There was once a time when there was a gulf between a hobbyist building something and a business building something: making one or two of a thing was easy, and making a few thousand of them was easier still, but double- and triple-figures proved difficult. Thankfully, that gulf is narrowing every day: project like Sandy Noble's PolargraphSD, Ben Pirt's Mirobot, and Eberhard Rensch's Pleasant Flasher are great examples of how technological and ingenuity are bridging the gap and making it easier for hobbyists to turn their creations into products.
During the Open Source Hardware User Group (OSHUG) OSHCamp day at Wuthering Bytes this year, scheduled to take place on Saturday the 3rd of August, we're particularly excited about a talk from a friend of ours: Adrian McEwen. Adrian is set to talk on independent manufacturing, specifically the aforementioned gulf between 'craft' products and mass-manufactured goods, with a view to how local suppliers can help. It's a topic on which Adrian can speak with considerable confidence: he's been through it himself, building and scaling a new Internet of Things (IoT) product as part of the RCA Future Makespaces & Redistributed Manufacturing project.
Adrian's talk will focus on his experience as a denizen of the UK Maker Belt, an area most frequently defined as a box drawn from Hull through the canal to Nottingham then the canal back up to Liverpool and which is absolutely chock-a-block with businesses and individuals pioneering maker culture. Those from further afield, though, will surely find their own local culture which can be tapped into in order to build on Adrian's ideas and experience.
More information on the talks can be found on the official OSHCamp 2016 website.