Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use Bluetooth to stream music from my phone?

Short answer... No. Long answer.. A tablet does not support the host A2DP Bluetooth profile required unlike a common aftermarket head unit which has it by default. However, you can typically achieve a similar end result. This can be done by using a paired internet connection or an accessory app and/or USB dongle.

Paired Internet Connection: Using a WiFi hotspot from your phone, or a tablet model with a built in 4G modem, or a USB 4G modem you can connect your tablet to the internet allowing any music streaming Android app installed on the tablet to access your online music library or subscription.

Apple CarPlay: There are various Apple CarPlay USB dongles out there that are being used by community members that allow you to connect your iPhone to the tablet using a USB cable just like you would in an OEM equipped Apple Car Play vehicle. This allows you to play music from your phone on the tablet. Simply plug one of these controllers into an open spot on our MK1 Electronics 4-port hub.

Android Auto: There are app options for those wanting to connect their Android phone to the tablet using Android Auto for streaming music from their Android phone. One such example is Headunit Reloaded which allows for either a WiFi connection or a USB connection (Workshop 12 has not yet verified this). Simply plug your Android phone cable into an open spot on our MK1 Electronics 4-port hub.

Can I use Bluetooth hands free from my phone?

Short answer... No. Long answer.. A tablet does not support the host A2DP Bluetooth profile required unlike a common aftermarket head unit which has it by default. However, we have had vairous people achieving success with hands free by using either an Apple CarPlay USB dongle or an Android Auto Emulator app on the tablet.

Apple CarPlay: There are various Apple CarPlay USB dongles out there that are being used by community members that allow you to connect your iPhone to the tablet using a USB cable just like you would in an OEM equipped Apple Car Play vehicle. Some customers have been able to achieve hands free calling using a Mic attached to the tablet. Simply plug one of these controllers into an open spot on our MK1 Electronics 4-port hub.

Android Auto: There are app options for those wanting to connect their Android phone to the tablet using Android Auto for hands free calling from their phone. Some customers have been able to achieve hands free calling using a Mic attached to the tablet (Workshop 12 has not yet verified this). One such example is Headunit Reloaded which allows for either a WiFi connection or a USB connection. Simply plug your Android phone cable into an open spot on our MK1 Electronics 4-port hub.

Will the 3D printed parts melt in my car?

Nope! Workshop 12 uses Nylon plastics that are heatproof to 163C/325F. Most stories of people having 3D prints melt/warp inside vehicles are using PLA as a printing material. As a reference vehicles sitting in the sun for over an hour in Arizona have dashboard surface temperatures reaching 157F on average.

Why are the plastics so expensive?

Ya, we hear you on that one! Workshop 12 uses Shapeways as the printing and fulfillment partner for printing plastics on demand. About 90% of the kit pricing goes to Shapeways services! They use industrial printers and expensive print materials.

However, they are the most inexpensive service we can find. As an example, when we shopped around the 370z front faceplate only, the best we were quoted was $1000 to print just that piece. We're always looking at ways to bring production costs down, including material choice, model splitting and even possibly eventually bringing production in-house.

How long does it take to get the plastics?

We typically see prints being finished by Shapeways between 3 weeks on average and they provide you with a link where you can keep track of your order progress. They then ship out to you directly from Shapeways.

Can I still use the steering wheel controls?

Yes: There's a product called the RcJoyCon CPJexc that allows you to map steering wheel controls to Android commands. These can typically be found on ebay for purchase. Simply plug one of these controllers into an open spot on our MK1 Electronics 4-port hub.

Can I use a reverse camera?

There is a way: There are ways to use a USB camera input dongle and a reverse camera with an Android tablet. Here's an example of how it has been done by others. Simply plug one of these dongles into an open spot on our MK1 Electronics 4-port hub.

Does Android Auto work with the tablet?

Yes: There are app options for those wanting to connect their Android phone to the tablet using Android Auto for streaming music or hands free calling from their Android phone. One such example is Headunit Reloaded which allows for either a WiFi connection or a USB connection (Workshop 12 has not yet verified this). Simply plug your Android phone cable into an open spot on our MK1 Electronics 4-port hub.

Does Apple CarPlay work with the tablet?

Yes: There are various Apple CarPlay USB dongles out there that are being used by community members that allow you to connect your iPhone to the tablet using a USB cable just like you would in an OEM equipped Apple Car Play vehicle. This allows you to play music or hands free call from your phone on the tablet. Simply plug one of these controllers into an open spot on our MK1 Electronics 4-port hub.

