20 tech trends for 2013

Discover where technology will take us over the next 12 months

With another year wrapping up and a whole new 365 days of 2013 ahead of us, the big thinkers over at frog’s Design Mind posed the question of just what this bright future has in store. Some of the technologies mentioned are already surfacing as a part of our daily lives, whereas others are represented by emerging trends that may see continued development and growth, rather than full realization, during 2013.

The list was compiled by a collection of technologists, designers and strategists from the vast intellectual pool at Frog’s studios across the globe. Did 3D printing make it into the top 20? You bet it did.

The broader topics include:

- More Intelligent Machines
- Devices With Human Appeal
- Inspiration From the Physical
- Enhanced Online Selves
- New Roles for Existing Tech
- 3D Printing Goes Mainstream
- Tech Gets Poetic
- Specialized Social Networks

To find out just what it is that digital manufacturing will be doing for us over the next 12 months and see further treats that are just around the corner, click through to the source article for the full story.

frog via FastCo Design

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The Fixer’s Manifesto

Sugru sheds light on the unsung hero of creativity

Most of us have already encountered Sugru, and many are using it in all kinds of interesting, creative ways. The team behind this extraordinary putty have enjoyed becoming a hub for Fixers so much that they put their heads together to come up with an equally extraordinary document: The Fixer’s Manifesto.

“We made this to fuel the conversation about why a culture of fixing is so important.”

Drawing inspiration from documents such as the Repair Manifesto by Platform 21 amongst others, this variation seeks to expand and grow by tapping into the huge community of makers, thinkers and fixers that have already shown such inspired creativity using Sugru.

Click through to see the The Fixer’s Manifesto in full, and keep in mind that this currently exists as Version 1.0 in what is intended to be an ever-evolving credo that can be tweaked and tinkered with, in true Sugru style. (more…)

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The DIY Economy, video from last week’s Techonomy Detroit conference

Technology, economy, change, and Detroit.

Last week, more than 50 leaders in today’s entrepreneurial technology scene gathered at the invitational Techonomy conference.

Our own David ten Have was invited to join a panel entitled The DIY Economy: The Democratization of Finance, Design, Manufacturing, and Distribution. Fellow panelists included Grady Burnett of Facebook, Mark Hatch of TechShop, and Danae Ringelmann of Indiegogo.

The idea was to feature speakers that represent each stage in creating your own business. Funding (Indiegogo), prototyping (TechShop), manufacturing (Ponoko), and marketing (Facebook).

You can watch the full 45 minute panel sessions in the video below or read the transcript here.

(more…)

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What does 3D printing mean for society? Ponoko CEO David ten Have answers

Dave’s latest interview is online.

3D Printer Hub recently posited ten questions to own David ten Have, digging deeper into the implications of 3D printing.

Dave talks about what excites him most about this technology — “ARM and Arduino platforms… the vehicle for making much smarter 3D printed products” — the ethical grey area of democratizing manufacture, and whether all this 3D printing buzz is an evolution or a revolution.

Favourite quote: “This business is about unleashing creativity. Anytime you allow people to honestly express themselves, you create much, much more value than you can throw your arms around.”

Read the full interview at 3D Printer Hub.

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Manufacturing in motion

The results are in from the first survey on 3D printing community

A little while ago, we mentioned that the P2P Foundation were putting out a call for participants in the first ever wide-scale survey on the 3D printing community. The results are now in, and they provide a number of interesting insights on where things are heading in the world of digital manufacturing.

“3D printing has been around for a few decades already. In that sense, the technology is nothing new. What is different now is the method in which 3D printers and related software are developed and in some cases even manufactured: the open source/peer production model.”

People are increasingly aware of the far-reaching changes that are rapidly becoming a part of their everyday lives. Networks of users, development processes and established systems all interact in a cyclical process that fuels enthusiasm and drives innovation.     (more…)

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Social manufacturing — The Economist feature on the third Industrial Revolution

Welcome to the third Industrial Revolution

At what point has the status quo been shaken to its core… and we can declare ourselves in the midst of a Revolution? Reflecting on the changes that are taking place in various manufacturing industries, a recent article in The Economist puts forward some interesting points and suggests that we are, indeed, at the cusp of the Third Industrial Revolution.

