February Hardware Roundup

We wanted to bring you a new way to experience the hardware roundup this month. Our latest edition of the roundup includes a teaser video hosted by the Head of Program Management on our manufacturing team, Sean!

Sean is a hardware enthusiast, and he'll guide you through trends in global manufacturing, innovative hardware design, and advanced robotic technology.

Industry News

  • Changes in Wisconsin’s Foxconn deal can teach us a lesson on supply chain diversification and on making local manufacturing accessible to the international supply chain. + A sample of where manufacturing growth is continuing in the U.S.
  • Appliance giant Haier revitalized General Electric Appliances after acquiring them, by developing a new microenterprise structure to create “zero distance” to the customer.
  • China is surging forward in the electric-car industry, ahead of the U.S., Germany, and Japan, by harnessing the power of its electronic manufacturing supply chain.
  • Tesla acquired Maxwell Technologies and may be applying ultracapacitor construction techniques to their own batteries for performance improvement. Amazon led an investment round for Rivian, a unique EV startup that’s looking to build high-capacity battery packs for large SUVs.  
  • Aurora will use its $530 million funding to advance development of its “Aurora Driver” self-driving technology.
  • Design principles that factor in design complexity, functional surfaces, and material amounts may be key when using additive manufacturing for series production.

Hardware Knowledge

  • A short history lesson on the development of electrochemical devices—the precursors to the batteries we know today.
  • Quantum computers are the future of supercomputing, but it’s near impossible to source the specialized refrigerants and cables that keep them near absolute zero.
  • For a dose of maker inspiration, it took a master metalsmith 2 years to design, forge, and build his own intricate puzzle box from scratch. + Choosing the right materials and tools when micromachining miniature parts on a CNC.
  • The complexity of the carbon fiber manufacturing process has grounded production of lightweight composite aircrafts. + Factoring in descent angle when designing landing solutions for the ultra-heavy spacecrafts of the future.
  • Biomimicry-Inspired Robotics: This six-legged bot moves without GPS, its technology inspired by desert ants that use polarized light to navigate. A plant-like soft robot is the first to mimic plant tendrils by morphing into their shapes.
  • Skates, tea, and teardowns: In our latest teardowns, we examine the complex mechanisms and design choices that the Teforia tea infuser brings to the table, and we look at the load-carrying components behind Segway’s Drift e-Skates and see if it's a potential last mile solution.

Events + Community


  • Take a look at open engineering and product roles at Kickstarter.
  • There are also some great design, engineering, and hardware positions at Peloton.


  • Fictiv will be at SXSW! Dave will be presenting on “How to Launch a Product During a Trade War” on 3/11. See more details about the talk here.
  • A call for makers for the Bay Area Maker Faire coming up in May.
  • The next Hackster Hardware meetup in Seattle will be on 3/6. Also, be sure to keep M:bility | Detroit in mind if you’re in the Detroit area mid-March.

For the Love of "The Thinker"

A new machine can 3D print in as quickly as 30 seconds. How does it work? Sophisticated software works to create intricate light patterns that solidify a rotating resin.

3D Print Image Light

Want to share an interesting article, job posting, or event in Hardware Roundup? Submit your link here.

See you next month!

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