A top-secret briefcase puzzle, a challenge to open!

My first assignment as a new member of the team at Fab Lab London is to develop a briefcase puzzle for a gaming company and their hacker-themed game!

They wanted a briefcase that would be challenging to open, with a further puzzle to solve inside. This first iteration uses 3D printed parts, two arduinos, lots of leds, capacitive touch and orientation sensing to create a team problem solving experience.

I began by taking a standard briefcase and removing all of the unwanted fittings such as locks and strap buckles. CAD and the lab’s 3D printers were used to create new fittings in PLA, including touch sensors made with a specialist conductive PLA filament. Panels were laser-cut in opal acrylic to allow them to be backlit and digitally assignable RGB leds were fitted into the case. I decided to use two separate arduino unos, one for controlling the opening of the case and another for the inner puzzle, which made coding the game a lot simpler and provided just enough i/o pins for all the lights, sensors and actuators.

This first iteration is now ready for the company to begin testing in the field so we can see what works, what doesn’t and where alterations and adjustments need to be made.