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Cool material of the day - Color-Changing Desiccant

Indicates absorbed moisture instantly by changing color



This material is used in cold storage. For example Ice cream parlors and other cold storage areas use this colored silica gel to get a visual indication of oxidation. The color changes when it absorbs humidity thus helping to prevent freezer burn.

Cool Material of the day - Heat Shielding Gel

Temporarily shield virtually any solid material from temperatures up to an incredible 7500 ºF (4100 ºC). Available as spray gel or paste.



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New Technology of the day - Tension Sensing Bolt

Visually indicates its tensile load on the end of the bolt. Red means the bolt is not properly tensioned and black means it has been tensioned correctly.


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Joystickers Launch on Kickstarter

Anthony Cerra and Russ Hakimiyan are the tag team that make up JoyStickers LLC. They came to Inventables online hardware store about six months ago with an idea to make a joystick for the iPad. They had played some games and experienced some frustration that the device didn't have a button you could press. After all, shooting a machine gun is kind of hard to do on a touch screen.

They started by creating some CAD drawings for what the device could look like, and then they started sourcing materials. They had to solve several sourcing and engineering problems including finding conductive rubber or foam materials, how to stick the button to the iPad, and how to package the whole device together. They found a few materials and vendors through Inventables, ordered some samples, and ran some tests. After a little bit of iteration they came up with a prototype that worked!



Last week they came to our office and showed us their prototypes. The prototype has a simple red barrel and a squishy black button. The button is conductive so that when it hits the iPad screen it can detect that it's been pushed.

Today they've launched on Kickstarter! They are looking to raise $25,000 to help them buy the tooling and materials they need to build the product. Watch their video, and if you like the product, sign up to back it.

Chicago startups hiring

At Inventables we believe that it is currently too difficult for designers, artists, and inventors to source materials. To solve this problem, a few months back we started building an "Innovator's Hardware Store" that sells hard to find materials along with the basics needed to complete a project. We've started stocking our virtual shelves with some of the most ridiculously cool materials in the world. A few examples are:  






The business model is starting to take off and we are looking for a talented individuals that are excited about helping us achieve our goal to join our team. Right now we're hiring for the following jobs:

UX/UI Designer
Software Engineer
Product Curator and Sourcer
Special Projects

People tell us that our culture is fairly unique. Employees have lots of autonomy especially in technical roles. In operational roles we work with lean systems and processes. Throughout the company we have an appetite to continually improve and grow.


If you're looking for a Chicago based startup company, you love product development, and our mission get's you excited check out these jobs and think about helping us change the world.

Chicago Design Professionals-
Spring is right around the corner and that means job hunting for graduating students.  IDSA Chicago and UIC are hosting an event to get local students ready for their moment in the spotlight.  On February 19th we will be bringing students and professionals together for a portfolio workshop.  While it is always good for students to get feedback on their body of work, wouldn't it be great if you could see a before and after look at one project? 
 
We are asking students to bring one key project (digitally) from their portfolio to review with professionals in the morning.  Then they will team up with another student and revise their presentation to present again to another professional at the end of the day.  This process will give them both feedback and a template to use to fine tune their entire portfolio.  The schedule will look like this:
 
Portfolio Scramble Event
February 19th,
 
UIC Innovation Center (1240 W. Harrison St.)
 
10:00am- Introduction and Opening Remarks
10:30am-11:30am- Student teams meet with professionals to review their projects
11:30am-1:30pm- Students teams work to revise their projects. (during this time, professionals will be roving and giving input)
 
A working lunch will be provided at noon.
 
1:30pm-2:30pm- Student teams will meet with professionals to review the final results of their work
2:30pm-3:00pm- Closing Remarks