logo

Maxifab – 3D Printing Framework

standard post
Shlok Vaidya  -  
1 Comment  -  

Maxifab.

The heart of the framework consists of a set of plastic parts that hold the key functionality of the machine and allows for an almost limitless choice of case materials, designs, and dimensions.

This is a great idea, and what’s even cooler is that it’s already it’s already been funded via Kickstarter to the tune of $6k on a $5k ask.

Why is this important? You can, on the fly, build a 3d printer, of any size, using only locally derived materials in conjunction with a few parts that can fit into a backpack.

Added bonus, those parts will be able to be printed on demand. Think about this on an operational basis. You can ruck out to nowhere. Build a printer, print the framework. Then ruck out further. Build a printer, print the framework. Ruck out even further, build a printer.

In your wake, any designs you can store on a USB stick or iPad can be used to generate tools and in turn productivity.

That pretty amazing. A $5k project takes an already disruptive technology and takes it to the next level. Add the ability to modify/customize designs with a touch screen app and, key, the ability to print with locally available materials, and you’re golden.



-Shlok
Sign up for my newsletter.


A Pottery Post-Mortem

standard post
Shlok Vaidya  -  
0 Comments   

PotteryPrint didn’t end up happening. We stalled out at the 50% mark. That’s OK though. We got to test an edge concept and had fun doing it. That’s what labors of love are for.

First, a heartfelt thanks to each and every person that donated or helped get the word out. Second, thanks to Brian and Cameron. It was a really fun ride. And third, thanks to my new friends at Ponoko. They get it and have an amazing company.

Some of the feedback we got:

The 3d printing world. ”Wow. How can we help?” By and large, this group was enthusiastic. That is, the hardware developers, platform providers, and integrators loved it. As they blow out the market, they’re finding that the software side is just too complex for your average consumer to make with.

Here’s a somewhat terrible infographic to illustrate (early adopter to mainstream curve):

There’s a few startups working to make CAD simple, but I think they’re solving the wrong problem. The goal isn’t a new Photoshop (still too complex for most). It is, and I shudder to say this, Zynga for makers. Single-purpose gesture-driven apps.

Consumers.  ”I can do pottery, I want to create something I can’t myself.” We got this a couple times. And fair enough. But we had to start somewhere. We thought the metaphor was intuitive enough that a child would get the making process, rather than focus on the end result. Maybe we were wrong.

Press. “Printing is too expensive.” Simply, this is true. But that’s the nature of an early adopter app. Per the not-great infographic above, hardware is ahead of software. Costs are plummeting.

Anyway, I don’t really think it was really an execution problem, just an idea too early for its time. That said, there are some things I would do differently:

  • Do more to soften the ground before launch.
  • Have the developer as part of the process instead of in the background.

I want to keep hammering away at the 3d design software nut. But first, a breather, a book launch, and another cool project in a totally different space.



-Shlok
Sign up for my newsletter.


Bike Techniques For Navigating Urban Terrain

standard post
Shlok Vaidya  -  
1 Comment  -  

Three minutes of a dude navigating urban terrain in ways you wouldn’t expect:



-Shlok
Sign up for my newsletter.


Announcing: PotteryPrint

standard post
Shlok Vaidya  -  
1 Comment  -  

Been working with Cameron and Brian on a cool concept. It is a way to get kids engaged with two of the coolest technologies of our time. It’s called PotteryPrint.

We just launched the Kickstarter campaign. You can check it out here. Please donate if you can. We have some cool rewards lined up. You can also sign up to hear about it as it develops here.

Would love to hear your thoughts. I’ll be posting about why this and why now in the next couple days.



-Shlok
Sign up for my newsletter.


Idea: Drone Logic

standard post
Shlok Vaidya  -  
0 Comments   

A visual programming platform for mapping functionality to open-source hardware, like Arduino.

Developers write ‘code blocks’ that accomplish certain tasks. These are either free or purchased through the market. Users only see the abstracted code, like legos, or Tetris. Total ease of use.

Users stack a few of these blocks to solve a specific problem –  in the case of a (play) combat drone: attack or defense capabilities.

Same approach to a bunch of different consumer hardware verticals. Home automation. Home theater. Toys.



-Shlok
Sign up for my newsletter.