Introducing bhold labs, design made better by you

Today we’re happy to open up to all of you a new program called bhold labs.

At bhold, we believe in responsive product design, a design approach that takes into account real user feedback during the design process. Unlike ordinary design processes, which can take months if not years to put out new designs, bhold labs uses the speed and flexibility of 3D printing to innovate on how products are created today. We value real usability testing and would like to invite you to participate in this exciting new industry!

To date, we have hosted product testers at our Soho NYC office, and in order to be able to involve more testers in our design process, we decided to start bhold labs. If you are interested in 3D printing and the impact it will have on our society, we would love to get to know you. As a tester, you will receive prototypes of our latest products before they are publicly available and be able to influence the product designs with your feedback.

We will do our best to match you with a product and when you receive it by mail, play with it, test it, stress it, and send us your thoughts.

Once the final version is ready, all bhold labs participants will be able to purchase them at a pre-launch discount for a limited time.

Ready to be a labs tester? Sign up here on our bhold labs page.

We look forward to hearing from you!

Wrap-up from Maker Faire NY

It was great to see you all at Maker Faire! It was our first time exhibiting our designs publicly and we were happy to receive such positive feedback and support from attendees and fellow exhibitors.

We showcased our collection of products from our July company launch and introduced 3 new prototypes for products at Maker Faire. We also announced a brand new program called bhold labs to much interest! Stay tuned as tomorrow we will be opening up sign-ups more broadly to everyone online.

We will be rolling out the new products as soon as they become available for sale.

Our ideas board inspired a wide range of fun and creative ideas for "What would your dream 3D printed product be?". See the boards from Day 1 and Day 2:  


And we were honored to receive an Editor's Choice award by MAKE magazine:


Finally, thank you to all who attended my two talks on Responsive Product Design and Traditional Manufacturing vs 3D Printing. I fielded very engaging questions from the audience and am happy to continue the discussion.


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Product demo videos are now ready

As all of our products are completely new concepts, we wanted to make sure we show the best way to make use of them. Our bhold product demo videos are now ready ! 

bholdable espresso tumbler

bsnug mini throw pillow

bspacey combo, including bstrong utility hook and bneat organizer

    All videos can be found on our bhold videos playlist

    3D printing gets us closer to the sweet spot

    With the high costs and limitations of 3D printing today, why should we expect it to affect traditional manufacturing?

    The answer: rising labor costs, rising fuel costs and sharp progress in 3D printing.

    We've put together this animated graphic to show the trend.

    Rising labor costs
    Since the 80s, China has been a manufacturing powerhouse for the world because of more open foreign policies, strong infrastructure and low labor costs. Now, with a maturing economy and a more educated workforce, labor costs will continue to rise, and our exchange rate against the yuan will continue to weaken.

    While we have turned to other developing countries with manufacturing capabilities, the population in these countries is significantly smaller so it will be more difficult for them to sustain a significant level of low-cost manufacturing as long as China has.

    Rising fuel costs
    Another modern truth is rising fuel and thus shipping costs. Until we come up with a viable alternative energy source, this trend will naturally result in a shift from long-distance to more local manufacturing.

    What to expect with 3D printing
    With investment and technological innovation as well as expiring patents in early 2014, exciting times are ahead as 3D will become more widespread and cost-efficient. Within a couple of years, the entire ecosystem will expand and improve tremendously, from hardware to materials to software. We cannot wait.

    Introducing Bhold, a new company in 3D printed design

    3D printing will indeed change the future of manufacturing. After two centuries of industrial manufacturing, we will be able to come back almost full circle to an era where products can be more tailored to meet consumer demand, but this time with cooler machines, much better technology and newer materials.

    Why do we believe we are headed in this direction?

    Inefficient market
    Our consumer products today are mass produced overseas with long product cycle times that typically last 6 months. Any one product requires a minimum order in the thousands, and importers must fill up entire shipping containers to be efficient about shipping costs. The need to forecast 1-2 seasons ahead adds uncertainty and large minimum orders create inefficiencies and thus waste in the process.

    It's time for consumer manufacturing to speed up to meet consumer needs. Beyond rapid prototyping, 3D printing will allow product cycles to speed up, which will lead to better, more innovative products. Designers can be more responsive to consumer feedback, bringing us to a new era of responsive product design. 3D printing allows anyone to map an idea from concept to production more quickly than before and with direct feedback from consumers.

    Limited access
    Because of these constraints, manufacturing is restricted to those who have enough capital, mainly large companies. 3D printing, however, is now accessible to all. While the cost per item is higher, the minimum order is just... one item. Similar to how the Internet transformed the software development world, 3D printing technology will empower a new world of independent brands and designers, giving consumers more choice than ever before.

    Let’s jumpstart this new industry. We hope you will join us at any level you can, whether it’s creating 3D printed products, developing new materials, improving hardware, spreading the word, or purchasing 3D printed goods and giving consumer feedback.

    Bhold plans to specialize in 3D printed design. Our mission is to contribute to the growth of this great new industry in 3D printing by:

    • showcasing great designs of consumer products made possible by today's 3D materials and processes, and by
    • releasing new versions of products at a faster rate than possible before in response to consumer feedback, to be one of the first to make responsive product design come true.

    And now, bhold :)



    Written by Susan Taing — July 23, 2013

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