About The Client
Next Thing Co. is a young tech start-up based in Oakland, California. They specialize in small open-source electronic devices with a distinctive hacker-inspired, stripped-down aesthetic.
Thomas Deckert of Next Thing visited Star Rapid in June of 2014 as part of the HAX accelerator program based in Shenzhen, China. Upon that visit Thomas saw the facilities and spoke with the staff and realized that Star would be the ideal partner for helping Next Thing to create their camera prototype.
OTTO is a hackable, low-cost digital camera powered by the Raspberry Pi programmable controller. The OTTO comes with a ton of modes that define all the ways it can be used to take pictures, including creating GIFs or being tailored for shooting only beautiful sunsets. The OTTO pairs with your smartphone via the app, so you can immediately share your pictures to your phone and via your social network. User-customized modes allow for almost infinite possibilities, and it looks really nice, too.
Star Rapid built a two-cavity mold from P20 tool steel. P20 is a semi-hardened steel that we first machined with EDM, then finished with CNC machining. EDM allowed us to create a textured pattern on the cavity of the mold, which produces the distinctive grain of the camera body.
It required only a few days to plastic injection mold a relatively small order. But the quality of the tool steel is sufficient to reliably make many thousand more pieces depending on the success of the initial prototype.