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Technologies That Are Transforming the Hardware Start-up Landscape

Software, apps, and services are not the only products that today’s best start-up companies produce. Thanks to a more accessible hardware industry, there are just as many companies developing innovative devices and new gadgets as there are software start-ups.

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Software, apps, and services are not the only products that today’s best start-up companies produce. Thanks to a more accessible hardware industry, there are just as many companies developing innovative devices and new gadgets as there are software start-ups.

The hardware start-up landscape is evolving rapidly too, especially with the introduction of new technologies that make the whole process of developing a new device simpler and more cost-efficient. These three technologies are the ones transforming the hardware start-up landscape the most.

3D PCB Design

Most devices, including the latest Internet of Things (IoT) and smart gadgets, rely on a well-designed circuitry to function. In order to deliver the functionalities that they offer to customers in an intuitive way, a detailed circuit board is used to merge different components together.

In the old days, designing a compact and capable circuit board was a manual task that was both complex and required a lot of effort to complete. A large team of engineers could spend months developing a single circuit board.

Today, however, 3D circuit design software like Altium’s PCB software makes the entire process possible. You can even test the fit and finish of your circuit board in the 3D environment, allowing for a faster development process. No more going back to the drawing board to fix the design or to deal with mistakes such as parts that don’t fit properly.

3D Printing

The use of 3D circuit board design software is only the beginning. The 3D model from that design software can be used as the base for other parts of the product development process, including the development of the entire product in a 3D environment.

Rather than doing things manually – using clay or wood the way older products were developed – engineers and product designers can collaborate seamlessly using a 3D design software. Everything from the case for the circuit board to the mechanics and finish of the product can be developed in 3D.

Once the 3D model is completed, the development process can immediately move to prototyping. This too is a simple and straightforward process thanks to modern 3D printers capable of printing 3D devices, even mechanical devices, in just a few hours.

Product Development in the Cloud

The one technology that really creates the perfect foundation for agile product development, however, is cloud computing. The software and tools we discussed earlier can now be used as part of a bigger development workflow that involves engineers from different parts of the world.

Storing product development files and other resources in the cloud allows for the entire workflow to be streamlined and simplified. Instead of sending a physical prototype to a factory in China, for instance, it is now possible to have the same prototype printed from the same file stored in the cloud.

Other aspects of the development project, from process management to collaborating with different specialists (i.e. designer and engineers), are also made easier with the help of cloud computing. Some development projects involve using cloud computing to run simulations and trials as well.

These resources and technologies continue to reduce the entry barriers to today’s hardware landscape. The next time you have a fantastic product idea to develop, you can turn to 3D circuit design software and rapid prototyping to take that idea to its mature state.

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