Transistor Museum: An Interactive Educational Tool

My Roles
UI/UX Design, Unity Prototyping, C# Development, 3D Modelling and Animation

Tools I Used
Adobe Illustrator, Unity3D, Blender

Started as a 2-week design sprint in a group setting, I later brought this project project to fruition fully as a solo personal project.

My goal was to create a digital interactive activity for all ages and skill levels to participate in. The Transistor Museum is a simplified, web-based and downloadable 3D educational game. The user can navigate between different virtual artifacts and uncover the history behind every scientific breakthrough in transistor history.

Developed as a replacement for bulky and inefficient vacuum tubes and mechanical relays, the transistor revolutionized the entire electronics world. The transistor sparked a new era of modern technical accomplishments from space flight and computers to portable radios and stereos. Today, billions of transistors are manufactured weekly.


Preliminary Ideas

Concept Sketch 1
  • A linear timeline with 3D models of transistors in each section.
  • Each transistor can be focused on and be rotated so users can observe the entire object.
  • This form makes it easy to compare the transistors and see their evolution throughout the years.
Concept Sketch 2
  • A 2D pixel game where the user can walk around a museum full of transistors.
  • The transistors will be organized according to their creation date and will be scaled up.
  • There will be a audio guide option making it more of a museum simulator.
Concept Sketch 3
  • A “Scale of the Universe” style interactive tool where the user can continually zoom in, viewing from large objects to the smaller transistors.
  • The scales will be accurate and provide measurements upon every zoom in parameter.

Final Concept

  • Combining the most attractive parts of our different concepts, we decided on creating a simple and informative interactive.
  • This form makes it easy to compare the transistors and see their evolution throughout the years.
Rotatable 3D models and visual expression of evolution.
Museum environment and historical information provision.
An accurate sense of scale.

Final Design

  • A display of different transistors arranged according to time in a museum-like environment.
  • Each transistor can be focused on and be rotated so users can observe the entire object.
  • The scale of all the transistors will be accurate making them comparable.
  • There will be extra interactive historical documents for each transistor.

Initial Prototype

We developed the initial 3D models in Rhino to be used in the Unity3D engine. The prototype was to validate the feel of the user experience. In the beginning, the camera simply swapped between each item in the “gallery”. In later prototypes, the camera was set further away from the “gallery” and each selected item would be brought closer to the camera as a means of communicating a point of focus.

Development Process

We began experimenting with more of a cartoon look by editing the materials. The goal was to create more of a casual learning feel that would appeal to all ages rather than an industrial one.

Each object currently being viewed by the user has a spinning animation that moves it in the 3D space. The speed of the movement can be easily controlled by the user’s mouse. When the mouse is in the center of the screen, movement is paused. As the mouse approaches the left edge or the right edge, the speed increases.

Further Improvements

Later on, I revisited the project by myself to make various improvements across the board:

  • New and improved 3D models I created from scratch using Blender
  • Interesting background in the museum
  • A new colour palette and cartoon look using new shaders
  • A new menu allowing the text to be opened/closed, a toggleable, animated, light/dark mode, and volume on/off functionality
  • Procedural transition animations programmed using linear interpolations for navigating between different objects in the timeline
  • New music and SFX, one of which I created myself using Audacity
The default appearance.
transistor museum
Appearance with the text menu closed, and dark mode enabled.
I experimented with Audacity to create a sound effect, which plays whenever an object is selected.


  • The project was a success, it was easy to use and control.
  • In the first testing session, it was difficult to understand the transistors as 3d forms because there was no shading. Later on, I modified this while keeping the cartoon aesthetic.
  • It would be interesting to see each part of the different transistors labeled and explained.