2015 conferences
Biotech and Beyond

Making Stuff

Innundata and the Fog of IT
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Making Stuff
May 5–6, 2015
Detroit, Michigan

field trip
Ford Rouge Factory Tour
& TechShop Detroit Walkthrough and Demos

May 7, 2015

Library Selection
Frugal Innovation: How to do more
with less
(Economist Books)
by Navi Radjou and Jaideep Prabhu



6:00 PM
First-Timers Reception
6:30 PM
7:00 PM

7:30 AM

Buffet Breakfast

8:30 AM
Conference Welcome
Len Kleinrock, TTI/Vanguard Advisory Board
8:45 AM
Conference Overview
Krisztina Holly, TTI/Vanguard Advisory Board
9:00 AM
How Are We Going To Make All This Stuff? A Peek At Your Next Robot
Erik Nieves, Technology Director, Yaskawa Motoman Robotics
Industrial robots have been toiling in your factories for 30 years and yet they still don’t address the majority of tasks in your operation. Why is that? This talk will explore the evolution of automation technology and discuss the development of the next class of robots.
9:40 AM
How Desktop Manufacturing Enables Local Problem Solving
Danielle Applestone, Chief Executive Officer and Co-founder, Other Machine Co.
The development cycle is most efficient when the distance between the parts and their designer is as short as possible. Desktop manufacturing creates a shorter development cycle with less waste, tighter feedback loops, and less capital investment, meaning that more people can participate. A desktop CNC milling machine is a key piece of that puzzle, because it allows you to cut high-precision parts out of durable materials such as metal and rigid plastic. The new model of iteration and fabrication reduces the cost of failure, and thereby increases the level of creativity and adventure that problem solvers can bring to bear. Finally, desktop manufacturing can enable customization and just-in-time manufacturing, avoiding the razor-thin margins of mass-produced goods. Desktop manufacturing reveals an avenue to provide this value directly to customers—so much so, in some cases, that it makes it possible for consumers to purchase goods directly from the designer at competitive prices… or just buy the design, and make it themselves.
10:15 AM
Coffee Break—Ballroom Foyer
10:45 AM
21st Century Auto Making : The Car As Open Innovation Platform
K. Venkatesh Prasad, Group and Senior Technical Leader, Vehicle Design and Infotronics, Ford Research And Innovation
21st century hot-rodding will be different from that of the James Dean era because of three things: software, sensors, and the cloud. What if you could mashup data about the status of your wiper-blades with location data obtained via your phone and share this out to a data cloud? You can do this today, with a platform called OpenXC, and thereby contribute to a real-time crowd-sourced weather database that has an enviable spatial resolution, globally scalable. Here’s another example of 21st century hotrodding: a shift knob for manual transmission cars that monitors the vehicle's speed, RPM, and accelerator pedal position and vibrates when the driver should shift gears. We can’t say exactly what OpenXC, a powerful open-source hardware and software platform, will enable individual makers and firms to create, but as the cloud example suggests, we can be sure many of them will add value to the driving experience and to give back to the community and society at large.
11:25 AM
Getting It There: The New Logistics
Renee DiResta, Vice President of Business Development, Haven
Ninety percent of all shipped goods in the world travel in a standard steel container. Yet the processes for booking freight—for both shippers and freight forwarders—hasn’t changed for more than forty years. It’s a process that’s ripe for modernization. Haven is a marketplace that automates ocean freight shipping container reservations by providing direct access to guaranteed capacity and transparent billing for shippers, while ocean freight carriers can get the best price among bidders. It all raises the question—what else in the logistics chain begs to be automated? For one thing, APIs for the physical world would enable a more nimble supply chain all the way from the factory to the shelf, as would the incorporation of real-time data and demand sensing into supply chain management, as would the modernization of the physical infrastructure itself. 
12:05 PM
Designing for Manufacturability Inside Your CAD Software
Nick Pinkston, Founder, Plethora
