Meetup recap: Talking prototyping and Kickstarter

November Bay Area Ponoko Meetup RecapStarting this past November, we have established a new format for Ponoko Bay Area Meetups. After relaxed conversation over drinks and nibbles we then kick into 4 short presentations on a theme.

November’s meetup was centered around prototyping, and as we were fortunate to have two speakers with hugely successful Kickstarter campaigns, the discussions looked into that as well.

I kicked off proceedings by discussing the prototyping process for my recent Rocket Ship Project – which you’re welcome to download all of the files for and make or elaborate upon yourself.

Ryo Chijiiwa told the story of how he designed and prototyped a small solar charger device, which he then put up on Kickstarter, where he raised over $30,000 for his first production run of the product. You can read more about his project and purchase one of his solar chargers at http://www.bootstrapsolar.com/

Shandy Brown was next, passing around some of the exquisitely engraved hexes from his Boardcrafting project. He talked about the process behind developing the initial idea, developing the final design and then also having wild success raising funds on Kickstarter to optimize the product and begin shipping it – raising over $44,000.

Finally, Josh Reuss presented a wide variety of prototypes for the Sunburst Clock project he is currently working on. He talked about the key considerations necessary when approaching a product idea and his process for developing, refining and perfecting a design. I myself was so taken with his clocks I’ve now got one in my kitchen.

Our next Ponoko Bay Area Meetup will be held in February, and will focus on maker businesses and creative entrepreneurship – the challenges and rewards of making and selling products yourself. We’ve got two super exciting speakers already lined up, and are still looking for a couple more. If you’d like to join us, RSVP now! If you’re interested in speaking, please be sure and get in touch with us.

If you’re interested in hosting a Ponoko-supported meetup in your own city or town – register your interest on our Ponoko Meetup Everywhere page. If you work out a date and location, we’ll be happy to assist you in promoting the maker gathering and making it a successful event!

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