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Welcome to our series ‘Shop Talk’, where Dan Slaski interviews people in the thick of product development business, who make the magic happen and turn their ideas into reality. Have an interview suggestion? Send it in. Xometry is an online mega manufacturing marketplace ready to take whatever 3D models you can throw at them.  Xometry isn’t…

steel finger joint stool

One reason we like to feature the process behind the design is how it breaks down what may otherwise seem complicated. For maker Jimmy Diresta, the process is an artform in itself. His videos are a soothing, manufacturing-noise-only, time-lapse of a project from beginning to end. It’s no less the case in his build of…

After reading yet another mainstream publication talk about “3D printed human organs” I thought it wise to share my thoughts about the five most frequently heard myths of 3D printing.  These myths have been around since I started in this business over 12 years ago, and for some unexplainable reason, they have not gone away.…

In San Francisco, Hardware Massive put together their first “HW Summit SF” on November 7, 2018. This organization was also behind April 2018’s HardwareCon which we covered here. Turn out for the first annual Hardware Summit San Francisco Apologies for not getting this coverage out sooner (some HW engineering stuff got in my way), but…

Last week millions were left in the wake of the fourth-strongest hurricane to make landfall. Towns were flooded, homes were lost, and businesses were destroyed. There’s a lot of clean up ahead and the affects are so vast it’s hard to know where to start. We can start though, and do it a little at…

EksoVest

You read it correctly; exoskeletons aren’t just fantasy anymore—they’re officially now a tool in the workforce. But unlike the mechanical aids you see in movies or television, these suits don’t enhance the wearer’s strength twofold but rather increase their endurance to help a person reach overhead. The suit in question is called the EksoVest. Created…

Pretty Knotty Bootstrap Startup Manufacturing

Your product design is ready, your prototype works and you want to hit the store shelves as soon as possible. But how? Manufacturing looks easy on “How it’s made”, whether it’s a Ferrari FF or Jawbreakers, everything sold to consumers has been manufactured to some degree. While things run smoothly in established factories across the…

mHub Chicago design and Manufacturing Incubator

On March 9th, 2018, mHUB in Chicago celebrated surviving its first year and it’s showing a strong start to its 2nd. A product of Chicago’s rich manufacturing history, mHUB refers to itself as a “manufacturing and physical product innovation center”. It provides incubator-type resources, fabulous and expensive prototyping equipment & software, and coworking spaces. Their 1st…

landing.AI - AI for manufacturing

Unlike science fiction movies, where “A.I.” is commonly associated with usurping humanoid robots, real-life artificial intelligence looks far less creepy and is a lot more specialized. They still do our bidding, but without the constant worry that one day they will wake up wondering why they’re doing manual labor without pay. Getting the jump on…

Featuring the world’s first back-illuminated 35 millimeter full-frame CMOS image sensor, Sony’s α7R II mirrorless camera holds a pretty significant torch next to some of the older players in the camera game. And at $2,900 for just the camera body, it’s priced that way, too. But before the α7R II ever captures an image, it…

In the wide world of manufacturing—from seamless iPhone assemblies to precision watch parts—who would have thought that the manufacturing of ping pong balls would be so dang fascinating to watch? Yes—the little plastic balls, which can often be found in packs of six at your local convenience store for less than $5, have a considerably…

It looks like Bridgestone is flexing its biceps at Nexo by creating airless bicycle tires that won’t go flat, even when punctured. Unlike conventional tires with an inner tube filled with air to maintain rigidity, Bridgestone’s “Air-Free Concept” wheels feature thermoplastic resin spokes to maintain shape and support the weight. The tires are stretched around the inner…

The oceans of the world are vast, covering approximately 72% of the planet’s surface. Many people across the ages have travelled the seven seas in search of new worlds! The more bold at heart have sought to explore beneath the surface uncovering the mysteries of the deep. Tales abound of encounters with strange and enormous creatures,…

Who doesn’t love a great video of giant metal parts being manufactured? Suffice it to say, we’re suckers for them around here at SolidSmack. Thankfully, the equally-obsessed fellas over at Extreme Machines Magazine have got our back—and a treasure trove of manufacturing vids, to boot. For their latest hypnotic masterpiece, the fellas took us inside…

Draft angles are fundamental to part design. If you want to make physical things, you gotsta’ master draft. In his inaugural post, the great Vince “Skill Coach” Haley shows you how. There’s nothing like the musty aroma of carefully crafted paper mache popping free of its surrogate mold. And to my daughter’s delight, that’s exactly…

Although digital LED destination signs have become increasingly more common on public transportation vehicles since the technology has become more affordable to implement, they surprisingly aren’t the most favored method of signage on modern rail cars and buses on their way to pick up eagerly awaiting passengers. Alternatively, backlit roller bus blinds offer significantly cleaner…

Although it’s never been easier for craftsman-entrepreneurs to establish their own companies thanks to everything from streamlined payment systems to website building services, finding international success selling firewood for $1000 per bundle surely isn’t a very common success story. Yet for Canadian entrepreneur Jesse Horn, the opportunity to establish his own niche within the North…

While it’s common knowledge that crowdfunding has changed how products are brought to market, the process of going from grassroots Kickstarter campaign to viral success has also introduced entirely new challenges for ensuring that supply chains and vendors are capable of meeting necessary manufacturing requirements that thousands of eager backers – and not to mention…

Some of the best conceptual manufacturing equipment designs that we’ve seen over the past few years have involved altering traditional processes into more simplified approaches that strip away the complexities in favor of the bare minimum. Among others that come to mind instantly is Dave Hakkens’ Precious Plastic project – where he has simplified traditional…