(Wo)Mannequin: a Box for Teaching Modern Female Contraceptive Methods

Introduction: (Wo)Mannequin: a Box for Teaching Modern Female Contraceptive Methods


This project was made in a course for our EdTech Masters program at the Centre de Recherches Interdisciplinaires (CRI) (you can learn more about the story here). Our team wanted to facilitate public awareness and discourse about contraception and to do so by designing an active learning experience through which our users would be educated on 4 things:

1) what contraceptive methods exist, currently

2) where, anatomically, are these contraceptives administered

3) how, generally, do these methods work

4) which of these methods prevent the transmission of STDs


  • 9 LEDs (2 x STD sign, 1 x Brain, 1 x killing, 1 x mechanical, 3 x Symptoms on Hormonal Effects, 1 x Wrong Answer)
  • 24 resistors
  • 1 Arduino
  • about 40 wires
  • 1 5V power source
  • 1 computer with Processing installed

Teacher Notes

Teachers! Did you use this instructable in your classroom?
Add a Teacher Note to share how you incorporated it into your lesson.

Step 1: Design, Lasercut, & Assemble the Box


  • 6 pieces of 4mm plywood
  • Box design
  • .svg files


1) Design a box, making sure to use a file format that is compatible with whatever software you are using to communicate with your lasercutter. We used a free, online, box-designing software called MakerCase which exported in a .json file. Our settings on MakerCase (and you can find the design attached to this Instructable) were 30 cm width by 60 cm height by 6 cm depth; outside dimensions; 4mm material thickness (plywood); finger edge joints.

2) Load these designs into your software (we used CorelDraw 5.0). Be sure that your software knows to cut through the wood on the outside edges of each piece and to etch on all inside lines except for the outlines of the solid red rectangles in the attached diagrams, which correspond to the following pieces: forehead, mouth, shoulder, bicep, uterus, vagina, mechanical. chemical and hormonal action and STD panels.

3) Use a hot glue gun to join the bottom of each box to the sides. There are two very important things to make sure of on this step: 1) make sure the side pieces with a hole in them align & 2) make sure not to glue the top of the box onto the rest!


We found 10 methods of contraception (listed later) which are administered in 5 different places in the woman body and function according to 3 different mechanisms. We classified 10 common contraceptive methods into 3 basic functionalities: hormonal action, mechanical action, & chemical action. We also consider whether if each contraceptive method was preventing or not Sexual Transmission Diseases (STDs).

Within this context, we designed all the illustrations that we wanted to ingrave in the different pieces of the box, which you can find attached to this step in .svg format, under this names:

  • Female body silhouette
  • Led panel and case
  • Method Cards

Step 2: Build the Circuitery & Code


  • 9 LEDs
  • 1 breadboard
  • 1 Arduino (we used Leonardo)
  • lots of wires
  • resistors with different values (9 for the LEDs + 5 of 1 Ohm + 11 with different values)


The concept is as follows:

Each contraceptive method is drawn on a wooden card. The user has to place the card on a hole of the mannequin, according to the use of the specific contraceptive method. If the user is right, LEDs will switches on accordingly to show how the method is working and whether is can prevent STDs or no. If the user is wrong, a LED also switches on accordingly.

Regarding the circuit:

  • Each card as a resistor attached on the back.
  • Each hole in the mannequin is a sensor, that works as an ohmeter. It will read the value of the resistor and interpret it to switch on the right LED.

In circuit as well as in code, you will repeat the same pattern several times, as each "sensor" works in the same way.

We advise you to begin with one sensor and the corresponding code, and keep adding step by step. This way, if it doesn't work you'll know where is the problem.


  • Find in the attached images the way the circuit is build
  • Please note that few "sensors" are missing on the breadboard diagramm. You just have to repeat the same pattern.
  • On the diagramm of the soldered circuit, arrows show the wire that go out of the soldered card through the holes of the box.


  • Find attached a .ino file with the code we used for Arduino


  • Circuitery images
  • Contraception1.ino : code for Arduino

Step 3: Integrate Box With Circuitry & Code

Under development -- estimated to be completed in April/May, 2017. Message if you are interested in this project and we will be sure to alert you upon completion!

Be the First to Share


    • Backyard Contest

      Backyard Contest
    • Silly Hats Speed Challenge

      Silly Hats Speed Challenge
    • Finish It Already Speed Challenge

      Finish It Already Speed Challenge

    2 Discussions

    Alex in NZ
    Alex in NZ

    3 years ago

    Good luck with completing the project. I hope that it sees good use once it is finished :-)


    3 years ago

    That's an interesting project :)