Impulse Labs was founded in 2021 with a mission to reframe the home appliance industry by building the next generation of high-performance products. Their appliances enable rewarding, long-term, scalable solutions for whole-home electrification. Impulse’s growing team of engineers needed a better way to conduct design reviews and manage collaboration.
Our customers partner with us to enhance collaboration, improve time-to-market speeds and reduce development costs. Discover how Impulse Labs leverages the power of AllSpice for its hardware designs.
Life before AllSpice
"We previously used GitHub and SVN and were looking for a good Git solution for all of our hardware design files," said Sam Lenius, CTO at Impulse. He is a big proponent of using Git with LFS.
"The review mechanization before was gross. The design review flow with AllSpice is way better - it makes it easier to manage design reviews and associate comments with actual design elements."
In former roles at other companies, someone would open the CAD, take screenshots of changes and print them to mark the diffs in red.
Later, the process evolved to zipping a copied file, sharing it over an email chain or drive, making diffs on MS Paint, and resharing the new files with their team. This process often led to delays, waiting for others to re-upload feedback or sorting through hundreds of misplaced files.
"There were separate comment streams per reviewer.
It was a godawful spaghetti mess."
"AllSpice brought simplicity and accessibility to
Another problem Sam tried to solve was finding a way to view source files without installing toolchains. Software engineers and others, who don't strictly need to work directly with the source, require data relevant to them without having to see intermediate representation.
The ability to view designs in-browser was game-changing and made it readily accessible to users without toolchains installed. The ability to link the design repo from parts to where they define inventory management was also significantly helpful.
"I believe that anytime you transform a design or have two copies of something, one of the sources is likely wrong. Having a single source of truth is super valuable."
The improved design review flow allows for better communication between the Impulse team and their employees, contractors, and vendors, internal and external, through comments and revisions.
A core engineering principle is allowing access to only what data is appropriate to do their job function and not more. "The way we set up repos and access control models allows us to achieve that really easily. One board contractor can do their job quickly and efficiently, and I don't have to give them the keys to the whole world to make one change."
"AllSpice is modern source control for hardware. It's a system to allow controlled evolution of our
“My job is burning down technical risk. AllSpice is useful and easy to work with external partners, and turning on and off repos is easy. For the most part, I don’t think about AllSpice. If I'm not thinking about AllSpice, it means that the tool is doing its job. I've spent the bulk of my career working around the things AllSpice solves for us - it's been well worth it."