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72 FLEX007 MAGAZINE I JANUARY 2019 Interview by Dan Feinberg and Barry Matties I-CONNECT007 One of the guest speakers at AltiumLive 2018 was Jeremy Blum, director of engineer- ing at Shaper—a robotics company that inte- grates computers with handheld power tools. Shaper Origin is the first hand-held computer numerical control (CNC) machine, which is a computer-controlled cutting machine that can be used for woodworking. But how does it relate to the electronics manufacturing and PCB industry? In this interview with I-Con- nect007, Jeremy answers that question, speaks about the importance of communication in the design to manufacturing (DFM) process, and explains a surprising tool he uses over and over to improve their products—empathy. Their new, accessible product will empower and inspire you to get creative. Dan Feinberg: Jeremy, that was a very good pre- sentation. Jeremy Blum: Thank you, I appreciate that. Feinberg: Your device is fascinating, but what brings you to AltiumLive? Blum: All the electronics in it are designed with Altium. I've been going back and forth with Altium for quite a while now about ideas on how to make the software better. As I men- tioned in my presentation, I collaborate very closely with the mechanical engineers at Shaper. Origin is a tightly, electromechanically integrated product. I kept running into hurdles where it didn't seem like there was a great workflow for how to do something I wanted to do, whether it was fitting something into a constraint that the mechanical engineers had given me or trying to communicate to them how I needed to do something electrically. Thus, I've been talking to Altium for a while about ways to improve their software. I'm an Altium power user, so it's nice to be at an event where I can talk to people who use the same software I do, identify with the successes and Collaborative Design Using Empathy

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