Workshop 12

The good folks at Don Valley North Toyota/Scion were kind enough to allow us to come back after our initial 3D scanning to perform our first test fitting session for the Scion FR-S/Subaru BRZ Brainiac snap-in kit.   The plastics we used were not the final designs, but allowed us to get a better feel for overall fit and finish as well as which areas require tweaking.

We were quite happy with how things went, and of course found a few areas that we need to tweak to ensure an OEM quality fit.  It also gave us an opportunity to take some nice “glamour shots” of Brainiac installed and record some footage for our upcoming Kickstarter campaign video for when we open up preorders. Read More

Lately we’ve been paying a lot of attention to the initial vehicle line-up of our 10.1″ Brainiac snap-in kits, but we haven’t forgotten about our 7″ double-din unit 🙂

We’ve had a lot of requests from our early supporters for the 7″ unit and they are just as excited to see the double-din unit make its way into production as the larger 10.1″ units.  We know that there are a bazillion different makes, models and generations of vehicles out there and we want to make sure we have an offering for everyone.

Both the 7″ double-din unit and the 10.1″ Retrofit Kit provide the same great functionality as our snap-in kits with the ability to be installed in pretty much any vehicle.  All three of our installation options including the 10.1″ snap-in kits, 10.1″ Retrofit kits and 7″ double-din units will be available for preorder at the same time. Read More

One of the challenges with the Scion FR-S and Subaru BRZ is finding room to re-locate a physical hazard button.  With the existing OEM design of the dashboard the hazard button is smack-dab in the middle of the dashboard in the area that we replace with our 10.1″ screen.  After many discussions with potential FR-S/BRZ customers on social media and in the forums, we settled on moving the button to the lower pocket area and replacing the existing AUX-in port.

We’ve been posting up different sketches along the way of different hazard button locations, but since we’ve settled on the lower pocket location it was time to get to work on different potential designs.  What makes this a little trickier is that there are two different lower pockets depending on the options you have with this car.  Some have a push-to-start button, and others simply have a pocket. Read More

***************** UPDATE *****************
We have changed our preorder system.  Details can be found here
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We’re almost there…. Almost ready to open up preorders for Brainiac!  We’re in the final edits of our promotional video and website content so we can now start to share more details about the preorder process with you before we go live.  We also want to share more information about the 10% discount that many of our early supporters qualified for by signing up for the Workshop 12 newsletter before the end of day October 31st, 2015.

We’ll be launching our preorders using services from Kickstarter to create a 30 day campaign to raise the funds necessary to move into to the manufacturing phase.  The way that Kickstarter works is that it allows you to pledge an amount with your credit card towards Brainiac in exchange for rewards.  In our case the rewards will be Brainiac units and accessories.   Each reward will be outlined on the preorder website allowing you to pick one or more rewards. Read More

As the news of Brainiac spreads we’ve received many requests to bring the 10.1″ snap-in kit to a variety of different dashboards.  The vehicles that are requested range all the way from older vehicles to brand new ones rolling out of the dealership.  We even receive many requests from those who are performing resto-mods or full on custom car builds.

We realize that there are only so many hours in the day to add new vehicles into our 10.1″ snap-in kit product line up.  Also, there are so many different years, makes and models on the road today making it difficult to cover everyone.  So as we continue to create more Brainiac snap-in installation kits, we are also making a Retrofit Kit available.

The Brainiac Retrofit Kit will include the same components as the 10.1″ snap-in kit (screen, buttons, computing unit, OBDII cable, wiring harness), but instead of plastics built specifically for a target vehicle, it will include a universal screen cradle that will allow you to build your own custom installation (Climate controls not included).  The screen can be positioned in either landscape or portrait orientation to best suit your dashboard.

While we know this route isn’t for the faint of heart, the ability to use off-the-shelf 3D modeling tools, 3D printing and other traditional means of fabrication allow you to create our own integrated dashboard.

