CodeBug is "a cute, programmable and wearable device designed to introduce simple programming and electronic concepts to anyone". I first saw it at the BETT Educational Technology conference in London, where I met one of the founders, Tom Macpherson-Pope. As soon as I saw CodeBug, I new I must create a 3D Printed enclosure for it.
When I met CodeBug, I had just finished making my Raspberry Pi box, and brought some to the conference to show the Pi people. Now I had a similar target in the CodegBug - but what really excited me was the small size! I knew I could experiment and make variations without waiting 6 hours for the thing to print, as was the case with the Pi box.
What I really wanted in this first attempt, was just something that maintained some of the "cute" character of the CodeBug microprocessor board, but also made it easy to access the connectors (plugs and conductive "legs").
I also wanted the 5 x 5 led array to be exposed in a way which made it more fun to program - something like the mouth of a creature or a face of a robot or something similar.
Of course, I also wanted to have it stand up so it could be proudly displayed once it had a program loaded up.
I decided that keeping with the original design meant that the buttons would be modeled to look like eyes and the 5 x 5 LED array to look like a mouth. While the CodeBug is called a bug, I saw more of a frog, so I called this first design the "CodeFrog".
I used a two-part design and gave it a clear shape to match the original board, but without every detail on each conductive leg. I also gave it clear eye-shaped sockets and gave it feet which both added to it's ability to stand up and helped to hold the two-part design together with the CodeBug board sandwiched in-between.
3D BitBot robot design to add a flexible arm - using the sockets attached to the body and then just using previously printed arms and hands to make it look cool.
The most important thing was to make sure the face plate fit over the 5 x 5 LED array and the protruding buttons really well so that there was little movement and a strong connection. I measured and experimented with probably 5 or 6 prints before getting that right.
I added a slit in the top of the feet to accept the bottom of the face plate and added small nubs inside the eye sockets to allow the face plate to click in and lock into the base. I only needed slight adjustments to make the face plate, CodeBug board and base work as a snap-together set.
Look back here soon for the model - as I'll post it as soon as I do a bit of clean up on it.