Workshop 12

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

As we continue to make progress on the Brainiac design for the Scion FR-S and Subaru BRZ dashboards we’ve been creating some revised sketches to help us visualize different options.  These sketches also give us an opportunity to share an insider’s perspective of the process.

We’ve been very lucky to have a lot of great feedback through forums and our social media accounts which have really helped guide our design decisions.  Part of the current revisions have included experimenting with a hazard switch location.  That means trying to place the switch in multiple locations and checking out which one might look the best.  Let’s just say some look great, and some look not so great.  But that’s part of the process, trying different designs and seeing which ones work well. Read More

It seems like Matthew never sleeps because he’s done it again!  A new set of renderings of the Nissan 350Z dashboard.  We’ve been considering applying a little bit of a modern redesign to the top three gauge cup area of the dashboard.  I know that making some changes to an iconic area of the Z dashboard can be a little sacrilegious but we figured we would give it a try any ways 🙂

Having three gauges is great, but what if you could have a heads-up display that could show multiple gauges, turn-by-turn directions, incoming alerts and more?  We think that this is an area worth exploring.  Our thoughts are not to add a secondary “touch screen”, but instead an LCD that is pushed back as close to the windshield as possible.  Creating a great area for information at a glance but low enough not to block your field of vision.   Read More

Following up on our FR-S/BRZ post we also have the initial Nissan 350Z Brainiac sketches to share with the community.  We recently announced that the 2002-2005 Nissan 350Z would be the latest vehicle receiving a 10.1″ Brainiac installation kit and we’re now eyeballs deep in both planning and design after the initial 3D laser scanning 🙂

So far the 350Z has been the absolute ideal candidate for the 10.1″ screen.  The vertical pillar style dashboard provides a ton of space to locate the touch screen and has an inner dashboard structure that is really favorable without having to work around any internal plastic beams or supports.  There’s even enough room above the existing climate control for the Brainiac display. Read More

Designing the right look and feel for a 10.1″ Brainiac display consists of a process of multiple revisions to try and get things “just right”.  It’s one of those tough scenarios that you don’t actually quite know what “right” is until you see it, but when you do, you get a gut feeling that you’re on to something.

At Workshop 12 we like to open up our design process so that owners get a chance to provide their feedback early on.  One way that we do that is by engaging in conversations on forums such as FT86 Club for Scion FR-S and Subaru BRZ owners.  By providing behind the scenes information on our blog it gives us a reference point for great discussions in a community forum setting. Read More