Maker Pro Newsletter – New Raspberry Pi

Maker Pro Newsletter –  New Raspberry Pi

“Build an experience, not a product.”

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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New Raspberry Pi

The new Raspberry Pi B+

The new Raspberry Pi B+

Two more USB ports, more pins, rounded corners, “proper mounting holes,” and a few other upgrades. Make:‘s Alasdair Allan (@aallanshares his first impressions of the Raspberry Pi B+.

Intel’s Galileo Board Also Gets an Upgrade


Intel announced a 2nd generation of its Linux-powered, Arduino-compatible development board, coming this summer.

Matt Richardson (@mattrichardson) says the new board “touts a slew of much-desired features.”

You can read about them in Make:.


Nest and Samsung Propose New IoT Standard

Thread Applications

A consortium of companies, including Google’s Nest and Samsung, are proposing a new wireless protocol for home automation: Thread. The backers claim it will be superior to wi-fi and Bluetooth, because it will use less power and is more mesh oriented. The consortium is promising the first Thread-compatible devices by mid 2015.

The Home Depot Will Sell MakerBot Printers

In a pilot program, MakerBot 3D printers will be available in 12 Home Depotstores — in California, Illinois, and New York — beginning July 14.

New 3D Printer Targets Kids

printeerMany 3D printers are education-oriented, but Printeer has a tighter focus: young children. It just doubled its $50k campaign goal on Kickstarter.

A Brooklyn Debriefing on World Maker Faire New York and MakerCon New York


The NY3DP blog wrote up the recent Maker Faire “Town Hall” event, at Kickstarter’s Brooklyn HQ, that officially announced the return of World Maker Faire New York (September 20 and 21) and MakerCon New York 2014 (a few days before, on September 17, 18). Save those dates!


Fairphone Partners with 3D Hubs


Pick a smartphone case, and then pick it up from a nearby 3D printer.

3DHubs has been assembling an impressive network of 3D printers around the globe. Now they are starting to add some content: specifically smartphone cases from Fairphone.

Order a case you like and have it 3D printed by the nearest, or most convenient, 3D Hubs member.

In Cambridge, Massachusetts, I had the choice of picking up my smartphone case from 17 local printers within 15 miles. About half of them offered to print it out in less than an hour; the rest were between “under four hours” and “within a day.”

With thousands of 3D printers around the world connected to its network, 3D Hubs could start to sell all sorts of things.

Hatch, for Projects That Can be Personalized

Hatch is a NYC-based online store, with an emphasis on personalization. If you make something that can be personalized, you can probably sell it here.


Hatch specializes in gifts that can be personalized.

Here’s their makers page. And a gallery of makers who’ve been successful on the site.


Pick the Right Wi-Fi Module

A detail from Upverter’s guide to wi-fi modules.

A few weeks ago, Upverter posted an infographic on picking the right Bluetooth module. Now, they’ve posted a similar breakdown for wi-fi modules.

The Ultimate Guide to Bootstrapping Hardware Startups


The 5 “gates” that a hardware startup must pass through, according to the Ultimate Guide

Adam Benzion (@adambenzion) is a Microsoft alum who started a consumer electronics company. He claims that he was fortunate to sell his company justbefore his naivete caught up with him.

Now he’s hoping to fill that hardware knowlege gap on a number of fronts. He’s moderating The Hardware Startup group on LinkedIn, he’s foundedEntirely, a network for hardware startups, and he’s written The Ultimate Guide to Bootstrapping Hardware Startups, available as a free download.

Benzion’s guide is a broad, top-level overview. He pulls from many sources, like Haxlr8r’s Cyril Ebersweiler; he floats many, many questions that a first-time hardware entrepreneur should consider; he drops in a lot of quotable advice (“Build an experience, not a product”); he links to many resources.

Reading it is like looking over Benzion’s shoulder as he maps the planets around his Entirely network, which is still in beta.

A good intro to the new hardware ecosystem, for sure.

What’s Up in Wearables

Get an overview of what’s happening in wearables from Becky Stern (@bekathwia) who’s right in the middle of it.


Becky Stern

Becky answers questions from Make: in a video interview that’s just one of the highlights of this week’s focus on the blinktastic world of wearables.

Maker Pro Adventures

What I Learned Making a CNC Machine


Working on a product like Othermill will give you a new respect for quality control. 

He knew tolerances, as an end-user, but Eric Weinhoffer (@eweinhoffer) discovered a whole other world when he started working with the team that’s building  Othermill, a desktop-friendly, 16-pound CNC mill designed for precision work.

The difference shows up, he discovered, when you have to deliver resolutions of 1/1000th of an inch on a repeatable basis, every single time. Eric’s article in Make: is a vivid introduction to the world of quality control (QC) and the tools used to complete it effectively.

Why Lockitron Has Taken So Long to Ship


A cofounder of the crowdfunded success story (they raised $2.3 million),  Cameron Robertson (@ccamrobertson), describes why it has taken so long for Lockitron to ship. Quality control has been a major issue. So has manufacturing a product that meshes electronic and mechanical worlds. Dealing with Chinese manufacturers, necessary to make their price points, has also added a level of complication. 

Fortunately, Lockitron’s creators have built the units to allow continuous updates, via wi-fi, which gives Robertson hope that the device will “get better every day from the first time you install it” — once they deliver it to you.

Bridging the Gap Between Maker and Manufacturer


The inspiration for BETWINE, left, and three stages of the product.

Seeed Studio in China worked with ImLab, the Delaware startup behind BETWINE, a wearable social game, to try to counter some of the problems that bedevil naive manufacturers, including uncertain lead times and structural problems.

In Make: Violet Su describes how Seeed, and Innoconn, an initiative funded by the giant Chinese manufacturer Foxconn, have made ImLab confidant enough to float a Kickstarter campaign.

Tweets of the Week

MakerCon is coming to New York!

After the successful launch of the 2 day conference by and for the leaders of the maker movement in the Bay Area, Maker Media will host MakerCon on September 17 & 18 at the New York Hall of Science. Sponsored by Cornell University School of Engineering and Autodesk, MakerCon connects individuals at the forefront of the maker movement, 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. These leaders come together to exchange their views and visions about the impact of the maker movement, and its sweeping measure beyond only new business and new technologies. The stellar speaker lineup includes:

Brian Krzanich, CEO of Intel
Massimo Banzi, co-founder Arduino
Yancey Strickler, CEO of Kickstarter
Tim McNulty, VP of Government Affairs at Carnegie Mello University
Jose Gomez-Marquez, principal medical device designer, Little Devices lab at MIT
Carla Diana, founder Smart Interaction Lab
Aaron Horowitz, co-founder Sproutel
Peter Hirshberg, CEO The Re:imagine Group

Don’t miss the early-bird ticket price of $495 for this epic two day event!

Maker Pros working on a new product or project that could be the next cutting edge device with huge commercial upside for consumers or business applications should submit their ideas for inclusion in the Innovation Showcase. The Wednesday evening event is a unique opportunity to casually engage MakerCon attendees while demonstrating your innovative product or device. Secure one of the 24 slots available at this popular two-hour event today, space is limited.

Upcoming Maker Faires

Here’s what’s going on this month:

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

The former technology editor of The Boston Globe, DC is also interested in ebook experimentation and content management systems.

One of the places where can be found online is Google+ (which I'm adding here only because I want to see if by adding "rel=author" and "rel=me" to those two links I can get Google to display my picture in its search results.)

Hey, it works!

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