Faster prototyping & cheaper manufacturing have allowed hardware experts to gain a hold in a market traditionally dominated by multi-national corporations. Last fall, we raised $500k in convertible notes to build a marketplace for these independent hardware companies.
Tindie now has over 4,000 customers, 1,200 products, and 300 businesses. Products include Arduino & Raspberry Pi shields, sensors, robots, 3D printers, drones and more. Our customers include Fortune 500 corporations, government agencies, universities and hobbyists.
Because of our growth, our sellers are continually running out of inventory (especially after months like August), and waiting on the completion of their next product run. We’re currently sold out of over 160 products. We are raising $1m to build the infrastructure to connect manufacturers & fulfillment businesses with our sellers. This will allow us to meet market demand while also freeing our sellers to design new products.
Here’s an in-development resource that attempts to help customers compare and contrast all desktop 3D Printers currently available: Makerwise 3D Printer Guide:
We’ve been following the 3D printing movement with great interest and like so many we’re very excited about its potential. But as new and innovative 3D printers are continually introduced, it’s becoming more difficult for potential buyers to keep track of their performance, quality and availability.
That’s why we set out to create this objective guide of each and every commercially available 3D printer out there. It is our goal to make this a platform where any individual or company will be able to find the 3D printer that fits their specific needs. So whether you’re a student, engineer, designer or just a tinkerer, we hope this site will prove useful in navigating the amazingly diverse world of 3D printers.
Tangeez are a set of interactive light blocks that change color depending on how you stack them. You can get 7 different colors out of one block. They’re about the size of a cupcake and fit in the palm of your hand. They change color as you stack and rearrange them. There’s lots of fun to be had with Tangeez as you can see form the pictures here!
Outside of its own community, 3D printing continues to be a controversial topic. On the one hand there are those who believe that it may destroy capitalism by putting the means of production into the hands of the majority. Meanwhile, at the more sceptical end of the spectrum, critics continue to denounce 3D printing as having little real potential to make any substantial impact on the business world.
Following the publication of my book “3D Printing: The Next Industrial Revolution” back in May, I have been invited to talk to many mainstream business audiences about 3D printing. Many such companies have included accountancy and consultancy firms, banks, and others who are not in the manufacturing sector. In this article (and its accompanying video) I’m therefore going to summarize the key messages I’ve been discussing with companies who want to learn more about 3D printing, but who are currently making little or no use of the technology. You may of course disagree with everything that I say! But if nothing else, I hope to spark further debate. As the growing number of articles on 3Dprinter.net demonstrate, 3D printing may now be developing very rapidly indeed. This said, until it can really transition into the mainstream, it will remain a somewhat niche set of technologies with limited business relevance.
Every Thursday is #3dthursday here at Adafruit! The DIY 3D printing community has passion and dedication for making solid objects from digital models. Recently, we have noticed electronics projects integrated with 3D printed enclosures, brackets, and sculptures, so each Thursday we celebrate and highlight these bold pioneers!
Have you considered building a 3D project around an Arduino or other microcontroller? How about printing a bracket to mount your Raspberry Pi to the back of your HD monitor? And don’t forget the countless LED projects that are possible when you are modeling your projects in 3D!
The Adafruit Learning System has dozens of great tools to get you well on your way to creating incredible works of engineering, interactive art, and design with your 3D printer! If you’ve made a cool project that combines 3D printing and electronics, be sure to let us know, and we’ll feature it here!
Trammell let us take Baxter for a spin, there are a few robot technologies we’re considering for automating the Adafruit factory more, with about 50 people in our factory in Soho, NYC – we’re constantly looking for ways to maximize our productivity. Baxter is an interesting first-of-its kind robot that was designed to work with people, no programming is required and it’s made to work with people at all times. While our needs are more specialized towards tiny parts, Baxter has some interesting applications for larger items and packing.
Baxter is an entirely new type robot that is redefining the way robots can be used in manufacturing environments. It performs a variety of repetitive production tasks – all while safely and intelligently working next to people. How? Baxter exhibits behavior-based ‘common sense,’ capable of sensing and adapting to its task and its environment. It requires no complex programming or costly integration. And with its uniquely low price point, Baxter provides a compelling alternative to low-cost offshoring for manufacturers of all sizes.
Check out these helpful tips for pricing items in a Shapeway store, over on the Shapeways Blog:
Pricing models is a challenge every Shapie Shop Owner faces. In this emerging marketplace of 3D Printing storefronts, guidance and advice on perceived value is imperative. Today, Kim, one of our product superstars, breaks down pricing and markup so you can optimize your shop for success.
IMPORTANCE OF PRICING
Though sometimes overlooked, product pricing helps shoppers form first impressions about the value of your product, the type of products you sell, and the type of shop you own.
Pricing also tells a story, and by setting the right price, you can make yours more compelling—and attractive to customers.
COMPONENTS OF PRICE
Shapeways is a unique marketplace where printing and manufacturing costs are factored in early on. So, as a Shapeways Shop Owner, all you need to think about is how much profit you’d like to make. Let’s start by looking at what a price is composed of.
The first part is the base price, which is the price you would pay to purchase the model for yourself. Second is the markup, which is the amount of money you want to make off each sale of your product. Add these two together, and you have your final price.