If you’ve ever wondered about the impact that technologies such as Additive Manufacturing can have on a larger scale, then you are well advised to click through and read the full text. Before the really juicy content kicks off, there is a neat overview of current industrial practices, followed by an introduction to 3D printing and how it is already so much a part of our lives. Then things start to get interesting.

It’s not all about Additive Manufacturing – the factory of the future is also evolving to make use of smarter and more flexible production equipment. This means that as the number of people directly employed in making products declines, there will be a direct impact on the cost of labour (and therefore cost of production). What does this mean? Manufacturing techniques will make it cheaper and faster to produce locally, moving work back to the rich countries that enjoy so much gleeful consumption.

“Everything in the factories of the future will be run by smarter software. Digitisation in manufacturing will have a disruptive effect every bit as big as in other industries that have gone digital, such as office equipment, telecoms, photography, music, publishing and films. And the effects will not be confined to large manufacturers; indeed, they will need to watch out because much of what is coming will empower small and medium-sized firms and individual entrepreneurs. Launching novel products will become easier and cheaper. Communities offering 3D printing and other production services that are a bit like Facebook are already forming online—a new phenomenon which might be called social manufacturing.”

(more…)

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Advice for small businesses: marketing without marketing — the story

“The fine line between speaking and being heard is storytelling.” – Greg Power

Editor’s note: In this guest post, CEO and co-founder Cassandra Glessner of San Francisco based nonprift SF Commonality gives some marketing advice that we at Ponoko truly believe in: sell your story and the orders will follow.


Forget marketing. That’s right, I said it; forget branding, synergy, and any other buzzword that make people’s eyes glaze over and brains recoil in horror. The most important thing that any small business start-up should recognize instead is that what you are really selling when you sell anything is a good story.

If people buy your delicious tomatoes or your jewelry or your solar panels, your whats-its, or your widgets; they are buying it because they are sold on the story of it. They compare, in an instant firing of emotional synapses, the story of that product with other stories of the other products out there, and purchase yours because they found yours more personally compelling. Your photographs, your presentation, you yourself — everything you put out there about your product is part of that story.

(more…)

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NTH Synth: a DIY electronics + open-source hardware + crowd-funding + Ponoko fairytale

Meet the makers of the NTH Synth, following their successful Kickstarter campaign
This mouth-wateringly good looking machine is the NTH Synth, a product that was recently crowd-funded on Kickstarter. I interviewed the guys behind NTH Synth about DIY electronics, designing for Ponoko, and how to get your crowd-funding campaign to stand out from the crowd.
(more…)

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No need to tremble as SketchUp is sold to Trimble

Google sells SketchUp 3D modeling software to Trimble Navigation Ltd.

Trimble Navigation who is a leading provider of advanced positioning solutions has bought SketchUp from Google for an undisclosed sum. Google originally purchased SketchUp from @Last Software who developed the software from a start up in 2006. Google has spun it into one of the most popular 3D modeling applications – fostering a community of whom there are millions of users worldwide, through selling it as a freemium product. (more…)

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Engineer vs Designer spotlight on personal manufacturing & Ponoko Ceo David ten Have

Math, manufacturing, and making things better.

Engineer vs Designer is a weekly podcast on digital design news, how-to design tips, and insights from various industry leaders.

Officially described as “dankest product design podcast on the block,” EvD is hosted by engineer Josh Mings of SolidSmack and industrial designer Adam O’Hern of cadjunkie.

This week’s episode is all about personal manufacturing and interviews Ponoko’s own co-founder and CEO David ten Have.

Dave talks about how personal manufacturing, a component of the larger maker movement, is really about self expression: “We’ve seen people express themselves through a bunch of different digital formats: music, video, and design. And now we’re at the stage where people are expressing themselves through products. And that’s what Ponoko is all about.”

Find out where personal manufacturing is headed and how the core of this movement is being powered by the incredible and deeply personal projects of citizen makers. It’s all in episode 37 of Engineer vs Designer.

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