September Hardware Roundup

Welcome to another edition of Hardware Roundup! September was a busy month for product announcements, partnerships, and events. Read on for links to cool videos on bolts, gears, ships, iPhone hacking, crazy manufacturing processes, and more.

  • Next week, I’m hosting a webinar with Fictiv Manufacturing Engineer Andrew Hudak on Conveying Design Intent with GD&T. If you haven’t used GD&T before, it’s an incredible useful way to unambiguously communicate intent to manufacturers with symbols.

Want to share an interesting article, job posting, or event in the 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

  • Proterra, an electric bus maker, set a new world record for the longest distance traveled by an electric vehicle on a single charge. The 1,101 mile trip averaged 15 mph with a battery nine times the size of Tesla’s Model 3. [via Technology Review]
  • Some of the FDA’s regulatory processes could soon become better and quicker. The organization started a pilot program with nine companies, including Apple and Fitbit, who may be able to receive pre-certification for certain new products. [via Bloomberg]
  • Sunnyvale, CA-based Grabit is providing Nike with electroadhesion capabilities to assemble the upper part of Nike’s shoes, the most labor intensive part of shoemaking. Grabit’s machines work at 20 times the pace of human workers. [via Bloomberg]
  • A data center west of Houston that cannot be without electricity or cooling for even a second was so well prepared for Hurricane Harvey that employees and family members took shelter there, and U.S. marshals used it as a HQ during the storm. [via NY Times]
  • One of the components in the iPhone X that’s used for Face ID logins is proving difficult to manufacture and is causing a bottleneck in the supply chain, which will limit the rollout of the new phones. [via Apple Insider]

Hardware Knowledge

Watch 30 days of a container ship’s voyage thru 80,000 combined photos in this beautiful time-lapse video. If you’re interested in learning more about container ships, I highly recommend the eight-part “Containers” audio documentary.

Spencer Wright + Zach Dunham spoke to John Barnes about his career in materials research, aerospace engineering, and additive manufacturing, including his nine years at Lockheed Martin Skunk Works and six at Honeywell. [via The Prepared]

Scotty Allen, the guy who made his own iPhone in Shenzhen, is back with another hardware adventure. This time, he modified the iPhone 7 to add a fully functional headphone jack. Scotty ended up designing his own circuit board for the challenge and went through three iPhone 7’s and countless spare parts. [via Strange Parts]

Red Bull Racing produced a video on the life of a front suspension bolt for Formula One. + If you enjoyed that, check out the life of a gear.

Here are some manufacturing processes you probably haven’t heard of: Read up on explosive forming, exothermic welding, cold spraying, electrical discharge machining, and hydrographic printing. [via Engineering Clicks]


  • Fictiv CEO Dave Evans will be speaking at The East Bay’s Evolving Tech Manufacturing Sector event on Oct 12 at Saildrone in Alameda, CA.[Register for free]
  • UMA Seattle Gathering: Localism as an Engine for Production Economies, a three-day event, begins next week and coincides with National Manufacturing Day. [Get tickets here]
  • October is manufacturing month! There’s lots of cool stuff to do; check out for events happening near you.
  • Bay Area Urban Manufacturing Summit on Nov 9. This year, 26 Bay Area cities have partnered to build a more interconnected and powerful regional manufacturing ecosystem. [Register here]


Are you looking for affordable co-working space in San Francisco with access to a laser cutter, CNC Bridgeport, and manual lathe? Check out Surya Design’s Dogpatch Space.

Do you have any recommendations for domestic vendors who can match color and finish on  anodized aluminum parts? Get in touch with Will on the Fictiv Builders Group.

Looking for work? Fictiv is hiring across the board; check out our open roles.

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That’s all for now!

Fin, Hardware Evangelist at Fictiv

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