Date: May 16, 2019
Time: 5:30pm – 8:30pm
Livestream at 6:30pm
Speaker: Nick Pinkston
Hardware is the new software – or will be soon. Working in the world of software today is relatively easy and fluid compared to a decade or two ago. Many basic software components are modular, are freely shared through open source, and can make use of standardized interfaces and APIs that allow easy interoperability. That is not the case in the world of hardware today. Tools in the manufacturing process do not link together like software. Companies actually work to prevent others from quickly and easily building off their hardware tools and products. Yet that may soon change. That’s the message of Nick Pinkston, the young founder of two successful startups that applied advanced software to accelerate the manufacturing of hardware, and who will be our featured guest of the next What’s Now: New York event.
Pinkston is an excellent guide to help others understand the future of tools, engineering and manufacturing. He’s the founder of Plethora, a rapid manufacturing service that gives real-time design feedback and pricing inside Computer-Aided Design (CAD) software, and then produces parts in a new kind of on-demand automated factory that programs itself. Pinkston has just handed over the reins to a new CEO and is developing another startup in this space – which he won’t be able to talk about yet. However, he will lay out his overall analysis of the state of the field and his vision for where he strongly believes it is heading.
Pinkston thinks the field is ripe for disruption if not full reinvention. Much of the CAD software still used by those throughout the industry is based on core kernels first developed in the 1970s. The engineering process for hardware is only now evolving to the design thinking more common within software, and it really needs to shift even farther to full systems thinking. Pinkston will explain what that all means and how he expects it will play out. If you are in the industry, or just interested in how all the things around you may soon be made, join us for what is sure to be a fascinating conversation.