Top Resources to Get Your Hardware Startup or Medical Device Company Off the Ground

3D Design Software (CAD Software)

SolidWorks - Professional Engineering CAD software. Many add-ons to for simulations and flow analysis

Pro/ENGINEER - now called PTC Creo Parametric

Autodesk - 2D and 3D software, Free Trial

OnShape - Cloud based 3D CAD Software, from the founders of SolidWorks

TurboCAD - Full featured CAD program that offers both Windows and Mac versions

DraftSight - Cheaper alternative for CAD software. Allows access to DWG files and creation of new files


CAD Model Libraries

Grabcad - Over 1 million free CAD files uploaded by users

TracePartsOnline - 2D and 3D CAD drawings and technical data free to download

3DContentCentral - From Dassault Systems, CAD models uploaded by both users as well as companies. Great selection of 2D and 3D parts and assemblies


Design Guides

Machinery Handbook - You can buy newest edition of the book but here is an older version.


Tolerance Stack Up Analysis

Cetol - Tolerance analysis software that integrates with most major CAD programs

ADV/DM - Stand alone stackup software toolset that runs in Excel

SymphonyTech - Guide to tolerance stackup analysis with examples

Types of Analysis - Paper on different tools for analysis

Symbol Application Guide - GD&T symbols. Guide on symbols and usage


Screws and Threads

Imperial Tap Selection - Imperial tap and drill size reference chart

Metric Tap Selection - Metric tap and drill size reference chart


Plastic Material Selection

MatWeb - Searchable material property database. See data sheets and mechanical and chemical properties of many materials

Curbell Plastics - Nice layout of common plastic materials and important properties. Good starting place to find the category of plastic

Engineering Plastics Material Selection - Good document for understanding plastic mechanical and thermal properties and how they can affect your product

Cole-Palmer - Chemical compatibility information on most materials  


Metal Material Selection

MatWeb - Searchable material property database. See data sheets and mechanical and chemical properties of many materials

Cole-Palmer - Chemical compatibility information on most materials  

Bosun Supplies - Breakdown of all the different types of stainless steel

Material Weldability - Quick list of weldability of many metals


3D Printing

3D Printing Explained - Learn about all the different types of 3D printing

3D Printing Industry - Website for the latest news about 3D printing  


Injection Molding

Mold Technology Series - Information about mold making. Good to read through to understand the complexities of molds

Basics on Injection Molding Design - Information about injection molding and part design


Circuit Board Design

ElectronicDesign - Quick overview of PCB Design

PCB Artist - Free PCB design layout software

Omni Circuit Boards - Best practices for PCB design and tips to keep costs down

SnapEDA - PCB footprints and electronic parts to accelrate your board design process


CNC Machining

CHC Cookbook - Good basics on on CNC techniques and information

G-Wizard - Feeds and Speed calculator. Free Trial

Cutting and Milling Tools - Selection of presentations and videos to help select correct cutter and milling tools




FCC -   Federal Communications Commission is a  United States regulator that controls EMC requirements, Radio Requirements and Telecoms Requirements

OSHA - Occupational Health and Safety Administration

FDA - Food and Drug Administration -



SCC - Standards Council of Canada

ICES - Interference Causing Equipment Standard

IC - Industry Canada


Certifications and Testing Standards

Country Approval Requirements - List of all approvals and requirements for countries around the world.

ACTA Certification

FCC Certification - Required for RF devices with that can potentially interfere with other devices

CE Declaration of Conformity

CE Declaration of Conformity - Basic information on certification that is required for almost all goods to be sold in the EU

Declaration of Conformity Template Method - Information about creating a declaration of conformity and templates to get you started

IC Certification

IEC - International Electrotechnical provides the international standards and assessment of conformity for electrical and electronics

IECEE - IEC System of Conformity Assessment Schemes for Electrotechnical Equipment and Components

UL Certification

ASTM - American Society for Testing and Materials

ISO - International Organization for Standardization

EMC - Electromagnetic Compatibility Testing

RoHS - Restriction of Hazardous Substances


Hardware Incubators / Accelerators

Lemnos Labs - Normally first outside capital in. Based in San Francisco. $250k-1M investment

Bolt - Has both Boston and San Francisco offices. Invests $100k - $500k. On site prototyping capabilities

Greentown Labs - Based in Boston with a focus on Clean Tech

Lab IX - Flextronics lead incubator based in Milpitas with a focus on young companies. $500k investment

Highway 1 - PCH International’s presence in the incubator space. $50k investment with office space and machine shop in SF


Medical Device Incubators / Accelerators

The Foundry - Med Device incubator in Silicon Valley

BayLink - Another medical device incubator in the heart of Silicon Valley


Meetup Groups

Hardware Massive - Many different chapters around the world

SF Hardware Startup Meetup - Over 5000 members in San Francisco


Crowdsource Funding for Your Business

Kickstarter - Crowdfund your almost any project. All or nothing

Indiegogo - Allows for different types of capital campaigns

Fundable - Selective Crowdfunding platform


Fundraising Platforms

Crowdfunder - Online investor network

AngelList - One of the largest angel investor networks

Gust - Large investor network


Startup Events

LAUNCH - Many different events throughout the year including including their large Festival and Scale

TechCrunch Disrupt - Held in many different locations around the world

South by Southwest - SXSW is probably the largest startup focused event in the world


Know a resource that we should share or want your company listed here? Email us at to let us know.

Recent Blog Posts

Do Supplier Scorecards Work?

March 6, 2017, 7:24 p.m.

Supplier Scorecard Issues

Does your company use supplier scorecards to rate your suppliers? If so, you have probably experienced that long, tedious questionnaire about the suppliers you’ve used months ago. But is the time you put into answering the questionnaire worth it? Does it gleam insightful information that helps your company make better purchasing decisions?

Check out this post on Spend Matters to see the pitfalls that are common to most supplier scorecard systems that companies use.

Read More

The Best of Both Worlds? 3D Printed Injection Molds

Aug. 2, 2016, 2:58 a.m.

3D printed mold tooling

Image from

Traditionally, the roles of 3D printing and injection molding have been clear. 3D printing is for making prototypes and injection molding is for high volume production runs. As 3D printing materials are getting better, a hybrid technique has been introduced to combine the two techniques. Now you can 3D print injection molds.

You will see 3D printing companies and some injection molders hailing the benefits of this technique while traditional injection molding companies are quick to point out the shortfalls. But what are the benefits and ...

Read More

24 Steps To Make A Tennis Ball

July 26, 2016, 9:12 p.m.

Making Tennis Balls

A video showing Wilson tennis balls being made is going around the internet. I wanted to share it here as well. They say there are 24 different manufacturing processes. Let’s see how many of the different manufacturing steps we can identify. I’ll start with an easy one, 2:00 Die cutting of felt.

1 down, only 23 more to go…..

Leave a comment with time in video and the process!

2:00 Die Cutting ...

Read More

Announcing VendOp Connect – See how you’re connected to potential suppliers

July 5, 2016, 5:16 p.m.

VendOp 2016-07-05 09-23-47

We received a lot of feedback from you, our users, that you would like to be able to see if you know anyone that has actually used the supplier before. We are excited to announce our beta of VendOp Connect (yes, I agree we need a better name). So how does it work?

First off, all of your suppliers are private. You choose who to share the information with. Only people you choose to connect with will be able to see your supplier list. You can add / remove vendors as well ...

Read More