Supplyframe Design Lab Opens Its Doors

Today marks the opening of the Supplyframe Design Lab in Pasadena, California. The Design Lab bills itself as the “leading edge creative center built to foster new ideas in technology and design”. Supplyframe had the vision to acquire Hackaday a few years ago, launched the Community site which now has more than 150,000 members, and established The Hackaday Prize to spark engineering projects that benefit humanity. Pay attention to the Design Lab; looking back on this day you’re going to be able to say that you remember when it all started.

The equipment enshrined in the new space is spectacular. Name your material, and there are tools to work with it. Working with electronics? Mill your prototypes on a number of OtherMills available. Custom enclosure? Take your pick of milling it on the Tormach, PolyJet printing it on the Statasys, or FDM printing with a number of different high-end 3D printers. Need design software and beefy boxes to run it on? They have that too. Working in wood? A shopbot awaits you, as do traditional tools like a tablesaw, routers, sanders, etc. It’s a wonderland for making the imaginable real. If there ever was a time to quit your job and spend three months launching that dream product, this is it. The Design Lab has a residency program.

Supplyframe is all about enabling hardware creation. This is what sites like and do: provide powerful tools for hardware engineers to better use their design skills. Founding a space like the Design Lab is a natural extension of this. Providing a work area, mentorships, and funding residencies breaks down the barriers that can prevent new hardware seeing the light of day. The Design Lab solves the issues of tools, materials, and hands-on experience that plague many a new hardware company.

Residencies will start on July 1st. Each runs for three months in which residents have unfettered access to the space and its tools, as well as financial support of $2000 per month. Each resident will self-identify into the product-track (you’re on your way to market with new hardware) or the art-track (you have a calling for an ambitious project and need to make it a reality). So far the Design Lab page lists three residents; a network of low-cost air quality sensors called Scintilla, a music synthesizer based around Teensy 3 called NanoEgg, and a mixed-reality public arts initiative called Perceptoscope. The Design Lab is still accepting applications for new residencies this summer and beyond — one of these residencies will also be offered to the Grand Prize winner of the 2016 Hackaday Prize.

22 thoughts on “Supplyframe Design Lab Opens Its Doors

    1. I imagine that they are trapped into some sort of bond to Supplyframe for the next “x” months or so; or even worse: they are offered $2000 but almost surely will go over budget, then are forced to spend their own money on SupplyFrame exclusively

      1. Whoa there Clovis. Your assumptions are quite wrong.

        The only commitment expected from the residents is that they will work at the Design Lab during the residency and be open to showing off what they’re up to. Supplyframe doesn’t trap them (or any other sinister terms you can think up).

    2. No, I don’t believe residents give up ownership or equity. The point of the residency program is to break down the barriers for creating hardware and to show some of what it takes to see a product or art installation through to completion.

    3. So far, they have asked me for nothing except to build my cool project in the Design Lab. If there is anything else, I guess I’ll find out on the 1st when we actually get the paperwork.
      I’m certainly thrilled to have the opportunity to use all of their fancy tools to make my prototypes! I’ve been begging time on machines at local hackerspaces for years, and the going has been very slow…

  1. I’m starting to think that Supplyframe may be one of the best things to happen to makers since Make Media started up! This is absolutely great, and coupled with the news that has 150,000 members, an absolutely great milestone!

  2. Isn’t Supplyframe’s business model about enabling designers (help them find chips and parts etc. If so then they would not be near as interested in Intellectual property as they would driving the number of people designing thing higher (i.e. Hackaday and its variations). I like the concept of the Residency program with a 3 month turn-over. Nice Concept, I hope it works out well.

  3. Desk power points? Ceiling suspended power sockets for distribution? Safety equipment masks, gloves, glasses? Safe clearance tape markings around larger equipment? Cabled LAN – Wi-Fi will soon be a bottle neck.

    Great for those who get to use it. Congrats.

  4. This is a wonderful opportunity for a small number of lucky people. What Supplyframe is doing is fantastic, in my opinion.
    There’s a fair amount of cynicism here, but I can understand why. Very few companies have good intentions these days. I’m glad the [Overlords] break the mold.

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