There's been a lot of press over the past few years about 3D printing, but the future of manufacturing goes beyond any one process. Manufacturing is a whole ecology of production methods, materials, and techniques that continue evolving as the market demands more and more performance from them. Product complexity is going up faster than ever, and engineers need better ways to understand the complexity of their tools. Software engineering is currently the gold standard of engineering agility—with small software teams able to build massively complex products build on top of very complex systems. By applying software analogies to manufacturing, we're able to vastly increase the expressiveness of our tools, letting engineers move faster than ever and build products that previously would be impossible to bring to market.
12:35 PM
Members' Working Lunch
1:50 PM
3-D Printing Buildings and Other Large Components
Behrokh Khoshnevis, Director, CRAFT Lab, and Professor, USC
The nature of construction has remained intensely manual throughout recorded history. Unlike in manufacturing, the development of automation in construction has been slow. A promising new approach is Contour Crafting, a mega-scale 3-D fabrication process aiming at automated on-site construction of whole structures as well as subcomponents. Using this process, a single building or a colony of buildings may be constructed automatically with all plumbing and electrical utilities imbedded; yet each building could have a different design, which can include complex curved features. Contour Crafting is ideal for emergency shelter construction and low income housing, but the technology also has the potential to greatly reduce environmental and energy impacts throughout the building industry. Finally, NASA is exploring its possible applications in building on other planets.
2:25 PM
Waste Reduction and Composting
Pashon Murray, Co-Founder, Detroit Dirt
Detroit Dirt specializes in providing compost and biomass solutions for the Metro Detroit community. Its closed-loop model was designed to help revitalize Detroit. Sustainable Integrations, a Detroit-based consultancy, was formed in 2012 to combat environmental deterioration by educating, leading and serving the public through programs and services on sustainable land utilization, ecosystem remediation, renewable energy practice and improved waste management. Detroit Dirt and Sustainable Integrations use biodynamic sustainable designs to help us maintain a high quality of life without destroying the natural environment. Current clients include Bedrock, Blue Cross, General Motors, Ford Motor Co., Team Detroit, Detroit Zoological Society, local restaurants and Detroit Public Schools.
2:40 PM
Yelp for Manufacturing
Emile Petrone, Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Tindie
3:15 PM
Coffee Break
3:45 PM
Collaborative Manufacturing
Dorian Ferlauto, Founder and Chief Executive Officer, BriteHub
Manufacturing has always been the engine of innovation; it contributes to 77% of private sector R&D. Re-shoring—the repatriation of work previously sent overseas—brings manufacturing and innovation back together in one place, but comes with its own challenges and opportunities, including more built-to order products, which consumers are increasingly demanding but mid-sized manufacturers find particularly difficult to do. Manufacturing is at a tipping point—the key is the next 5-10 years. A world of change is upon us.
4:20 PM
Quilting With Robots: Automated Stitching as Precedent for 3D Printing
Nina Paley and Theo Gray, Co-founders, PaleGray Labs
3-D printers are an infant mechanical technology driven by a modern, innovative software environment. Embroidery and quilting machines are a refined mechanical technology held back by antiquated ways of thinking about software. ##Automated quilting and embroidery machines are much like 3-D printers in that they enable mass customization. With 3-D printing you can quickly go to injection molding, but with embroidery there is no such option: every piece, no matter how many you want, must be individually stitched. So the textile industries have figured out how to deal with mass producing one piece at a time, just as the 3-D printing industry will eventually. Unfortunately, most such machines are used to produce the same designs over and over again, squandering their potential for customization. The software used to drive them is stuck in decades-old ways of thinking.
PaleGray Labs is exploring what happens when you bring modern software (Mathematica and vector animation) to bear on the problem of quilting and embroidery design. The design language seen in nearly all embroidery work is a constricted subset of what can be done with stitches. It’s a very limited visual vocabulary enforced by the antiquated software being used—in much the same way graphic designers were constrained by MSPaint and liberated by PhotoShop. When modern, artist-friendly tools are used to create stitching files, the creative potential of these machines expands beyond what was thought possible.
5:00 PM
Close of First Day
6:30 PM

