Danielle Applestone’s talk – How to make an Othermill: From milk jugs to your door: Hardware, Software & the Internet of Things, O’Reilly Solid–
When people ask me how many employees we have, I say 20. Sometimes people are surprised at how small we are, but that’s probably because they don’t realize that there are 400 people within a 200 mile radius of us that are actively involved in building the Othermill.
We make machines in small batches, we learn as we go, and quality is our top priority. That means we have to work with passionate, patient component manufacturers within driving distance. Upon starting this journey, I have to admit that I didn’t know just how many resources there were in this area. We had a vision for making manufacturing machines portable and easy to use—bringing manufacturing to you, rather than the other way around—but this vision has grown far beyond the walls of Other Machine Co. The vision is beginning to bear fruit because of 652 Kickstarter backers, 33 investors, and nearly 20 manufacturing partners with over 400 local employees. You can imagine just how much trust and faith we have in our network of partners.
So, rather than keep our partners secret, we wish to tell their story along with ours. We want them to grow as we grow and be celebrated and rewarded for the amazing work they do. For that reason, this talk is titled How to make an Othermill: From milk jugs to your door. (We literally make the frame from recycled HDPE: white milk jug plastic.)
The talk will outline everything from wiring harnesses, frames, packaging, and the process by which we went from making everything entirely in-house to using outside manufacturers. I will also talk about what our thoughts are about eventually moving to commodity-scale manufacturing techniques. But don’t worry, it’s all pictures and stories a la “how it’s made.”