ecoCAD kits using crowd funding to launch home design project for kids

Submitted by John Gavlik
2012-05-30 13:27:15

ecoCAD Design Group, LLC has launched a campaign to raise $100,000 on Kickstarter for the purpose of supplying at least one hundred of their ecoSTEM House Collection kits to schools and home schoolers “free of charge”.

Kickstarter ( is a relatively new (3 years) web-based organization that hosts and funds projects ranging from the arts to the sciences, using "crowd funding" where individuals contribute to a project and receive rewards for their contributions.

ecoCAD Design Group has posted their "ecoCAD for Kids – Kids Design Their House of the Future" project on Kickstarter to raise funds to deliver one hundred (100) eco-energy kits to schools all over the country. To do this the Kickstarter project needs $100,000 in funding that comes from individuals with contributions of as little as $1 and up. Kickstarter only funds projects that garner 100% of the pledge goal, so it’s an "all or nothing" deal, pledges are only called in if the total pledges reach the goal.

ecoCAD Design Group will use the funding to supply the kits to the schools that are chosen based on the amount of pledges for that school. It takes at least $1,000 to supply a kit to a school. This amount is used for the purchase of the parts, the fabrication and assembly of the kits and delivery to the schools. While Kickstarter takes between 5% and 10% of the total funds raised, they do not require any ownership in the company. You can find out all about the "ecoCAD for Kids – Kids Design Their House of the Future" project at the following link:
Complete information about ecoCAD Design Group can be found on their website:

“ecoCAD for Kids – Kids Design Their House of the Future” Brief

• The ecoSTEM House Collection consists of three “fully customizable” table-top kit models of a wind turbine, a solar powered house and an electric car whose structural parts are pre-cut from extruded plastic sheets and are all powered by solar or wind energy.

• The ecoSTEM House kit is built from acrylic plastic and features two types of solar panels (two flexible panels on the roof and two standard crystalline panels on the car port) along with rechargeable batteries for energy storage. Inside the house under the ceiling are two electric fans for cooling and two groups of four white LEDs in the ceiling for light. There’s also a car port for our SuperCAP Electric Car.

• The ecoWind Turbine kit features six exposed wire coils and four powerful neodymium magnets that, when spinning, generate single-phase sinusoidal AC power. The ecoWind Turbine is a great tool to teach magnetic induction, the effects of the number of blades and blade pitch on RPM and electrical power output and what it takes to light an LED with the generated power.

• The SuperCAP Electric Car kit that can be charged from any of the power sources in seconds, since it uses a super capacitor instead of a battery. It also features an adjustable gear box where kids can experiment with changing gear ratios to see how it affects performance like climbing an incline. And it’s a kick to put together and race!

• Experiments - Students build the kits and experiments are provided to learn about the electrical and mechanical elements of solar and wind power. The kits also come with an electronic Control Panel and Energy Monitoring software that interfaces to a computer to measure the solar and wind power from all three kits. Experiments are supplied that demonstrate the electrical side of solar and wind technologies, LED and fan power consumption and gear ratios for the car plus a lot more.

• CAD is Included - And for those who want to learn CAD (Computer Aided Design) the files for the kits are supplied to customize the designs. The CAD plans are in DraftSight, a free program from Dassault Systemes makers of SolidWorks, so that kids and their teachers can redesign and customize any of the kit parts just by making adjustments to our plans. Then they can then go on to fabricate their designs using a laser cutter.

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