Reception & Dinner—Henry Ford Museum

7:30 AM

Buffet Breakfast

8:30 AM
TTI/Vanguard Announcements
8:45 AM
The Raspberry Pi’s Impact on Manufacturing
Eben Upton, TTI/Vanguard Advisory Board
A handful of tools have ignited a hardware revival—Arduino, Linux, Python, Make magazine and its fairs, and ever-cheaper 3-D printers, to name a few. Another is the Raspberry Pi, over 5 million of which have now been sold, in just about three years. All 5 million are special, but some are leading very special existences—for example, the ones that ended up at a Kids Hacker Camp in Nairobi; the ones that were part of a distributed light control system fitted into a Land Rover Defender that traveled 22,000 km from the UK to South Africa via Russia and the Middle East; the ones that Eric Schmidt and I used to teach a classroom of kids to code, on the occasion of Google donating 15,000 Pis to UK schoolchildren; the ones that are finding their way into computing labs for girls in Afghanistan.
9:25 AM
The Materials Genome Initiative
Cyrus Wadia, Assistant Director, U.S. Office of Science and Technology Policy
Advanced materials are essential to economic security and human well being, with applications in industries aimed at addressing challenges in clean energy, national security, and human welfare, yet it can take 20 or more years to move a material after initial discovery to the market. Accelerating the pace of discovery and deployment of advanced material systems will therefore be crucial to global competitiveness in the 21st century. Since the launch of the Materials Genome Initiative in 2011, the U.S. government has invested over $500 million in new R&D and innovation infrastructure to anchor the use of advanced materials in existing and emerging industrial sectors in the United States. This talk will use clean energy as an example and discuss the risks and rewards for cooperating companies.
10:05 AM
Navigating the Manufacturing Valley of Death
Scott Miller, Chief Executive Officer and Co-founder, Dragon Innovation
The innovation challenges for startups and large companies are different; typically, small companies are more effective at innovation, and larger companies at execution. To succeed, small companies must build sufficient volumes to achieve escape velocity. They need to move fast, take significant risks, fail fast to succeed sooner, and ultimately find the ideal product market fit. For large companies to succeed—and not be disrupted by a startup—they often need to emulate small ones, finding ways to move quickly and experiment on a small scale. In the words of Jack Welsh, try to "relentlessly … get that small company soul—and small company speed—inside our big company body." Thus a look through the lens of the hardware startup, focusing on how it can successful scaling up to get past the manufacturing valley of death, provides lessons that apply to companies big and small.
10:45 AM
Coffee Break
11:15 AM
Open-Source Hardware: Challenges and Opportunities (Panel)
Jon Schull, Emile Petrone, and Nick Pinkston
12:05 PM
Do You Know What's Going on in Your Supply Chain?
Dan Viederman, Chief Executive Officer, Verité
Modern, high-tech manufacturers know less about their suppliers than they need to: Layers of outsourcing stand between the two endpoints of the supply chain, obscuring important details and heightening the difficulty in sourcing ethically and responsibly. At the same time, accountability for these risks has gotten more urgent with the adoption of new governmental requirements in the U.S., U.K., and elsewhere concerning human rights, worker rights, bribery and other corruption. As well, sophisticated activists are leveraging social media and global communications. Verité and other organizations are using those same social networks and other technologies to understand and reduce these risks for both the workers and the companies on whose behalf they labor.
12:45 PM
Members' Working Lunch
2:00 PM
Hardware Entrepreneurship (Panel)
Daniel Teweles, President, Kairos Society; Gary Kurek, Founder, Kugar, Inc.; Louis-Victor Jadavji, Co-Founder, Wiivv Wearables
This panel discussion will explore the bleeding edge of hardware manufacturing with some of the leading early stage startups representing robotics, advanced manufacturing, and mechanical engineering. How these companies are getting to market, partnering with big companies, and innovating in established industries will be explored. All three founders lead companies recognized by the Kairos Society.
2:50 PM
Sponsoring a TechShop
Will Brick, General Manager, TechShop Detroit & Bill Coughlin, President, Ford Global Technologies
In 2010 Bill Coughlin of Ford approached TechShop about coming to the Detroit area and partnering with Ford on a shop where brainstorming and prototyping could take place. The 33,000-plus-square-foot facility, the first corporate-sponsored TechShop, is adjacent to Ford's Dearborn product development campus and opened in May 2012. It offers tools, equipment, computers loaded with design software, classes, events, space to make, and the support and camaraderie of a community of makers. On its fourth anniversary, Coughlin and TechShop Detroit general manager Will Brick consider the lessons learned and whether other corporations might benefit from sponsoring a TechShop.
3:20 PM
Conference Reflections
Bob Lucky, TTI/Vanguard Advisory Board
4:00 PM
Close of Conference

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