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The Time Key Money Box

Upgrading the traditional money box to a personal finance management system

When Adam and Dan Kelly from Voorpret Ltd approached Cubik, they had a smart solution in mind for the modern day, money box user and gift giver. They wanted to rethink the humble money box from the realms of novelty piggy banks to the world of effective personal finance management.

Voorpret’s concept was to design an electronic money box that actively encouraged the user to save as much as possible within a self-determined timeframe. Users would not be unable to retrieve the saved funds until the timeframe had elapsed. The concept was geared towards solving 3 problems:

  • Classic money boxes do not encourage or challenge the user to save.
  • Popular money boxes, such as piggy backs, do not give any option to retrieve funds without breaking the unit.
  • Bringing the money box into the 21st Century by allowing users to set goals and targets on a mobile app device.

Voorpret wanted to create a product that would help manage personal savings and that could also be given as a gift to a friend or relative with a big life event to save for. For example, a gift from a parent to their child at university who has hopes of travelling at the end of their studies.

Cubik were commissioned to refine the product specification and progress it from concept to the manufacture of 3 prototype units.

During phase 1, the project team carried out a thorough investigation of the product specification. This gave the team a better understanding of the intended functionality and helped to inform future decision making around component selection. The team also created a compliance matrix that outlined the products design requirements and to use later in the process to validate the finished product against the original specification.

Once the specification had been finalised, the project moved into the design phase. For this project we partnered with local industrial designers, Amalgam Models, who were responsible for the design and manufacture of the enclosure. Cubik were responsible for generating the schematics and the printed circuit board (PCB) layout using Altium Designer.

The Time Key Box Model
The Time Key Box Model
The Time Key Box PCB Layout
The Time Key Box PCB Layout
Protoype Production

Prototype Production
Once the design phase had been reviewed and signed off by both parties the project moved into the production phase. Amalgam Models provided us with the design outlines and Bill of Materials (BOM) which enabled our team to manufacture 3 prototype boards and 1 spare. The entire process, from concept to production including the procurement of the components, took just 3 weeks.

Software and Test
The prototypes were then coded with software that would enable the product’s unique functions to operate including the unit locking, time setting and power saving features.

Using the compliance matrix that was compiled during the specification phase we carried out tests to validate the correct use of power sources, time display and locking/unlocking of the unit. The 3 prototype units were packaged and sent to Voorpret to carry out user acceptance testing.

Cubik Innovation are experts in electronic product design, prototyping and development. If you have got an idea for a product that you would like to grow from conception, or have a completed product that needs optimising, we’re here to help.

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Adrian Schmieder of HiETA commented: “Cubik’s quick turn-around of a functioning PCB has sped the delivery of the project and enabled me to focus on areas of the project in which HiETA has expertise.  The project is a great success and produced valuable information even from its first use.  I am very impressed with the support Cubik provided me throughout the project, from initial concept through to PCB delivery.  I will not hesitate to engage with them again as future PCB projects arise.”


Speaking about the collaboration between Inductosense and Cubik Innovation, Founder and CTO Dr Chenghuan Zhong (Bamboo) stated: "It was great working with the knowledgeable and experienced team at Cubik Innovation. They always provide full support as well as useful and thoughtful advice to us, helping us find solutions for really difficult problems."


Geoff Jones, Aquabar Inventor: "It was a pleasure to work with Cubik on our project. Paul and Sam understood the concept at one meeting, and produced a solution filling the brief within two weeks which has enabled us to find a potential partner. We will certainly use Cubik for our production units later in the year, Many thanks."

Plymouth University

Paul Davey, Associate Professor (SL) Plymouth University: "If you need a prototype developed to a high standard and on time you would be hard pushed to find someone better. They have highly trained, experienced engineers who get the job done."

Clean Energy Prospector Ltd

Damon Rand, Head Product Design: "Paul and the team have really helped us speed up the turnaround on our prototypes and assure the manufacturability of our designs. If you’re designing electronics in the South-West, then Cubik is a great choice for short-run manufacturing."