It’s a lot easier these days to visualize an idea for a product with the help of digital tools. Spend a few minutes on sites like Yanko Design and you’ll see a wide array of slickly rendered 3D models sometimes backed up with engineering drawings generated from apps like Solidworks.
3d Wedge Rug – Brad Ascalon
The level at which a product can be virtually produced is astounding. 3D printing is what a lot of people see as the logical bridge from virtual to real product, but we aren’t quite there yet. It likely won’t replace what can only be achieved by certain existing handcraft techniques, which some companies have built a reputation on. So for independent designers, there’s still a lot of agony spent researching manufacturers paired expensive trial and error in getting a product to the marketplace.
Lily Pad Candle Holder - Craig Varterian
Hatch Hub is a new company looking to serve as a bridge between independent designers and consumers with an online idea lab and retail store. Designs can be submitted to the site and get reviewed over a vote by the Hatch Hub community.
Timewarp Clock – Ufuk Keskin
For ideas that are approved, Hatch Hub takes the lead in arranging for manufacturing, marketing and selling it to consumers exclusively through their website. Designers retain the intellectual property rights and collect royalties on all sales. The site will also host design challenges based around materials or themes and select product for production from winning entries.
Blockheads – Eric Pfeiffer
The retail side of Hatch Hub aims to offer the freshest independent design work at affordable prices. The store features typical text descriptions and photos as well as video clips of designer interviews and explanations of the idea or making process behind each product. Hatch Hub is committed to strengthening and sustaining the independent design community and their business model in part functions through seeing that money from sales go back to the specific designer.
Here’s the launch video outlining their mission: