Each year, Bay Area based distributed manufacturing network Fictiv compiles and published a State of Hardware Report to help engineers and designers deepen their understanding of their fields, careers, and industries and also democratize information around product development and manufacturing. The 2017 edition is now available to download for free.
To transform an idea into a commercially-viable hardware product requires vast reserves of curiosity, creativity, and grit. But there are so many valuable learnings along the way that can make the process of hardware development more seamless and efficient. Things like: part symmetry is your friend. And you should never underestimate the value of strategic planning before fabrication.
Fictiv is committed to documenting this knowledge to make hardware development easier and more accessible, to unleash the next wave of innovation in engineering and design. In 2016, the San Francisco company surveyed 213 engineers and designers, sharing insights around the prototyping tools most frequently leveraged, the most popular CAD programs, how companies budget for different product development stages, and lots more.
This year, over 340 engineers and designers participated in the 2017 State of Hardware Survey, telling about their most utilized tools and knowledge resources, the criteria they use to make important career and work decisions, and even their most wished-for “super power”, to name a few. Mechanical Engineers made up the majority at 28% of responders, with engineers collectively representing 80% of all responders. Nearly one third of all them work in the consumer electronics field. Medical and Education rounded off the top three areas.