You’re reading our weekly Maker Pro Newsletter, which focuses on the impact of makers in business and technology. Our coverage includes hardware startups, new products, incubators, and innovators, along with technology and market trends. Subscribe today and never miss a post.


“The practicality… comes and kicks your ass.” – Gabi Asfour, fashion designer and 3D printing enthusiast

Pay What You Want Humble Book Bundle: Maker Essentials

In honor of Maker Faire Bay Area, name your price for over $400 of Make: ebooks and magazines perfect for helping you gain lifelong maker skills!

Make: and Humble Bundle offer you a great selection of our ebooks and Maker Faire best-sellers in this new bundle. There’s even a sweet deal on Make: magazine digital and subscription offers.

Best of all, proceeds benefit Maker Ed! Help bring STEAM education to students across the globe while setting your own price for a virtual armload of the newest Make: ebooks and those favorites that always sell out at Maker Faire. Ends 10:59amPT on Wednesday, May 31!

Kickstarter Partners Up to Support Maker Pros

Potential big news in the crowdfunding market: Kickstarter, Avnet (@Avnet), and Dragon Innovation (@dragoninnovate) are collaborating to create an initiative called Hardware Studio that will provide resources and expertise to maker pros who want to become hardware entrepreneurs.

“The partners we’ve lined up for Hardware Studio are the best in the industry at what they do,” Kickstarter’s Director of Technology and Design Julio Terra (@julioterra) told us, “so we’re excited to work with them and help more hardware creators bring their projects to life.”

In Manufacturing, Protectionism Vs. Pollination

Four years ago, a study by MIT’s Industrial Performance Center examined data on how 150 manufacturing startups had succeeded or failed. The researchers found that early-stage startups flourished in the United States, but that when it became time to scale up, there was enormous pressure for the companies to go overseas. When they did, they took their technical knowledge and skillsets with them.

A provocative analysis in Mechanical Engineering magazine argues that the MIT report explains much about the current conversation about domestic job creation — and that the migration of skills between markets should be embraced, not spurned, as a sort of pollination of skills and ideas.

3D Printing Frontiers

For all the hype, the earliest 3D-printed garments were clunky affairs that could shatter and break if models bent the wrong way. Thanks to new innovations, that’s changing, according to a detailed Backchannel report — and it could affect the everyday clothing that people wear far from the runway.

“The practicality at the end comes and kicks your ass,” said designer Gabi Asfour.

Formlabs (@formlabs) debuted the first episode of its new podcast, “The Digital Factory,” which explores the future of 3D printing on the factory floor.

On the Make: blog, Digital Fabrication Editor Matt Stultz (@MattStultz) profiled MatterHackers’ (@MatterHackers) Pro Series TPU, a quality filament with moderate flexibility. And contributor Kurt Hamel (@Khamel627) reviewed the ShopBot (@ShopBotTools) Desktop Max — which is packed with features, if you can afford its $9,000 price tag.

Elsewhere on the Maker Pro Web

On the Make: blog, Predictable Designs Founder John Teel (@JohnTeelEE) broke down three primary costs — electronics, enclosure, and retail packaging — associated with mass manufacturing a hardware product.

Nvidia’s 2017 GPU Technology Conference was a smorgasbord of maker technologies, from a Star Trek-style holodeck to evolutionary robot AI, new brain mapping tech, and more. Make: contributor Jordan Ramée (@JMRamee) reports.

Chiara Cecchini (@ClaireCecchini) profiled two food maker pros: a biochemist working to create a healthier sugar at the molecular level, and a bakery that used quality ingredients to cash in on the gourmet bread game before it was cool.

Finally, here’s your chance to send your ideas into orbit. NASA (@NASA) is planning a makerspace aboard the International Space Station — and the space organization is accepting prototypes and applications for the installation from the public.