Kits Initiative


Kit Subscriptions:  Monthly Make-It Program!

We’re excited to launch the Parts and Crafts Monthly Make-It program, an open-source kits initiative to get people building, crafting, and inventing at home!   Every month we’ll take a set of our favorite projects, put them in a box, and mail them out to you along with instructions, how-to’s, and easy to follow guides.  Proceeds to toward making our regular programs more accessible and affordable, while building a library of open-source instruction sets that are free and available to anyone who wants to use them.

Kit subscriptions are also a fun way to help us grow and expand what we do and design new projects.  You get a lot of cool projects at a pretty great price, as well as the satisfaction of knowing you’re supporting a cool project, and we get the stability of knowing that our kit program will produce a baseline quantity of income.  Awesome!

One Lightsaber Per Child

Order your very own DIY lightsaber through our One Lightsaber Per Child program!  Every kit purchased through this program goes towards funding a free lightsaber building workshop with one of our partner Somerville community organizations.  To purchase a light[emitting-diode]saber kit for pick-up, or through the “Give One, Get One” program, visit our store.  Printed instructions for kit assembly come with the kit, but a digital version is available here, for the curious.

The kit contains a number of pieces that we have manufactured or prepared in some way, but they are all relatively simple to acquire and make.  Instructions for making all of the kit components yourself (as well as some design notes) can be found here.. All of our instructions are open source projects licensed under the CERN Open Hardware License, version 1.2 which is available here.

Community Supported Education

We ran a kickstarter for this very project about 4 years ago.  It went really well, in many ways — we raised a modest sum of money (around $10,000 all told) which we used to, well, kick-start some of our project documentation as well as our nascent workshop programs.  We sent out a lot of kits and learned a lot about how much work and money is involved in sending out a lot of kits.

It’s a project that we abandoned, after that first run, because we couldn’t keep up with doing CSEs while starting and growing our physical space and its attached programs.  We’re returning to it now because we’ve always had it on the backburner as a possible way to fund open-source, educational kit R&D, and with many of our day-to-day programs having achieved an unprecedented level of stability, now seems like a good time.  Sample kits include:

Lights and LEDs: Lightsaber, flashlight, and other light-up fun

Mousebot:  Semi-autonomous skittering robot-thing

Sounds: Coqui, Box of Noise, paper speaker

Spinning Lights/Magic Wand

Dynamo/Wind Power

Lego Locks

Electric Car, Solar-Car, Bristlebot

Neat!  Sign me up!

If you are interested in signing up, or hearing more about the project when we launch, please contact us though — we’d love to hear from you and keep you in the loop.