Tag Archives: hardware

TechCrunch Hardware Hackathon: 3D Printing Hackers Unite

TechCrunch Disrupt 3D Printing

TechCrunch is hosting its annual Disrupt Hackathon this weekend and is looking for hardware hackers to join the event.

Do you have hardware project that’s been simmering on the back burner because you can’t get access to a 3D printer? Come on down to the Disrupt Hackathon and use one of the MakerBots and Raspberry Pis we’ll have on site for anyone to use. Build toys, robots, Arduino cases, or whatever you want and enter the Disrupt Hackathon as an inaugural hardware hacker. We dare you.

The best hardware hack as chosen by the judges wins a brand new Replicator courtesy of MakerBot – a $2,000 value.

The event has been hosted in NY and San Francisco. Join them on September 8 in San Francisco for your chance to build some 3D printing hacks.

Via TechCrunch.

TechCrunch Disrupt photo by Scott Beale used under Creative Commons license.

Top 3D Printing Headlines Last Week: Hardware, Nest, Organs, Hacks

Nest Thermostat 3D Printing Hacks

A roundup of the top news On 3D Printing brought you from August 27 to September 1.

Monday, August 27

Thursday, August 30

Friday, August 31

Saturday, September 1


Nest thermostat photo by Nest used under Creative Commons license.

3D Printing, Hardware Startups, and Hacks Invade Silicon Valley

Nest Thermostat 3D Printing Hacks

Is hardware making a comeback in Silicon Valley? It seems that way with hardware startups from Y Combinator, projects from Kickstarter, and legendary designers creating new devices like Tony Fadell at Nest.

Part of the formula for success in software has been rapid prototyping. Developers could build something quickly, test it with users and either iterate or abandon the feature. Now this is happening in hardware thanks to 3D printing.

The New York Times featured this growing trend of hardware startups and hacks.

“Something that once took three months to make now takes less than a month,” explained Andre Yousefi, co-founder of Lime Lab, a product development firm based in San Francisco that works with start-ups to create hardware products. “With 3D printers, you can now create almost disposable prototypes,” he said. “You queue it up at night, pick it up in the morning and can throw it away by 11 a.m.”

The rapidly falling cost of building computer-based gadgets has touched off a wave of innovation that is starting to eclipse the software-driven world that came to dominate the Valley in the dot-com boom of the late 1990s.

“If we look hard over the last 10 or 15 years, people don’t realize how different the world is now compared to 1996,” said Sean O’Sullivan, a venture capitalist who splits his time between the United States, Ireland and China. “Products like the iPhone have driven down the cost of components. You can now easily make connected devices that transform lives in the way we have only been able to do with software before.”


Read more at the New York Times.

Nest thermostat photo by Nest used under Creative Commons license.

Venture Capitalists Looking Closely at 3D Printing Deals

Brad Feld Venture Capitalist

Why are venture capitalists looking closely at 3D printing deals? This discussion highlights the interest of Brad Feld and the Foundry Group.

MakerBot is probably the most well-known venture-backed 3D printing startup, with nearly $11 million in funding and 125 employees. It also helps that MakerBot’s CEO Bre Pettis is 3D printing’s first celebrity.

One of MakerBot’s investors is Foundry Group, based in Boulder, CO. Foundry Group is investing out of two $225 million funds and has made over 70 investments. The group is composed of four managing directors with cultural leader Brad Feld.

Brad recently published a blog post about what he is obsessed with as an investor.

As the endless stream of emails, tweets, and news comes at me, I find myself going deeper on some things while trying to shed others. I’ve been noticing an increasing amount of what I consider to be noise in the system.

My best way of categorizing this is to pay attention to what I’m currently obsessed about and use that to guide my thinking and exploration. I took a break, grabbed a piece of paper, and scribbled down a list of things I was obsessed about. I didn’t think – I just wrote. Here’s the list.

  • Startup communities
  • Hci
  • Human instrumentation
  • 3d printing
  • User-generated content
  • Integration between things that make them better
  • Total disruption of norms

Note that 3 of his 7 themes are: HCI (human computer interaction), 3D printing, and user-generated content. As the software and hardware for 3D printing becomes more accessible to the masses, these 3 ideas go hand in hand.

At Maker Faire Bay Area 2012, Brad spoke at a “Hardware Innovation Workshop” and relayed his thoughts about the Maker movement and 3D printing. As reported by VentureBeat:

“We don’t give a shit about hardware, and we don’t do hardware investments,” said Feld, whose Foundry Group has invested in several hardware companies, including MakerBot Industries, Spheero, and Fitbit. “What we love is software wrapped in plastic.”

Later, Feld moderated his statement, acknowledging that he does care about hardware. But what matters to Foundry, in this case, is whether the company fits into one of its major themes: In this case, human-computer interaction, or the ways in which humans feed data to machines. For that to work, hardware depends on software to help it interface with its human users.

“The maker movement … has really shifted this dynamic,” Feld said. “Users can create stuff that they care about.”

We look forward to seeing more startups focused on HCI, user-generated content and 3D printing – more “software wrapped in plastic” - getting support from renowned investors like Foundry Group.


Brad Feld photo by Rocky Mountain Joe used under Creative Commons license.

Anarkik3D Seeks Crowdfunding to Launch 3D Printing Software for Artists

We’ve featured crowdfunding proposals in the past, but this one is truly original. Anarkik3D is a software-hardware combination that empowers artists to digitally design the natural way: by hand.

Ann Marie Shillito, CEO and Founder of the Edinburgh-based startup, narrates the video on IndieGoGo. The visuals are fantastic. Be sure to watch the video below.

Here are the key pitch points:

  • Funding target: £120,000 by June 27.
  • Software: Similar to TinkerCAD, Sketchup, and 123D, the Anarkik 3D Design studio can be used to create designs that can be manufactured using 3D printing.
  • Hardware: Anarkik 3D Design (formerly Cloud9) employs a haptic device, which is like a 3D mouse with force feedback. This lets a designer manipulate the software as if she is truly working with physical material. ”As an artist and designer, it’s really important to have touch as sensory feedback in addition to sight. Cloud9 allows you to feel the object change in more than one dimension.” – Farah Bandookwala, 3D Artist
  • Objectives: Cloud9 is already usable software. This funding goal will be used to fix the bugs, add more features, hire new programmers, and expand internationally.

Visit their crowdfunding page on IndieGoGo for details on their perks to contributors. Good luck to Anarkik3D!