The Retrofit Kit will be priced at $999 USD as a midpoint between the 7″ double-din unit and a 10.1″ snap-in kit.  You’ve asked for it, we’ve listened and are making it happen.  Now it’s up to you.  Create a great custom installation and share it with us so that we can show the rest of the world your innovative work

Don’t worry, we’ll be adding as many vehicles to our 10.1″ snap-in kit line up as possible, we’re just enabling others to do so as well 🙂

We’re very excited to have our first set of 3D models ready to rock and roll which will allow us to get the 3D printer whirling away to do some initial test fitting.  The 3D model will continue to be revised based on our design sketches, community input and test fitting results.

The Scion FR-S/Subaru BRZ dashboard has limited space available which means we’ve incorporated the same buttons as our 7″ double-din Brainiac unit.  As you can see, we’ve continued with our Brainiac “V” design to blend and flare the screen into the rest of the trim creating a more expansive feel. Read More

We are extremely pleased with the results of our Brainiac test fitting session the other day for the 2002-2005 Nissan 350Z 10.1″ Brainiac installation kit!

You may have seen some of our excited tweets and Instagram posts go up with some photos from my smartphone, so now we’d like to follow those up with some nice official photos from the session.  The first reaction that we received from those who attended the test fitting session were comments of how Brainiac looks OEM and as if the dashboard should have came that way from the factory.

That was the exact reaction we were looking for 🙂 Read More

We hope that everyone had a great Halloween!  October 31st was both Halloween and the last eligible day to register for our 10% discount offer to be applied to your first purchase.  Qualifying for this discount was as simple as signing up for our newsletter.  Everyone who signed up before the end of day October 31st have now been successfully entered into our system to receive a discount!

As we move towards making our pre-orders available, we’ll be sending all of you who qualified a unique discount code to be used when making your first order.  When this code is applied you’ll receive your 10% discount as promised!

Thanks again for all of your early support!  We’ll be in touch with everyone soon 🙂

Over this last year we’ve met a lot of great people resulting in many interesting discussions about Brainiac and our goals at Workshop 12.  I myself have been a car enthusiast for as far back as I can remember, and during the process of building two different vehicles I’ve been fortunate enough to meet a lot of other enthusiasts who share our passion for cars, trucks, bikes or basically anything with wheels and an engine 🙂

What is very apparent when car enthusiasts get together is just how much their cars mean to them.  It isn’t just a means of transportation. It’s an extension of themselves displaying their style, likes and dislikes and personality which becomes an incredible source of pride.  I don’t just say this as an observation, I feel it myself every time I turn on the ignition or stand out in a freezing cold parking lot with hundreds of friends and strangers alike trading stories of pride and failure.  Everyone is there sharing information to help each other achieve the goal of a perfect ride. Read More

After receiving lots of great feedback from the Nissan community we’re happy to announce that we have now completed the 3D modeling phase for the 2002-2005 Nissan 350Z 10.1″ Brainiac installation kit!  We’ve listened to your suggestions and are really happy with the final design of the plastics.

The design goal for all of our 10.1″ screen installations is to provide something really cool that also appears as though it was intended to be part of your dashboard when the vehicle left the assembly line.  We’ve also been ensuring that we keep a consistent Brainiac design language between different vehicles.  You’ll see this design language in the “V” shaping from the top of the screen to the bottom, as well as sloping lines to allow your finger to easily reach the sides of the screen. Read More

As a follow up to our previous blog article, which outlined the design direction for the Nissan 350Z, we now have the first 3D models to share!

It’s really cool to see how the concept artwork makes its way into the world of 3D where you can get a much better sense of the actual appearance of the end product.  At this point we’re on the first of many revisions where we are working through shapes, angles, mounting points and the placement of the screen and button assembly. Read More

I want to begin this post by thanking everyone for their great feedback during the Nissan 350Z 10.1″ Brainiac design process!  We’ve received emails, social media messages and have also been participating in a great discussion in the my350z forums.  We recently posted some concept sketches of replacing the top 3 gauges with an additional heads-up LCD display.  From your feedback we’ve heard loud and clear that the iconic 3 gauge design on the top of the Z dashboard is something that owners really want to keep.

With that in mind we also have been investigating a suggestion from one of the my350z forum members for creating Brainiac as an insert into the 350Z dashboard instead of an entire center dashboard replacement.  This allows everyone to keep their existing gauges and simply insert Brainiac into the center section of the dashboard.  After examining the backside of the center trim in detail we believe that we can make this happen 🙂 Read More