Maker Pro Newsletter – 11/14/13

Maker Pro Newsletter – 11/14/13

“No hardware plan survives contact with a factory.”

From the editors of MAKE magazine, the Maker Pro Newsletter is about the impact of makers on business and technology. Our coverage includes hardware startups, new products, incubators, and innovators, along with technology and market trends. Please send items to us at

Click here to subscribe to this newsletter.

Are you a Maker Pro? We’re compiling a list of Maker Pro Twitter handles, so please send us yours.


The Ultimate Guide to 3D Printing is Out


MAKE digital fabrication editor Anna Kaziunas France(@akaziuna), could probably go into business as a 3D printing therapist: helping clients find their own perfect, personal 3D printers. She knows that much about the field.

Fortunately for us, Anna has broader ambitions. So instead she recently led a team of 3D printing experts that methodically tested and reviewed 23 of the hottest new personal 3D printers on the market. They just published the results in a brand new Make: Ultimate Guide to 3D Printing, completely refreshed for 2014.

It’s a 3D printing primer — with everything you need to know to get started today. But it will also help you find out which one is best for your budget, applications, and ease-of-use, out of the box. It’s kind of like 3D printing therapy, but on a grand scale.

Here’s a top-level view of some of the best 3D printers in a number of categories.

MAKE also conducted a 3D printer survey of MAKE and Maker Pro newsletter subscribers, to provide a snapshot of the current 3D printer community.

Among the findings: close to half (46%) of the respondents own or have access to a 3D printer. Among those with access, nearly half (48%) used a 3D printer in the last week. Prototypes for projects (76%) and functional models and parts (75%) are the most common uses for 3D printers. Hobby use predominates, with 61% using their 3D printers mostly for a hobby, but 39% use a 3D printer for at least some business-related purpose.

We’ll provide more complete survey results in next week’s Maker Pro Newsletter.

You can get your copy of the Make: Ultimate Guide to 3D Printing today for 40% off the print version, the PDF version or the bundle of both. Use promo code 3DPMEET.

To celebrate the release of this epic buyers guide, MAKE is hosting a 3D Printer Meetup tonight, Thursday, Nov. 14 at 6pm PST, at MAKE HQ. You can join on the Meetup page and MAKE’s G+ page.

Or participate at one of the local Meetups in your area.  MAKE will be offering the three largest 3D Printer Meetup groups a stipend of $200 for food and beverage!

Whatever you do, definitely enter to win a Printrbot Simple, one of our “best in class” 3D printers (we identified 7 top performers during the test lab). You have until 6:01 pm PST to enter. The winner will be announced tonight.



3D Systems released its low-cost, consumer, 3D Sense Scanner. MAKE’s Matt Richardson (@mattrichardson), above, checked it out from inside a scan.

Shrinking robotics laboratory Willow Garage has generated itsninth spin-out project.

FinancesOnline published an elaborate infographic tracing Apple’s iPhone supply and manufacturing chain.

Bloomberg Businessweek profiled a Malaysian migrant workerentangled in that chain.

Rethink Robotics, creator of the Baxter manufacturing robot, raised $11.5 million in financing.

The FAA issued a roadmap for unmanned aircraft in preparation for final rules that will be coming in 2014 (for smaller drones) and 2015 (commercial operations).

GE demonstrated a new advance in additive manufacturing: 3Dpainting.

You can now buy filament in colorful sticks.

MakerBot announced MakerBot Academy, an educational initiative that hopes to put a MakerBot 3D printer in every school in the U.S.

Researchers at MIT’s Media Lab demonstrated a display made of atoms, not pixels.


Next Stop: Shenzhen?


A Shenzhen scene, from Cyril Ebersweiler’s presentation.

A few prominent hardware accelerators are now recruiting their next classes, and Cyril Ebersweiler, founder of China-based HAXLR8R, is making the case for accelerating in Shenzhen.

Ebersweiler is an advocate of designing with your factory, a process that he claims is easier and faster in China.

“No hardware plan survives contact with a factory,” is one of his mottos. (When Ebersweiler recently gave his talk at a conference in Vienna, a German hardware startup disagreed.)

Brady Forrest (@brady), of accelerator Highway1, is also an advocate for experience in China. Highway1 is currently taking applications for its next class.

BTW, Lemnos Labs, a San Francisco hardware incubator, has decided that it will no longer organize around classes.

Confused by the proliferation of accelerators and incubators? Chinese blog 88 Bar has just published a Cheat Sheet for Hardware Startup Accelerators.

Indiegogo “Committed” to Hardware

'Medical tricorder' Scanadu Scout raised more than $1.6 million on Indiegogo.“Medical tricorder” Scanadu Scout raised more than $1.6 million on Indiegogo.

Crowdfunding service Indiegogo is getting serious about hardware. Recently the service hosted a day-long Hardware Bootcamp in the San Francisco Bay Area that was attended by 70 companies.

It’s a promising niche for the service, since big dog Kickstarter has indicated that it is not a store. New entrant, hardware-specific Dragon Innovation is probably the leader in the hardware crowdfunding space now.

But Indiegogo has already had some majorly successful campaigns–including Misfit ShineScanadu Scout, and Canary. It’s hoping to build on that.

To that end it now has a hardware mentorAdam Ellsworth.

And it just published a free Hardware Handbook, which is a helpful combination of manufacturing and crowdfunding advice.

From Indiegogo's Hardware Handbook

From Indiegogo’s Hardware Handbook

For those that need even more info and encouragement before taking the scary leap into hardware crowdfunding, Indiegogo offers virtual office visits with hardware mentor Ellsworth and campaign specialist Ben Bateman.


3D Printer Meetup — at MAKE Headquarters!

MAKE celebrated the release of Make: Ultimate Guide to 3D Printing by hosting a 3D Printer Meetup, Thursday, Nov. 14 at 6pm PST, at MAKE HQ.

You can join on the Meetup page or MAKE’s G+ page.

Mini Maker Faires

Nearly a hundred a year to choose from, around the world. Check the Maker Faire Map to find the closest one to you. Coming up in this month:

Discuss this article with the rest of the community on our Discord server!

DC Denison is the co-editor of The Maker Pro Newsletter, which covers the intersection of makers and business. That means hardware startups, new products, and market trends.

DC manages customer stories at Acquia, the digital experience company.

View more articles by DC Denison


Ready to dive into the realm of hands-on innovation? This collection serves as your passport to an exhilarating journey of cutting-edge tinkering and technological marvels, encompassing 15 indispensable books tailored for budding creators.