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Sunday, March 16, 2008

Packaging, an art in itself

Wondering what I have been doing last week? First off, I sent out the PCB design for manufacturing. The boards should be back in about two weeks.

Next, it is time to start on package design. So I did some research. Apple's iPhone dimensions can be found here. Not all important sizes are printed in this drawing and it takes a few tricks to figure them out. As I want to design an aesthetic nice looking package, it is important to see the GPS module next to the phone. Thus, I deemed it necessary to transfer the iPhone drawings into a 3D CAD program.

If you are new to 3D CAD and wonder what program to use, the first thing you need to make sure is that the program will output the appropriate files for manufacturing; you wouldn't want to be spending all that time in vain... An easy to learn and relatively cheap program is Alibre. There are quite a few 3D CAD programs out there, but some of them can be pretty expensive and not really affordable for the average person. SolidWorks is pretty well-known, but rather expensive.

I am using Alibre Express, which can be freely downloaded from their website. I have started to recreate the iPhone in Alibre and the photo shows the results so far. I have omitted all of the side-buttons since they are not important for package design. More detailing, like the dock connector, will be done next.


Anonymous said...

I hope you're planning to include a pass-through of some kind, so that you can plug the iphone into a charger at the same time the gps unit is plugged in and operating. That way, you can have it in your car, plugged into the charger while at the same time providing real-time gps.

GPS said...


Yes, the board was designed with that in mind. It has a mini USB connector on it which you can connect to your USB car charger or your computer :)

Anonymous said...

Very impressed with the progress - any ideas on how much this will be costing you for all components and what the likely cost to consumer would be?

Can not wait. If you can somehow get it working with Google Maps you have your first definite customer here.

Well done, and thank you.