Low-cost CAD provider Alibre has joined the flock of companies testing the waters of social product development. The company’s new AlibrePowered.com social media website targets designers, digital fabricators and do-it-yourselfers (DIYers) to connect and share their latest designs within a community of like peers. The site encourages members to post their designs in albums, which can be viewed by other visitors to the site. Participants can also announce new product launches, share design information, ask questions and publicize their products and developments within the community. One week into the site’s launch, and Alibre says hundreds of users have logged on, posting designs ranging from a golf putter to a regulator watch, along with smaller creations like guitar picks and jewelry.
To kick off the new website, Alibre announced the Alibre 2010 Design Contest, offering up prizes from $250 to $1,000. Participants post their designs along with a description of what the design is and what it does on the AlibrePowered.com site, and winners will be selected by online voting. The contest runs through October 15, 2010.
It won't be too much longer and hardware design, as we used to know it, will be remembered alongside the slide rule and the Karnaugh map. You will need to move beyond those familiar bits and bytes into the new world of software centric design.
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