Do I need to paint the tablet holder plastics?

Yes: The Brainiac plastics come in raw unfinished 3D printed plastic that require sanding and painting. We have posted a tutorial on how to prep and paint your Brainiac plastics.

What all do I need to wire the tablet into my car?

The Brainiac MK1 Electronics make for a simple plug-and-play to get all of your audio functioning as well as allowing for charging your tablet and using USB accessories at the same time. Simply unclip your factory radio harness and plug it into the MK1 Electronics.

Will the system work with the Nissan BOSE audio system?

Yes: Our MK1 Electronics work with both BOSE equipped and non-BOSE equipped Nissan vehicles.

Can I install Brainiac into my factory navigation equipped 370z?

There is a way: The Brainiac plastics fit both the OEM navigation and non-navigation models. However, the OEM navigation equipped vehicles need to be swapped over to use the non-navigation climate control module.

Can I install Brainiac into my factory navigation equipped 350z?

There is a way: The Brainiac plastics fit the non-navigation model center waterfall console (piece that has the 3 gauges). The OEM navigation equipped 350z's have a little lip/hood at the top of where the non-navigation cubby opening is. This lip/hood gets in the way of the Brainiac plastics. By installing a non-navigation center waterfall trim piece the 350z kit can be used.

Can I install Brainiac into my FRS/BRZ/86 with manual climate controls (non dual-zone)?

No: The Brainiac plastics will technically fit in these models, however there is no way to manage climate control as our kit is designed to manage the dual-zone climate control circuitry. We will be considering a solution for the manual climate control after we successfully launch the dual-zone model.

Can I use any Android app?

Yes: Brainiac plastics use a standard Samsung tablet that allows you to install any Android app that you like. We highly recommend our Brainiac home screen launcher for gesture based controls and convenience features as our plastic kits cover the Samsung hardware buttons.

Does it have AM/FM radio?

No: There isn't built in AM/FM radio support. You may be able to achieve this with a USB accessory and app combination.

How do I connect the tablet to the internet?

There are two ways: (1) Connect the tablet to a WiFi hotspot device (your phone or an external hotspot device) (2) Purchase the variant of the tablet that has a built in 4G connection.

If the car gets super hot does the tablet quit?

Yes: There's only so much we can do here as a tablet has limitations. If the tablet gets super hot it will go into a suspended mode until it cools down. The reason why it does this is because it does not want to charge/use a super hot battery.

What happens if the tabet runs out of battery?

If the tablet runs out of battery and shuts down then it will need to be recharged before turning it back on. What I recommend is having the USB charge connection in a location where you can reach it to plug in charge pack if needed. It will start to charge again when the vehicle turns on.

However, accessing the power button can be a challenge on some models. The 350z and 05-07 WRX are fairly simple. Pop up the shifter trim and you can access the power button. The 370z would require more work.

Some owners have wired in a remote power button so that the tablet power can be toggled remotely

Can I charge the tablet and also use USB accessories?

Yes: The MK1 Electronics provide both a charge to the tablet as well as a 4-port hub for USB accessories.

Can I display ODBII information on the tablet?

Yes: Feel free to connect a Bluetooth or USB OBDII dongle to your tablet and use apps such as Torque to view ODBII information.

How can the tablet's screen turn off/on with the car's ignition?

Yes: I highly recommend following our tablet power settings guide. This will have the tablet go into sleep mode and preseve its battery when the vehicle is not running.

Where do I find the Brainiac software?

You can find our Brainiac launcher app on Google Play.

Can I try the Brainiac software for free?

No: We currently don't have a "freemium" model of trying the software for free. We offer it for $12USD and if you're not satisfied with the software feel free to use the Google Play refund mechanism

How do I return plastics that I no longer want?

The Brainiac plastics are created on demand by the Shapeway printing services. This acts as a one-off manufacturing of the plastics for you and Shapeways takes 90% of the money paid. There really isn't a way to "re-stock" the plastics as the price is for the services rendered. If the unfortunate case should arrise where you no longer want your plastics then I would recommend selling them in your local car community.

If the plastics are delivered to you by Shapeways and there are problems with the print, then please contact Shapeways who will be happy to help you out

Can I have the 3D models so that I can 3D print them myself?

Nope! The revenue stream from the plastic printing of the Brainiac kits is the life-blood of Workshop 12. Lots of time and money have been invested into creating a great set of models which we look to try and provide to you at the best price & quality possible.