GOSH Community Forum

Day 2: What's the path to ubiquity... aka "The burden of manufacturing"


@gbathree @juanpedro.maestre @ryanfobel @alisonjparker


We talked about what it will really take to get ubiquity of open source hardware by 2025… and came to the conclusion that we need to focus on what makes OSH compelling - flexibility, speed of development, and generally being good at creating new and interesting stuff (combining unique things, creating new things). A main limitation is high quality, appropriate scale manufacturing + assembly. Problem with science is there are no ‘smoking guns’ (like the 3d printer was for maker spaces)… instead there are a million individual components, with small / limited markets… that’s a type of manufacturing that’s non-traditional, and requires a specific skill set, tool set, and background. Perhaps the best way to unleash open hardware is to have a comprehensive solution to the appropriate manufacturing and distribution problem so the community can focus on creativity and development.


What is the path to ubiquity?

If we’re realistic, we need to make a finished product that any person will use.
Can we use existing pathways that don’t involve manufacturing?.. maybe, probably not really
Where is the advantage of open source?

  • not in manufacturing
  • yes in innovation
    Then how do we focus on innovation?
    We get rid of manufacturing?
  • can we do it without manfuacturing? Probably not
  • can we take manfuacturing ‘off the table’ and make it work for us (our application).
    … well, what about Seeed… in theory they do that?
    … but it doesn’t seem that model is compelling, they have bigger better markets.

So maybe we need to have something that does ‘manufacturing for us’

  • probably it would take years to work, existing projects probably wouldn’t switch
    figure out how to keep costs low.

What is compelling about thatconpared to existing companies (seeed).

  • software and data management
  • packaging and professional development, marketing
  • common marketing strategy
  • interooerability
  • knowledge of standards
  • tutorials and documentation
  • maybe coop model, or other social good or shared value

Action items

@ryanfobel connect to @biomurph to see if he’ll play with this idea together.
@gbathree try to produce a concept paper on this…