Talk at Institute for the Future
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Talk at Institute for the Future



I gave a talk at Institute for the Future about my work in digital manufacturing and hardware startups + they wanted me to talk about what I though of "Maker Cities"

I gave a talk at Institute for the Future about my work in digital manufacturing and hardware startups + they wanted me to talk about what I though of "Maker Cities"



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Talk at Institute for the Future Presentation Transcript

  • 1. SolveHard(ware)ProblemsNick Pinkston@nickpinkstonThursday, April 25, 2013
  • 2. Nick’s ProjectsThursday, April 25, 2013
  • 3. • Get space creatively• Behind every hackerspace is a cool landlord• Get members first, get them to pay up• Be open to the community, open shopThursday, April 25, 2013
  • 4. • Started as distributed fabbing marketplace• Don’t do this...• Then automated 3D printing• Then injection mold quoting softwareThursday, April 25, 2013
  • 5. 16 Meetups4694 MembersThursday, April 25, 2013
  • 6. Thursday, April 25, 2013
  • 7. DFM Plug-ins Full-auto FactoryThursday, April 25, 2013
  • 8. Why Hardware Startups?• Real Problems: Food, water, shelter,medicine... We can’t solve these byjust adding software - new machinesand devices need to be made.• Big Companies aren’t moving fastenough - we need startups to solve thesehardware problems faster and more widely.Thursday, April 25, 2013
  • 9. First Startup Dec 2011 March 2012 July 2012 -LocationSanFranciscoShenzhenChinaSanFranciscoBostonStartups 9 9 1(?) 0Services- Mentors- Workspace- Mfg. Resources- Mentors- Space- Near Shenzhensupply base- Seeed Studio- Mentors- Full Proto Shop- PCH Mfg.Resources- Mentors- Full Proto Shop- Dragon Inno.Mfg. ResourcesFunding Funds: $25-100K- Equity: 3-10%Funds: $25K- Equity: 6-10%Funds: ?- Equity: ?- Licensing Model?Funds: ?- Equity: ?- Licensing ModelHardware AcceleratorsThursday, April 25, 2013
  • 10. Hardware Startup Services*No one knows why the “Street” trope happened...Thursday, April 25, 2013
  • 11. Mfg: Now and Then•Mass Production:• Unit Cost, Scalability• Mass Customization is overhyped•Small-Run, Flexible Production:• Setup Cost, SpeedManufacturers are stuck in a mass production mindsetThursday, April 25, 2013
  • 12. Digital Manufacturing isthe Real Movement• 3DP is currently overhyped, but it is greatfor prototyping and as a Gateway Drug• Prototyping is close to solved• Production is the real problemThursday, April 25, 2013
  • 13. Nothing is ever Democratized“Good, Fast, Cheap - pick two”- Engineering MaximComputers?Are datacenters just abunch of MacBooks?Printers?Why does Print-on-Demand exist?Thursday, April 25, 2013
  • 14. Manufacturing Physics• Feature formation efficiency (x = speed)• Molding is x^3, SLS = x^2, FDM = x• Material Compatibility (melting points, etc.)• Don’t Fight Entropy: melting vs. formingThursday, April 25, 2013
  • 15. Manufacturers don’t wantyour help• Still focused on big players and mass production• Don’t make their own software / electronics.Allof them are mech. engineers / machinists• “What’s MAKE Magazine?”-Youth coordinator for manufacturing magazineThursday, April 25, 2013
  • 16. Engineering ConservatismSoftwareEngineering(minutes)ElectricalEngineering(days)MechanicalEngineering(weeks)CivilEngineering(months)Conservatism is driven by iteration time and riskScrewing up(debugging) is howyou have to work.Screwing up is veryexpensive.Don’t do it!One iteration, if itbreaks:“You’re Fired!”It’s going to take afew boards to get itright.Thursday, April 25, 2013
  • 17. Vertical is Back• Who: SpaceX,Tesla,Apple, Makerbot,3D Robotics, OpenROV, etc.• HybridVertical & Core Competencies• Hyundai built their own steel millThursday, April 25, 2013
  • 18. Distributed Productionis a CanardDistributed / Democratized Prototyping is RealThursday, April 25, 2013
  • 19. Machine cost doesn’t matter• Machine vs. Unit vs. Setup Cost• Facebook is capital intensive:• $1.8B Datacenter + $53M/YR electricity• $1.5B 2012 RevenueThursday, April 25, 2013
  • 20. The Robot WarsBaxter RobotMasterThursday, April 25, 2013
  • 21. Economies of Scalein the FutureInfrastructureCommunityThursday, April 25, 2013
  • 22. MechE ToolsThursday, April 25, 2013
  • 23. EE ToolsThursday, April 25, 2013
  • 24. What should CAD really give you?• Simulation• DFM - Design for Manufacturability• Data Interchange and Part Libraries• MechE + EE• Collaboration• Problem:We need more bandwidth!Engineering SuperpowersThursday, April 25, 2013
  • 25. Open Source?• Open Hardware: Going through aStallman moment...• Makerbot, Chris Anderson, OpenROV...•Software:• Open is hard when Users ≠ Developers:• FreeCAD, GIMP, Calibre, etc... suckThursday, April 25, 2013
  • 26. Maker Cities• Cities are gaining power relative to Feds• Our current capitalism has issues withlong-term outlooks and +/- externalities• Education is the ultimate competitive adv.Thursday, April 25, 2013
  • 27. A Brief History of Maker Cities• Robert Owen (Textiles) -> New Harmony, IN• F.C. Lowell (Textiles) -> Lowell, MA• Henry Ford (Cars) -> Fordlandia, BrazilTrope: Industrialist -> Factory UtopiaHonorable Mention: J.A. Etzler & “New Eden” (1833)“The paradise within the reach of all men, without labour, by powers of nature and machinery”Thursday, April 25, 2013
  • 28. Current Maker Cities• Open Source Ecology’s Factor-eFarm• Shenzhen• “Pro” Hackerspaces• Artisans Asylum (Somerville, MA)• New Lab (coming soon to Brooklyn)• Berkeley Makerspace (coming soon)Thursday, April 25, 2013
  • 29. A Deficit of Meaning• Contemporary Western Society: sans unraison d’etre.• Current Post-Modernism & “Hipsters” aresymptoms of the disease.• MakerFaire is the new “Big Tent Revival”and is the only fully-rounded, future-facingmovement.Thursday, April 25, 2013
  • 30. Education is the UltimateCompetitive Advantage• Net Productivity must be greater thansurroundings in the long-term.• If you really believe in liberal values, youalready agree with the above statement.• San Francisco has no yuppie families withschool-aged kids because of bad schools.Thursday, April 25, 2013
  • 31. A New Capitalism• Market Failure: Value Creation withoutValue Capture• Financial Models: Kickstarter?• Capitalism Outside; Socialism Inside• Cell Wall Model of Economy• Government OSThursday, April 25, 2013