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Apple Pencil Charger


Many of the chemistry and biology labs in the Chaney-Hale Hall of Science are equipped with Apple iPads with Apple Pencils for taking measurements via USB linked sensors, recording experimental results in digital lab notebooks, and taking notes.  These iPads are stored and charged in a cabinet in each lab.  The cabinets unfortunately do not allow simultaneous charging of the iPads and pencils without a mess of extra wiring and individual adapters.  There is no commercial solution at the moment for charging large numbers of Apple Pencils.  The Amy Facility undertook the challenge of prototyping and fabricating a charging station that was compact and allowed users to keep track of which pencil they selected as each pencil is paired with a specific iPad.  The final design is capable of charging 24 Apple Pencils with each port providing overcurrent protection, a status LED, and backlit label for matching each Pencil to the correct iPad.

Due to the large number of units needed, special emphasis was placed on the manufacturability of the design.   This goal was met by bulk ordering hard-to-acquire and long lead-time components, using a modified off-the-shelf enclosure, and using in-house 3D printing and laser cutting technology.  Custom designed circuit boards were used to consolidate all electrical functions of the charger.  These were designed and built in-house, a unique capability of the Amy Instrumentation Facility.  The enclosures were modified using a CO2 laser engraver/cutter to add external components for cooling and power.  The same system was used to etch the acrylic front panel with back lit numbering. 

Lab Contact: Jeanne Meyer, Chemistry
Amy Contact: Greg Eakins, Chemistry