Hardware is growing these days. There are many new companies developing innovative products It was enabled for new manufacturing technologies for prototyping, affordable electronic, global communication and new types of finance available for startups. What software tools are available to these companies to help them to develop better products.
Hardware startups is one of the topics I started to follow recently on my blog. You probably remember my older post – Why Kickstarter projects need PLM? You can read a selected set of hardware startup related posts on my blog by navigating here.
Fictiv surveyed over 200 people in the hardware industry and sharing their findings. There are many interesting things there – take a look. The investment in hardware developed have continued to increase. Almost $3.5B was invested in 2015 and investment into IoT startup hit the record numbers.
My favorite and very interesting was about CAD tools used by hardware developers. The following two pictures can show the details.
CAD vendors are paying attention to hardware startups these days. Here is recent announcement by Solidworks – Solidworks for entrepreneurs. Autodesk Fusion360 is free for startups too. Also, you can read the article why Onshape is the best CAD for hardware startups.
The overall picture is very consistent with my expectations. 70% market share by Dassault Systemes SOLIDWORKS among hardware developers is not surprising at all. The usage of Autodesk Fusion360 is interesting. Although the system is relatively new, it is used more widely than Autodesk Inventor. At the same time the surprise is the number of Onshape users. Onshape is a newcomer in the world of MCAD systems. It just released their first production version few months ago. These 12-13% of Onshape usage is a number CAD vendors should pay attention to. Overall, Autodesk Fusion360 and Onshape is confirming that usage cloud software is growing.
Hardware startups are developing and prototyping things faster. But moving into production and scaling up is still a challenge for manufacturing and hardware companies. According to the report 4 of 5 VC backed crowdfunding projects were late in 2014 and 30% of late projects didn’t ship yet in 2015. So, scaling up production is remaining one of the biggest challenges for manufacturing startups.
What is my conclusion? New hardware companies are bringing new challenges to manufacturing. New design tools, business practices, manufacturing technologies. We still have a ways to go before hardware development will be truly accessible to everyone. There are missing tools. Existing software and business practices can working well for large manufacturing firms, but facing challenges with hardware startups. New hardware companies might redefine industry landscape and market share of software vendors. Just my thoughts…