Voidbox Industries Brings Prototyping Into the Third Dimension with Hactus, the Hacker's Cactus

What do you get when you combine two custom-made perfboards with a concrete planter? An electronic cactus, of course.

Gareth Halfacree
3 months ago β€’ Hardware 101
The Hactus is part prototyping board, part sculpture. (πŸ“·: Voidbox Industries)

Oakland-based Voidbox Industries has launched a prototyping board with a difference: It's three-dimensional, and takes the shape of a cactus β€” hence its name, Hactus.

"The Hactus is a unique take on the boring prototyping boards commonly found in the DIY electronics scene," Voidbox explains of the inspiration behind Chloe Madison's eye-catching design. "The Hactus embodies the visual of a succulent cactus by way of its interlocking green perfboards that fit snugly inside the included concrete flower pot. Each of the two boards has 783 ENIG Gold Plated solder points providing you with endless possibilities for prototyping your inventions. Or just keep it as is and hold some pens or pencils in its four sections."

Each Hactus is hand-made, and comes in three parts: The two custom-made perfboard segments slot together to form the three-dimensional cactus shape, while the bottom half of each slide into a supplied concrete planter - though adding soil and water is not recommended.

Aside from the shape, the Hactus is an entirely functional prototyping board β€” or, technically, two prototyping boards: through-hole components can be inserted and soldered along with bridging connections, creating functional circuits. While there's no direct electrical connection between the two halves of the Hactus, they can be connected with wires or components to make more complex designs.

The Hactus is available on Voidbox' Tindie store now, priced at $25; source files for the boards and pot, meanwhile, are available on Easy EDA and Fusion 360.

Gareth Halfacree
Freelance journalist, technical author, hacker, tinkerer, erstwhile sysadmin. For hire: freelance@halfacree.co.uk.
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