^ Header image: Still image of a stop-motion animation using hundreds of pumpkins—credit to Kendall for sharing + a reddit thread with the creators.

I hope you’re reading this edition of Hardware Roundup in costume, ’cause we are! This month brings you news on innovative power plants, growing metal markets, pinball machine manufacturing, and a watch with 30 components in one piece.

Want to share an interesting article, job posting, or event in Hardware Roundup? Submit your link here, and we’ll do our best to include it in the next issue with a credit to you.

Industry News

  • A power plant in Iceland became the first to produce negative emissions. The process uses a wall of fans to suck in air, filter out CO2, and inject the CO2 into the ground, where it becomes rock. [via Futurism]
  • Nickel is the most important metal by mass in li-ion battery cathodes, and as the EV industry grows, the market for nickel is expected to double
  • + 60% of the world’s cobalt, a byproduct of copper and nickel mining needed for the production of lithium-ion batteries, is found in the Democratic Republic of Congo. [via Bloomberg]
  • Inner Mongolia has some of the cheapest electricity prices in the world—one reason is because it is home to some of the biggest Bitcoin mines and Bitmain, a manufacturer of 70 percent of Bitcoin mining rigs. [via IEEE Spectrum]
  • An unassisted robot in China successfully implanted 3D printed teeth into a woman. The robot adopted a mechanical space fusion positioning method for the procedure. [via Engadget
  • + Welcoming our new robot overlords, this month the FDA approved the use of a robot surgeon for minimally-invasive procedures.

Hardware Knowledge

  • While tighter deadlines and budgets in Hollywood have resulted in the decline of physical visual models, The Demorgorgon monster in Stranger Things was brought to life using a hybrid of digital and physical techniques. [via Formlabs]
  • Enjoyed last month’s traffic engineer game? Try the equally addicting Paperclip, where you are a manufacturer of paperclips that has to balance production with demand and adjust prices to maximize profit. [via Decision Problems
  • Spencer Wright and Zach Dunham interviewed Janet Lieberman of Dame Products about designing, engineering, and manufacturing sex toys. This interview is packed with great info on her journey and is especially interesting if you are considering RTV/Urethane Casting for your project. [via The Prepared Podcast]
  • An in-depth look into adidas’ shoe-making “Speedfactory”, a hybrid approach with humans and robots that can make unique pairs of shoes much faster than their Asian counterparts. [via Wired]
  • Learn how a pinball machine is manufactured inside Stern Pinball, the world’s oldest and largest designer of pinball games. [via The A.V. Club]


  • This Friday, The New Content Conference explores augmenting humanity with speakers from Roam Robotics, MIT Media Lab, Hax, and more. [Eventbrite]
  • Next Thursday is the Bay Area Urban Manufacturing Summit in Oakland. [Tickets]
  • Nov 8-9 is Design & Manufacturing Midwest in Minneapolis. [Full lineup and tickets]


  • Sphero, Samsara, Velodyne, Auris Robotics, and Halo Neuroscience are hiring for a variety of engineering roles.
  • On the Fictiv Builders group, Kruno is looking for help sourcing an unusual screw.
  • With the holiday season approaching, now is a good time to meet other engineers and expand your network. Sign up for the last Builder’s Coffee of the year.
  • Need to collaborate faster with engineers and suppliers? We’re looking for feedback on a new Fictiv product; hit reply and let’s chat!

For the Love of Engineering

Zenith’s new silicon harmonic oscillator for its mechanical watch replaces 30 components in one piece, including the balance spring, balance wheel, and escapement lever. [via HODINKEE]

Until next month!

Fin, Hardware Evangelist at Fictiv