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The Hardware Renaissance and How Anyone Can Get a Product Concept Manufactured

Hardi Meybaum (GrabCAD)
Machines
Location: Fire House

For most hardware companies it still takes at least 5 years from the idea to actual product on the store shelf. But there is a new type of hardware company coming out and building products two-to-three times faster. Today virtually anyone can get a product concept manufactured thanks to crowdsourcing, crowdfunding and the changing tide towards embracing Open Engineering.

There are two major factors that mean it’s becoming increasingly faster to build and bring to market hardware products. The first revolves around the ability to validate a minimum viable product, secure funding and the changing retail model enabled by crowdfunding platforms like Kickstarter, IndieGoGo or hardware incubator-type companies like Dragon Innovation and Quirky. You can make a Virtual Prototype with CAD software or 3D print a prototype and start selling before you spend time and money in large scale manufacturing.

The actual design and manufacturing process is becoming shorter, too. This is where GrabCAD has become a leader. GrabCAD offers an online community for CAD engineers (currently approaching 1 million members), along with a professional collaborative product development tool for sharing designs and 3D models with stakeholders in the design process. There are more and more young hardware companies that need to manage their data and the design and manufacturing process is becoming increasingly distributed.

CONCLUSION
Embrace Open Engineering and accelerate the design and manufacturing processes. Product development is a team sport, but most companies don’t practice it that way. Organizations should be drawing on the creativity of engaged customers and outsiders, but instead they rely on the same small group of internal “experts” for new ideas. Designers and engineers should be connecting with marketing, sales, customer support, suppliers, and most importantly, customers.

SPEAKER
Hardi Meybaum is the founder and CEO of GrabCad, the largest community of mechanical engineers and designers in the world. He recently finished a book focused on Open Engineering called “The Art of Product Design: Changing How Things Get Made” which will be released February 2014. Hardi’s background is in manufacturing, as an engineer, consultant, CIO and ERP Team Manager with a strong combination of IT, sales, marketing and finance skills. Hardi holds a MSc in production development from Tallinn University of Technology.

Photo of Hardi  Meybaum

Hardi Meybaum

GrabCAD

Hardi Meybaum is the founder and CEO of GrabCad, the largest community of mechanical engineers and designers in the world. He recently finished a book focused on Open Engineering called “The Art of Product Design: Changing How Things Get Made” which will be released February 2014. Hardi’s background is in manufacturing, as an engineer, consultant, CIO and ERP Team Manager with a strong combination of IT, sales, marketing and finance skills. Hardi holds a MSc in production development from Tallinn University of Technology.