2014 Schedule
Interactive: March 7–11  •  Film: March 7–15  •  Music: March 11–16

The Complete Hardware Crash Course

#sxsw #hardwarecc

ATTENTION: You must signup in advance to attend this workshop. You will need to have a valid SXSW badge, and an activated SXsocial account. To reserve your seat, please go here: https://sup.sxsw.com/schedule/IAP20731

Many product ideas require small low power connected devices. For example, many types of activity monitors and Internet Of Things applications.

Learn how to take advantage of open source hardware and software to focus your efforts on the core value of your product that makes it unique.

In this two and a half hour long workshop, we will cover how to leverage the Open Source Firefly Project hardware and software along with other open source components, such as ARM Cortex-M GNU tools, to create a new device. This includes customizing the electronics, mechanicals, and software. You will also be shown how to produce your device at low volumes and estimate the production costs.

Bring your Mac Laptops. Devices based on the Open Source Firefly Project will be available for use by workshop participants to illustrate many of the steps in the process. Successfully program, test, and assemble a device and you can take it with you.

(Information about the Open Source Firefly Project is at http://fireflydesign.com.)

Questions Answered

1) How can I design a custom device based on an open source reference design? This covers customizing the electronics, mechanicals, and firmware.

2) How can a custom design be manufactured in low volumes and at a reasonable price? Manufacturing electronics and mechanicals with both be discussed.

3) What is needed to assemble, program, and test devices at low volumes? Production at low volumes (10, 100, 3000) is important for quick iteration with customers. Do it at low cost, low risk, and with short lead times will be discussed.

4) How do I customize the firmware? How can I leverage open source tools, such as the ARM Cortex-M GNU tools?

5) How do I communicate with a device from my application? Once you can communicate with the device you can use all your software development skills in mobile apps, the cloud, etc, to make your unique value shine through.

- Knowledge of C and Objective C programming languages will be helpful, but is not required.

What to Bring:
- A laptop with Mac OS X 10.9 is required to participate in some of the hands on portions of the workshop. However, it is not required of everyone as I would like people to team up in groups of 2 to 3.



Andrew Sanderson


Modern Fuel Design

After 6 years working as an aircraft propulsion technician and 10 years running his own business as a gas turbine engineer, Andrew has made the switch to product development after successfully taking his first product from idea to being stocked in shops world-wide.

With his experience navigating everything from product design to prototyping, 3-D modeling, sourcing oversees manufacturing and overseeing quality control, Andrew's strong engineering background and technical eye bring valuable experience and entrepreneurial skills to product creation and production.

Andrew now continues to develop products for his brand Modern Fuel and collaborates with others to create new and inventive products and services.


Denis Bohm

Prod Design

Firefly Design

Denis has worked independently for the past 20 years under his own company, Firefly Design. His education background with a BSEE from Purdue University and a MSCS from Stanford University, coupled with extensive experience in both hardware and software, have enabled him to work at all levels of product design. From designing flight simulators for GE to consulting for large corporations and numerous startups, his experience is wide ranging. Denis has extensive experience in user interface design, software, hardware and firmware, and overseeing the manufacturing of devices for clients. After living in Silicon Valley for 23 years, Firefly Design recently moved to Austin Texas.

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