12 ways to document your new hardware concept

12 ways to effectively document your new hardware business concept / idea without needing an engineer. TLDR: Take photos of the problem / sketch out the use case.  Pictures are worth 1000 words. Write down a basic description of how you believe your hardware concept solves the problem(s) at hand. Who cares?  List at least 3x different types of people who you believe would want this solution.  Write down 3x different types of people who you believe would pay for this solution.  See the difference there? Materials? List the top 5 materials you think the hardware product should be made from. Other tech?  Are there any other features which are not simply passive materials that are required for your concept to function properly?  Electrical engineered circuits?  Software interactivity? Patent worthy? Try to identify at least 10+ aspects / features of your concept that are new, useful and non-obvious. Patent ready?  Review your work and then write down 10+ steps on

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TechShop Bankrupt, Maker Community mourns by taking action

It’s taken us some time to process the magnitude and impact of the recent news that TechShop declared chapter 7 bankruptcy.  Many of the fabricators in our network leveraged the tools provided by the TechShop to conduct much of our clients’s fabrication work.  Those users productivity all has since stopped, delayed expected delivery dates for project work and has pushed that fabrication demand originally supplied by TechShop members onto our You3Dit independent laser, CNC machine and 3D Printer owner / operators.   We’ve scrambled a bit internally to reroute the fabrication of several jobs and are back on track for the short term  (HUGE THANKS to our You3Dit fabricators who stepped up).  We want to help others do the same. However as of this writing, TechShop is still bankrupt, closed an leaving many people stranded who need help with getting access to machines.  We have to figure out what we’re going to do next to solve the long-term issues created by

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In order to 3D print, you need a 3D Design file…we’re here to help you!

We often get requests to “3D print” something, an image or sketch or what have you where the client asks this simply to be “fabricated”.  In our simple 3 step process: Client submits a new project New project is 3D Designed (client is provided the 3D Design files, e.g. *.STL) Project is Fabricated (e.g. 3D Printed) This request effectively translates into “please start at step #1, skip step #2, and then proceed to step #3.” As of this writing, there is no automated process that we’re familiar with that can automate step #2 and thus, it requires some human involvement to transform the client request into the 3D CAD Design file that is needed to “3D Print” or fabricate in any number of digital fabrication methods.  We are actively pursuing research to support our Design Acquisition System (DAS) but it’s not ready for prime time…yet.  But do not worry, there is still hope for your project! Our 3D Design network is

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What does it cost to design and fabricate a prototype?

This is the question on every Maker’s mind.  What does it cost to bring my idea to life?  It’s nearly impossible for us to tell you without having a basic understanding of your project goals.  We’re going to attempt to define a generic rubric here to give you a better idea of how far your money can take you. Two simple, yet largely true, mantras we see our data proving correct are: “You get what you pay for” and “Time is money” As we attempt to provide guidelines on You3Dit pricing, we’ll use a rating system similar to what you might see in a Zagat guide to restaurants $-$$$$$.

Mastering You3Dit Beta as a Maker (Part 1 of 2)

Why read this article? Because if you are who we think you are, investing 10 minutes of your precious time now to read this article will save you a lot of time in the future as you bring your idea to life. This is a two-part article which will walk you through five essential parts of the You3Dit Process: Who is a “Maker” in the You3Dit network? (Part 1) How much does it cost (Part 1) Creating a Project (Part 1) Getting your idea designed in 3D (Part 2) Getting your new 3D Design fabricated (Part 2) But first…