PRICE TO CONSUMER* = SW BASE PRICE + YOUR PROFIT
* Excludes shipping. EUR prices are displayed with VAT.
DETERMINING YOUR MARKUP
Your profit is determined by YOU. Your chosen markup is how much you’ll make each time a customer purchases your product, so it’s important to keep in mind your audience as you consider the final price. There is no set markup amount or percentage that will always work, but here are some guiding factors to consider….
Several years ago, Peng Ziyun was at the Shanghai Conservatory of Music, studying music and technology. She learned about sound engineering and wanted to build something of her own. But she didn’t know how, and she didn’t have anyone to teach her. An Internet search led her to Xinchejian, China’s first formal “hackerspace,” a community-run workshop where ordinary people tinker with everything from art projects to robots.
Andreessen Horowitz is bullish on the latest resurgence in hardware startups. The company has backed Shapeways and Airware, a 3D printing company and a drone company.
But Marc Andreessen is very cautious in his optimism about the sector. “The problem is that hardware companies are much harder to build and scale than software companies,” he said at PandoMonthly in San Francisco this evening. “Even with Kickstarter, even with China, there are so many ways hardware can blow up in a non-recoverable way.”
We visit the headquarters of the Other Machine Company, the makers of a portable desktop CNC milling machine. Funded through Kickstarter, Othermill can be used to milling circuit boards, making molds, and engraving a variety of materials. We learn about how it works and why it’s like a counterpart to 3D printers.
Each week, I share some of the books and other resources I have found inspiring in my investigation into 3D design for 3D printing. The full list lives here on the pinboard “3D Design to 3D Print Inspirations” and each #3DThursday I share about those that I most highly recommend.
Several provocative topics such as “The ten principles of 3D printing” (shared here!) and “The language of shapes” synthesize years of teaching, writing, and speaking on these subjects and I found their arguments persuasive: information immediately useful for current 3D design/printing projects. While this is a book that focuses quite a bit on the future, and where things might be headed — there will be many like this and very few of them will be worth the paper (or bytes) they are written on — these projections into the future are built on a solid foundation of practical experience watching the field grow and evolve, so we are definitely learning something at the same time as tremendously entertained.
Fabricated tells the story of 3D printers, humble manufacturing machines that are bursting out of the factory and into schools, kitchens, hospitals, even onto the fashion catwalk. Fabricated describes our emerging world of printable products, where people design and 3D print their own creations as easily as they edit an online document.
A 3D printer transforms digital information into a physical object by carrying out instructions from an electronic design file, or ‘blueprint.’ Guided by a design file, a 3D printer lays down layer after layer of a raw material to ‘print’ out an object. That’s not the whole story, however. The magic happens when you plug a 3D printer into today’s mind-boggling digital technologies. Add to that the Internet, tiny, low cost electronic circuitry, radical advances in materials science and biotech and voila! The result is an explosion of technological and social innovation.
Fabricated takes the reader onto a rich and fulfilling journey that explores how 3D printing is poised to impact nearly every part of our lives.
Aimed at people who enjoy books on business strategy, popular science and novel technology, Fabricated will provide readers with practical and imaginative insights to the question ‘how will this technology change my life?’ Based on hundreds of hours of research and dozens of interviews with experts from a broad range of industries, Fabricated offers readers an informative, engaging and fast-paced introduction to 3D printing now and in the future.
We’ve learned an extraordinary amount since our campaign launched on May 2. We’ve had many breakthroughs, and we’ve made some mistakes along the way too. As we approach delivery, I wanted to take the time to share some of what we’ve learned and help answer the oft-asked question: why does every Kickstarter project seem to get delayed?
Robotic start-up companies range from the whimsical to the amazing, from futuristic to topical, and from hubs of robotic activity in Silicon Valley, Boston, New York City (a new hub) and Switzerland to far-off places around the world: Turkey, Tel Aviv, Moscow, Christchurch, Reykjavik, Singapore, Shenzhen, Buenos Aires — essentially, everywhere that programmers program and engineers tinker.
When small businesses reach a certain volume in sales, they often consider outsourcing their fulfillment operations to what’s known as a third-party logistics provider, or “3PL,” meaning that someone else takes responsibility for the packing and shipping. In part, this is because it can take a lot of time and money to build a successful in-house operation, but Ms. Zander has no interest in doing anything of the sort.
At Jimmy Beans, which sells knitting yarn online from its base in Reno, Nev., fulfillment is a critical part of the company’s customer-service operations. “I would never outsource it in a million years,” she said.
…we benefitted from talking to manufacturers before we ran our Kickstarter campaign. They helped us design for injection molding, which was new to us, but a very scalable manufacturing process. We were able to get tooling estimates that helped us decide both on our overall funding goal, and on our reward levels. We were able to decide these things based on a well-informed estimate of our production costs (based on an absolutely monstrous spreadsheet that we agonized over for days), not on guesses or a gut feeling of how much it ought to cost — or at least, we eliminated a large percentage of the guess-work. We set a goal that would cover non-recoverable expenses and allow us to break even on a batch of 300 Clydes. Any more than that, the unit costs only go down, and that puts us in good shape.