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GrabCAD + Stratasys acquisition – A background and a few thoughts.

Published 16 September 2014

Posted by Al Dean

Article tagged with: design, 3d printing, prototype, cad, stratasys, makerbot, grabcad, thingiverse.com

3D printing giants Stratasys has acquired GrabCAD, adding to it a seriously experienced team

If there’s something that’s a source of joy in this job, it’s meeting folks at the start of a project, at the very genesis of a company and following their trajectory to success (and yes, sometimes failure).

Having been doing a similar job for the last 16 years, it’d given me enough time to see this cycle run through a few times.

Of all the cases I’ve seen, the story of GrabCAD has to be one of my favorites so far. Not only because it’s been a company that’s trying to do things differently, but also because the folks behind are a pretty nice bunch as well.

GrabCAD was born in Estonia as were its founders, Hardi Meybaum and Indrek Narusk. The company was founded as a marketplace for outsourcing of design tasks, built from personal experience and frustration.

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OnShape – Open up closed testing sign up

Published 16 September 2014

Posted by Al Dean

Article tagged with: design, solidworks, industrial design, cad, engineering, product design, belmont technology, hirschtick, onshape

Shiny new web-site. Model credit to Terry Stonehecker

If there’s one thing that’s keeping the 3D design tool industry’s curiousity piqued, it’s what the team at OnShape is up to.

If you’re not familiar with the name, we suspect you soon will be.

OnShape, formerly going under the guise of Belmont Technology, is the group assembled by the founders of SolidWorks to do something new in the 3D design tool space.

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Makers: Piccolo to Portugal as UK team heads to Lisbon MakerFaire

Published 16 September 2014

Posted by Stephen Holmes

Article tagged with: cnc, maker, maker faire, portugal, lisbon, piccolo, makerfaire

The tiny Piccolo CNC robot will be journeying to the first Portuguese MakerFaire

A UK-based team is heading out to Portugal with its open-sourced, pocket-sized, CNC robot - Piccolo - as 110 Maker projects from across Europe descend on Lisbon’s MakerFaire.

Costing less than $70, Piccolo is an Arduino-compatible kit for tinkering, and playing with basic CNC output - plotting a quick graffito, printing a one-off business card on the fly, or multiple Piccolos working together to create a large mural - digital fabrication at a small scale.

The team behind it are refining the prototype into an open-source design that is simple, quick to assemble, and easy to use, and is entirely composed of digitally manufactured components and inexpensive off-the-shelf hardware.

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New micro radio-chip could see all kinds of products connected to IoT

Published 16 September 2014

Posted by Stephen Holmes

Article tagged with: stanford university, internet of things, iot, silicon

At only a few millimetres, radio-on-a-chip technology like this Stanford University prototype could enable trillions of devices to connect to the Internet of Things

The creation of a prototype radio-on-a-chip powered by ambient radio waves could change the way the Internet of Things is being viewed by designers and engineers.

The self-contained silicon chip devices don’t require batteries to run, are millimetres in size, and are potentially cheap to produce - allowing them to be placed in all manner of products previously thought too small to be connected.

Developed by a team of researchers at Stanford University and the University of California, Berkeley, the product architecture is scalable to the number of antennae a product needs in a very small space, while the lack of battery power means there is no ‘lifetime’ associated with them, scavenging the energy it needs from existent radio waves.

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