is surrounded by 6 inch walls to reduce sound with large 8 foot windows to open up the space. Inside you'll find everything from a CNC mill to a drill press. Back out in the main area you'll find workbenches and lockers to store projects while walking towards the electronics lab. With soldering irons, oscilloscopes, a pick and place and reflow oven, a laser cutter, a 3D printer, and a dark room, this high tech professional lab will have the gear to take your project to the next level!
Now that you've completed the walk through of our facility I'd encourage everyone to sign up for our monthly Hardware meet up! As the facility nears completion we will be blogging more regularly providing updates and will soon have a newsletter for our members.
Written by Ryan Fetterly, Gearbox Innovation Fellow