Maker Pro Newsletter – 04/03/14

Maker Pro Newsletter – 04/03/14

“Prototyping is solved.”

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.

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* Now you can use an inkjet printer to quickly prototype circuits. MAKE demonstrates how.

* A new VC firm in Los Angeles, TYLT Labs, is targeting hardware startups.

* 3D Hubs and the Francis Bitonti Studio are planning to launch a new, distributed Cloud Collection this week. First up: vases and bowls that let you choose the level of milling and scoring on the surface, below.


* A former reporter, now working for Celery, has written a no-nonsense report on the realities of PR for startups. One tip that shows he knows what he’s talking about: Don’t bother writing a press release; they only work for established companies.


* CircuitHub has partnered with Worthington Assembly to create a cloud-based fabrication service to grow your product quantity from 1 to 10,000.

* The Singapore Maker Map for hardware startups sets a standard for other cities and regions to emulate.

* AT&T, Cisco, GE, IBM, and Intel have joined together to form the Industrial Internet Consortium, to “improve integration of the physical and digital worlds.” If you’re trying to remember the other IoT industry alliance, announced last year, it is the AllSeen Alliance.


The Additively model.

* Additively wants to crowdsource additive manufacturing according to the model above: post the parts you need, and they will help you select the right 3D printing technology based on offers from various service providers.

* SF’s Lemnos Labs has raised a new round of funding to support early-stage hardware startups.


* The Lix pen, a sleek, aluminum 3D printer pen, will be taking preorders on Kickstarter soon.


* If you’d rather stay virtual, you can wait for the Gravity sketch pad, above.

* Have you been inspired by emerging trends like social innovation and conscious capitalism? You may be a member of the The Purpose Economy.



Go Natural


There’s a new filament maker on the upswing: nature.

A German company, twoBEars, is working with renewable raw materials to create biodegradable filaments. That’s their mixing board, above.

Sierra Resins and 3D Printlife have partnered to introduce a “bioplastic” filament.

Finally, Le FabShop, in Paris, just announced that it is working on a green 3D printing filament, made from seaweed, in partnership with another French company, Algopack.

Reports from the Hardware Front


Benjamin Joffe (@benjaminjoffe), general partner at the HAXLR8R accelerator, has put together an energetic slideshow, fronted by a Google-Glass-wearing dog, that sums up his take on the state of hardware manufacturing.

Among the new developments, according to Joffe: “prototyping is solved.” The presentation also has a lot of advice for startups, including a list of 12 “wares” to avoid, including FUNware (“no business”), EASYware (“not defensible”), and ten others.

Ales Spetic (@alesspetic), the CEO of CubeSensors, has also collected some advice for hardware entrepreneurs and investors, after his first foray from the world of software into the hardware scene. If you, or your investors, see the startup world through a software lens, Spetic has news for you: the difference is “substantial.”

Lady Ada Goes to Vegas


Limor “Ladyada” Fried (@adafruit) has been shopping for manufacturing equipment at the giant Apex Expo in Las Vegas, and it’s been fun to follow along. That’s her, above, checking out a Speedline Momentum Elite stencil printer, which she already owns, and loves.

Limor visited, and offered commentary on, more than a dozen similarly huge industrial tools, making them seem almost accessible — something she’s good at.

Maker Pro Tweets of the Week

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Maker Faire Bay Area


The 9th annual Maker Faire Bay Area, our “home game” that started it all, is taking place May 17 and 18 at the San Mateo Fairgrounds.


Hey, Maker Pros — MAKE is hosting its first MakerCon, May 13–14, the week of Maker Faire Bay Area.

MakerCon connects individuals at the forefront of the maker movement in a two-day conference and workshop, from experts in digital manufacturing, to technology and tools providers, to accelerators that facilitate taking a prototype to market, and a broad swath of makers. The event will kick off with a number of three-hour workshops Tuesday morning followed by our stellar speaker lineup.

Working on something new? Consider applying for the Innovation Showcase or the Pitch your Prototype contest.

Featured speakers include:

  • Brian David Johnson, futurist, Intel
  • bunnie Huang, co-founder Chumby
  • Eric Klein, partner, Lemnos Labs
  • Massimo Banzi, co-founder Arduino
  • Kevin Kelly, founding executive editor of Wired and founder of Cool Tools
  • Carl Bass, president and CEO, Autodesk
  • Edward Screven, Chief Corporate Architect, Oracle
  • Emile Petrone, founder, Tindie
  • Eric Pan, founder and CEO, Seeed Studios
  • Jose Gomez-Marquez, principal medical device designer, Little Devices lab at MIT
  • Mickey McManus, CEO, MAYA Design
  • Peter Hirshberg, CEO The Re:imagine Group

Check out for a full list of speakers and themes.


How to Make Your Way to Maker Faire Bay Area, and Maker Faire Rome.


1. Come up with the winning design for the Maker Faire Info Booth. Book your free trip to San Francisco to attend Maker Faire Bay Area. You have until April 14 to submit your design.

2. Then smoke the competition with your entry into MAKE’s Arduino project contest.


You’ll receive $5,000 for air fare and hotel expenses for two to attend Maker Faire Rome Sept. 28–Oct. 5, 2014. The period for submission of applications runs until Apr. 25. Click here to enter.

3. Pack your bags.

Upcoming Maker Faires

Here’s what’s coming in the next few months:

What’s ahead further down the road? Check the Maker Faire Map to find the closest one to you.

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


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