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    • Please join me in welcoming Eric from Patchr.Io for a Cake Panel! He will be answering questions on April 30 starting at 3 PM ET.

      A bit about him: Eric Schneider is an award-winning Creative Technologist based in Austin, Texas. Eric’s background is in interactive art and design research. He has been credited with numerous innovations & patents including the world’s first wheelchair fitness tracker, a temporary tattoo circuit board, a blood glucose monitoring smartphone case, and the world’s first smart pants. His innovations focus on pushing the envelope, building commentary around a theme, and creating virality through strategic marketing. His projects have been featured in over 800 publications worldwide and in videos amassing over 15 million views. Eric’s current company,, makes software for hardware developers that helps make printed circuit board design and manufacturing the easy part of your project.

      Welcome Eric!

    • Good question! A printed circuit board is a piece of substrate which contains thin strips of copper laminated to its surface. The copper connects components that have a specific purpose in enabling electronic devices to perform how they are intended to perform. The crazy thing is… they are in virtually every electronic device. Without PCBs we wouldn’t have cell phones, computers, electric cars… even your alarm clock runs because of a PCB.

    • So Patchr’s software enables hardware developers to effortlessly design and manufacture printed circuit boards in just one week. When starting the company, what was your thought process?

    • I’ve been building/hacking hardware for over 10 years and I started to notice that many of the tools we used to create these electronic devices were seriously outdated and seemed to only be built for highly technical users. No other company in the space had cracked the code for a great user experience, modern conveniences like templates, modules, cross browser functionality and Amazon Prime speed for manufacturing & delivery. So I decided we would be the company to do it. Two years later and we have an awesome team, a product that gets more fun with every update and an amazing group of users building exactly what they imagined. 

    • Outside of the positive feedback, we get a lot of feedback that is synonymous with other design software tools like Canva and Sketch. Many things users are looking for today is universality amongst their tools, meaning a copy + paste in Canva should be copy + paste in Microsoft Word and copy + paste in Patchr. We found that by taking these cues from more established software, it actually builds a better user experience, a software our users instinctually understand.

    • What are some of your favorite projects or ideas that you’ve seen using PCBs? For example, Light Motion Sensor Gloves is listed as a project example on your site?

    • The more absurd the better. I have a love for useless electronic devices which has become a theme in my work outside of Patchr. As for user products, we’ve seen everything from an IoT Garden Stake, a Tickle-Me-Elmo hack that makes Elmo laugh demonically and creative Cosplay accessories. 

    • Right now our tutorials are focused around our software. We want to be as clear and to the point as possible, taking pride in our simple on boarding process. We are working on and will soon release tutorials from famous makers, educators and companies so you can follow along and create a project that might be outside of your wheel house.

    • We love our community so much and interact with them as much as possible. Outside of being Makers ourselves, we are constantly going to conferences and events both in our hometown of Austin and nationwide. We will be at NomCon in June if anyone wants to say hi. We work at being a resource to the community, interacting and emailing with users that have questions, we are even down to hop on a video call to screen share with users who may need some help with their project. We also have a community project fund that users can apply to and we will help finance their project and provide any resources they might need.

    • I’ve always been fascinated with how things work, taking apart anything I could get my hands on as a kid. I was very fortunate to have some awesome teachers throughout my education that helped fuel my curiosity. My 7th grade science teacher, Ms. Harris, helped push my curiosity of space and tech by taking time outside of class to help me build and compete with a scale model of the Mars Rover at NASA. Then in college, my Art Professor, Tim Weaver was a constant inspiration and provided never ending encouragement to continue to push the bounds of my imagination, learning new things and to continue building no matter the obstacle. There were several other teachers along the way… shout out to Mr. Watson my high school Design teacher who constantly pushed me to ask questions and my grad school professor Dr. Alex Wilkie for encouraging me to never stop ideating and to always keep the end user in mind. 

    • Our software fits right between idea and final design. We built Patchr so that anyone with an idea can simply log in to our website, design their PCB how they envisioned it in their head and within a couple days receive a finished PCB at their door. We are really trying to bring PCB design and manufacturing software into the consumers need for on-demand software, manufacturing and shipping. The goal is to give users everything they need to build exactly what they’ve imagined, putting as much power, automation and resources in front of the user and give them the best possible user experience, all from the web or their mobile device.

      As for websites or forums, Hackaday is a great blog option, is a great place to share projects and learn how to build projects and both Adafruit and Sparkfun have phenomenal education resources to help you learn more and more about building electronic hardware. 

    • How can we best stay up to date with you? (NOTE: we are leaving the panel open for questions which Eric is happy to come back and answer as his schedule permits)!