Maker Pro Newsletter — 08.14.14

Maker Pro Newsletter — 08.14.14

“A new World’s Fair already exists.”

From the editors of Make:, 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

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Sponsored by:




factorli-team-2-may-2014The Factorli team, in a picture from May, 2014. Jen McCabe is far left.

Just three months after raising $10 million dollars from Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh’s VegasTechFund, Factorli, a small-run factory project, was abruptly closed, and CEO Jen McCabe (@jensmccabe) fired.

The closing was a disappointment to many hardware entrepreneurs who were hoping that the ambitious factory would provide an economical way to manufacture products in numbers that are not big enough to justify working with Chinese manufacturers.

Read more about it in Make:.



Someday we’re going to need one of these: a 3D search engine.

Google is probably already working on it.

In the meantime, we’ve got Yobi3D, which just joined the ranks of, and Thingiverse.

Sponsored content:


Power MIG 180 Dual MIG Welder

What better time to buy the welder you’ve always wanted than when you get free stuff with it! Buy one of Lincoln Electric’s select welders and choose a great bonus: cash rebate, free products, or a two-year extended warranty. Start your dream project today!



zest_betaCurrently in beta at Shapeways

3D printing service company Shapeways has introduced two new categories for the 3D models it hosts: “First to Try” and “Beta.”

New products that haven’t been printed with a high degree of confidence will now get the “First To Try” badge. The label applies to both new models, and new materials for existing models. In fact, all materials for a product will now begin in First To Try until each material has a Print Success Rate above 80 percent.

The idea is to alert potential buyers that the product or material has not been totally vetted by the Shapeways community.

Beta, on the other hand, is a designation that can be chosen by designers who would like to solicit feedback on how it fits, whether customers like the design, or anything else.

Startup Spotlight: World Maker Faire New York

One of our favorite tents at last spring’s Maker Faire Bay Area was the one that was chock full o’ startups. So we’re pleased to report that World Maker Faire New York (happening September 20 and 21, btw) will host a similar tent.

To celebrate, we’ve been featuring previews of some of the young companies that will be there. Here are three.


artifexsilverfront_2928_768x960The Artifex Silver 3D printer, from 3D Maker World

3D Maker World is a U.S.-based 3D printing technology company that has been designing and manufacturing professional-grade consumer 3D printers for makers, small businesses, schools and organizations who need to access high-performance 3D printing under constrained budget.

The company is dedicated to advance 3D printing technology with constant innovation and engineering excellence.


chip-abduction-620pxCarbide Labs’ Pick ‘n Paste is a low-cost desktop circuit assembly tool that enables individuals to produce professional quality boards in their own homes.

Carbide Labs is working to make modern electronics design accessible to everyone.

The team is currently focused on the Pick ‘n Paste: a low-cost, desktop, circuit board assembly tool. The device enables individuals to incorporate components both smaller and more powerful than those used in typical breadboard designs.

A crowdfunding campaign is planned for this fall.


TruView-Cube-x-ray-inspection-outsideThe TruView Cube X-Ray Inspection System is a fully motorized radiography system that can sit comfortably on top of a laboratory bench.

Creative Electron manufactures and distributes high performance, cost-effective, offline x-ray and optical inspection systems and test equipment used for quality assurance and counterfeit detection by the manufacturers and distributors of electronic systems and components.

Maker Pro Adventure

Nucleus-w-screen-croppedA Nucleus intercom unit

Jonathan Frankel began his hardware project, a smart, Internet-connected intercom system called Nucleus, from a standing start.

Launching a hardware startup was “nowhere on my radar” just two years earlier, when he graduated from law school.

So his 12 Tricks to Launch a Hardware Startup is full of hard-earned — and sometimes funny — advice.

Research is a big emphasis. In fact, he gets four steps into his method before he recommends actually starting to build your prototype. Much more important: market research and business planning.

Since he has no software, engineering, or programming skills, Frankel also has a lot of experience and resources to share for filling those gaps.

I also liked his honest, self-referential description of content marketing:

The sole raison d’être of this post is to serve as content marketing (meta, right?). I would like you to read this post, click over to and give me your email address so I can tell you when we launch. Typically, one should not state the purpose of their post so baldly. But you should definitely have a discrete goal in mind when doing content marketing, and subtly alert the reader as to what it may be.

Just don’t be disappointed when Frankel’s promise of 12 tricks fizzles out after just seven.

“So why did I entitle it, ‘12 tricks to launch a hardware startup?’” he confesses. “Because the research shows that people are more likely to click on a headline with the number twelve in it.”

MakerCon Preview

Two new speakers have been confirmed for MakerCon, in New York, September 17, 18, just days before World Maker Faire New York.

MakerCon, btw, is a conference by and for makers.

MakerCon connects individuals at the forefront of the maker movement, focusing on the technologies, services ecosystem, manufacturing models, and funding trends that provide new ways of making things and getting them to market.

The two new speakers:



The founder and CEO of littleBits is an engineer, interactive artist, and one of the leaders of the open source hardware movement.

Although originally known as an educational toy, littleBits has been growing into a serious prototyping system. The latest addition: a cloudBit module that enables users to “snap the internet to anything.”



The chairman of The Re:Imagine Group shapes strategies and marketing for a world of empowered and connected audiences and customers.

Peter has worked with executive teams at Best Buy, Hertz, Sony, Unilever, Thomson Reuters, IBM, Verizon, GE, Estee Lauder, Telefonica, and many others on digital and growth strategies.

Tweets of the Week

Maker Pro Tool of the Week



Go forth and measure! This 6-inch Dial Caliper measures outside and inside depth and step measurements up to 6″ with 0.001″ accuracy.

Buy it in the Maker Shed for $23.99.

Upcoming Maker Faires

Here’s what’s going on the rest of the month:

And just five weeks away: World Maker Faire New York, on September 20 & 21.

Why not apply to participate on the Street Team, or as a Maker Traveler?

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


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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