Hacked Gadgets Forum

January 28, 2010

Basement Design Revolution

at 2:10 pm. Filed under Educational

I have seen the writing on the wall for many years now. It is now possible for a single person or a small team to crank out physical items just like the big players with huge factories. In this new age where circuit designs can be cranked out on the coffee table and sent out to China for production the next day is fantastic! The internet has shortened the gap between design and manufacturing. With the advent of inexpensive machines like the Maker Bot you can wake up with a brilliant design idea, cad up a quick design and print your plastic idea before the sun it up. If the idea is a good one ship off the electronic file to a facility to crank them out and move onto your next big idea.

As an example the Button Code project was designed in my home office. Parts were sourced from a electronic wholesaler  and the board manufacturing was outsourced. All orders are electronic and most are sent out in kit form.

Chris Anderson from Wired and DIY Drones has written a great article which describes this exciting time, you owe it to yourself to check it out and be inspired.

“We designed the boards the way all electronics tinkerers do, with parts bought from online shops, wired together on prototyping breadboards. Once it worked on the breadboard, we laid out the schematic diagrams with CadSoft Eagle and started designing it as a custom printed circuit board (PCB). Each time we had a design that looked good onscreen, we’d upload it to a commercial PCB fab, and a couple of weeks later, samples would arrive at our door. We’d solder on the components, try them out, and then fix our errors and otherwise make improvements for the next version.

Eventually, we had a design we were happy with. How to commercialize it? We could do it ourselves, getting our PCB fab house to solder on the components, too, but we thought it might be better to partner with a retailer. The one that seemed culturally matched was SparkFun, which designs, makes, and sells electronics for the growing open source hardware community.”


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2 Responses to “Basement Design Revolution”

  1. NookSurfer Says:

    Great video and concept. He really explained the power of the internet. In the modern day and age, you can pretty much find any kind of resource you’re looking for. Whereas compared to before, resources like what he’s mentioned that are availabe in Asia won’t be accessible by a small business owner.

    Thanks for sharing!

  2. Dual Screens Says:

    my son would love the halo lego guy…

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