Infrastructure for Hardware Design

Jordan Noone

Jordan Noone

KittyCAD is an infrastructure company, bringing together everything required to build tools for hardware designers. Our vision is to make these tools as programmable as the rest of the internet. We take a technology-first approach to hardware design, so that you can use KittyCAD's APIs to build tools, automation, websites, and apps.

Hardware design tools today are built by a few industry incumbents, with limited change to their product offerings over the last thirty years. Recently, there has been a wave of companies building new products, however the barrier to entry to developing those products is too high. This limits the ability for these companies to rapidly develop, compete with incumbents, provide new feature offerings, and provide novel functionality to hardware designers.

KittyCAD provides the infrastructure enabling developers to foster a new generation of hardware design tools. By providing them with features that are common across all developers, we can enable them to focus their time and resources on building the features truly unique to their product. As an example, every developer will need to read and write data from CAD files. There is no consistent or easy way to do this today. Our APIs are designed to make this as easy as talking to any other files.

This industry transforming approach for hardware design has already been proven in other industries as well. For example, Stripe has transformed the financial technology, "fintech", industry. Prior to Stripe's infrastructure, development in fintech was mostly limited to large companies. Stripe's infrastructure enabled a new generation of fintech companies to build products that were previously too difficult to build by a startup. This was enabled by Stripe's unique focus on a common infrastructure backbone including dedication to ease of use. Now, anyone can build fintech products with Stripe's APIs. KittyCAD is enabling the same transformation in hardware design.

We work with our customers to provide the functionality to see their vision. Below, we've compiled a list of some of the use cases we either service today, or have in development for our customers. If you have a use case that you don't see here, please contact us and we can discuss how we can help you.

  • Automation: KittyCAD's APIs allow you to automate your hardware design workflows. Imagine auto-generation of drawings, bill of materials, and other documentation. Configure a workflow once, and then let KittyCAD's APIs do the work for you. Rather than doing hand calculations of tolerances and other design parameters, build those into the hardware design process and the drawing will auto-populate them as the base geometry changes.
  • Generative Design: Computers today are more than powerful enough to learn basic hardware design rules. What limits the ability to apply machine learning to hardware design today is the lack of ability for a learning algorithm to easily read/write CAD files. KittyCAD's APIs change this. With the launch of our Geometry Engine's beta in 2023, we provide the infrastructure to develop machine learning for hardware design. This can range from complex generative designs tuned to design a specific product, to more generalized solutions that can be embedded within CAD GUIs. Similar to GitHub Copilot, imagine as you design a product, the CAD GUI can suggest the next feature to add to the design.
  • KittyCAD's APIs allow you to build a predictive design system. This allows you to build a system that can learn from your design history, and then make suggestions on how to improve your design. This can range from simple to complex suggestions on how to improve the design for manufacturability.
  • Development of CAD GUIs: Starting in 2023, KittyCAD's APIs allow you to edit CAD geometries. This allows our customers to build a custom CAD GUI for their use case. The use cases can range from cross-platform CAD packages (mobile, desktop, web, and various operating systems) which have never before been seen in the industry, to CAD GUIs integrated with external software packages for seamless workflows.
  • Reusable Designs with Code for CAD: For some engineers, they take a code-first approach to CAD. Instead of designing a one-off design in their CAD GUI today, they script a more generalized design. This allows them to include complex logic, programatically link to design requirements, and build a library of design modules that they can reuse.

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