Open main menu

Chordata documentation β

Build Chordata

The chordata system can be built completely from scratch on your own lab. The current version of the hardware is:

  • K-Ceptor R2.3
  • Hub R1.2

You can download the the Kicad sources for the PCBs at: Our downloads page or gitlab repository

We have already provided some users with access to a prototype system and our first production release will be available through a Kickstarter campaign.

You will then be able to purchase pre-assembled kits to build your own Chordata system in an easy way!

Sign up here to know all the details of the campaign and be the first to know the exact launching date so that you can benefit from the early-bird rewards.

There's still no comprehensive guide or tutorial on how to build a chordata suit. Some previous experience on SMD soldering is advised. If you are planning to go for it consider documenting the process on the forum. That way others can get an idea of what the process is like, and if you have any questions or doubts we'll be there to help.

Getting the componentsEdit

  • The official BOM for the current version is here (Updated 2020/01/24).
  • HalloweenBob created this version of the BOM which eases the process of buying components (for KCeptor version R2.2), especially if you are in North America.
  • You can also get HalloweenBob's version of the GERBER files to be sent to the PCB manufacturer here
  • Konokaiden edited and updated parts of HalloweenBob's listing, and his download pack can be found here: [1]

Within Konokaiden's package is everything for software/hardware as of October 2020: the Blender add-on, the KiCAD Libraries that the files require, the KiCAD files for the Hub and K-Ceptor, the Notochord image file, the Gerbers and Parts List (Excel is the updated HalloweenBob version, PDF is the Chordata listing, but either set works), there are a few data sheets to help the user show which way the parts are oriented, and finally there is the flashed notochord image.

New mini K-CeptorEdit

Mini K-Ceptor created by @Valor

There's also an existing alternative to the official Hardware release. @Valor created a much smaller version of the Hardware. The files and instructions will be added to this wiki soon. In the meantime you might want to take a look at this thread from the forum

How much would it cost me to build the hardware?Edit

If you want to build the system by yourself the main cost on supplies are:

  • The PCBs: They are actually not expensive at all (around $1 each), but depending on where you get them, and the fabrication time you might need to pay not negligible overcharges.
  • The Components: By far the biggest contributor the overall cost is the LSM9DS1 sensor, which cost around $6 each.
  • Solder paste and stencil: If you want to solder the fine-pitched components on that are needed for this system then you need to get some good quality solder paste. We recomend getting a type 4 or higher from a trusted provider. It would cost you around $25~$30. The stencil is optional but it will make your work easier. You can probably get it from your PCB provider for $15~$30.
  • Cables:The cost varies largely depending on whatever you buy them or crimp them your own.
  • Lab equipment: If you don't have access to an electronic lab with a reflow station, or oven you will need to get one of those. A microscope is really useful on this job, as well as simpler equipment as tweezers, third hand, etc. Take all this into account before buying the components because you might end up with an unplanned expense on this group.
If you don't have an already equipped lab, probably the best idea is to ask in a local fablab, university or similar places. They normally offer ways to access their laboratories
  • Your time:You will need some patience and time to build such a system from scratch, specially if you don't have previous experience. This is by far the more precious supply will have to expend :)


TODO: complete guideEdit

This article is work in progress, you might find that part of the information contained here is incomplete.
If you were expecting to find some vital information, please let us know in the forum and we'll add that content as soon as possible.

Someday here you will find a complete guide on how to go through the building process, starting with something like...

The main purpose of this guide is to give you an idea on how to build a Chordata motion capture system completely from scratch. We searched to cover as many details as possible, allowing those of you who are still beginners to the DIY electronic world to go through all the steps.

We are covering from the very specific to this system (like hoy to solder a K-Ceptor, the main Chordata sensing unit), to the very generic electronic procedures (like how to buy electronic components from an online retail store). If you are an experienced hacker, and you feel like you already know the things explained on a chapter, feel free to skip it.