Distribution/Documentation (informal) working group updates

A small group of us that are interested in distributed manufacturing (and all that’s wrapped up in it-- documentation, QA/QC, legal agreements, etc) have started working on a proof of concept using OpenFlexure as a case. @jarancio and I are going to be documenting the group’s progress through a series of short blogs on the Journal of Open Hardware’s Medium^ page (and cross posted to the GOSH website). Here’s the first two:

Values-based standards for manufacturing (part 1)

We’ll be posting content here as the group progresses. If you’re interested in these topics and have thoughts, comments, success stories, challenges you’ve run into, we’ll be using this thread as a place for ongoing conversation and input.

^ As an aside-- a Journal of Open Hardware Medium pags exists. If you have an idea for a public-facing series (interviews, essays, etc) on open hardware, please let me know!


I wrote a blog post about y’all. Hope that is ok.


Are you having formal meeting?
I would like to participate.

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In Sensorica somebody highlighted this thread.
I have read and I know you have DIN SPEC 3105 and others documents.
To be honest, I am not sure if I understand where do you want to go in this thread. (what do you want to achieve)
But I think you are missing go to the bones: who adds value and who take it. It is very simple, we make it complicate because we hide our desire to win, and this way we think that we ensure our need of surviving (make a living).

In Sensorica I answer this:
I hope more people will join it. The target is very clear for me:

  • To create very simple mechanisms (agreements) to enable ¨ The Open idea¨ to reach the whole chain of value creation.

If you agree on the following affirmations, please let us work on it:

1.- the ¨ open source ¨ ideas, values, principles or movement aims to facilitate that any one could help to create value (knowledge, software, hardware etc) and also facilitate that most people could access it (use it).

2.- The ¨value¨ of any knowledge or product is perceived when somebody uses it. This means that if we want to generate value for the community, we have to ensure that the knowledge or product serves someone, it is useful for people.

3.- It is not fair at all that some people work for free and others take their contribution to go forward and reach the market.

4.- How do we implement the ¨ open source principles¨ (point 1) among the whole production chain, from the design until the consumption? This is the challenge.

I have a very simple proposal to start working in: http://opencompany.network/

Please let us work… The spirit is that no one should work for free, we should put value openly to each one contribution, we do not look for capture value and ensure our own position, and we look for people’s satisfaction (people will use it and will be willing to pay for that value we generate).

Looking forward to working with you and Gosh people…and more.



Very intersting. We’ve done a lot of thinking in this space in Sensorica. Most writings are now buried in the old site, have not been ressourdaced into the new site.
I would like to participate in this effort, if possible. It is not clear for me from this message where and how I can join this effort.

I’d argue on point 3 that projects should decide for themselves whether they find commercial exploitation fair or not. In fact that’s done by choosing a free/open license. People could choose NC licenses, but those wouldn’t be open source.
Making business out of open source projects is one way to scale things in a market-based society. People consciously chose to contribute for free to a project and open it for general exploitation so others can solve problems with it or adopt it. And this problem solving or adoption may be paid. That gives us a freely exploitable infrastructure of technology, which is great I think.

Would it be better if we organise things in a more fair, alternative way so people could actually live from making FOSS/OSH contributions? → absolutely!
Science could be a platform for this. Researchers are paid, research institutes don’t have the classical struggle with business models and when companies adopt research results, this even helps scaling the impact (plus it would fall under the buzzword ‘citizen science’)

BTW if you want to know anything about DIN SPEC 3105 or where it is heading for, I’m happy to answer your questions or respond to your concerns :slight_smile: There’s also a fresh new FAQ published
It’s a community project and it’s an official standard. Standards (other than laws) are voluntary, no one is obligated to follow them. Furthermore ‘OSH’ is not a protected term, so anyone is still free to ignore OSHWA’s definition or DIN SPEC 3105. However, in the standard we state the bare minimum of information that is needed to effectively grant the four rights of open source to anyone. So the assumption is: If you (really) want to be open source (instead of practising open washing) → this is what you’d need to deliver.

I understand your point. You are right. it is absolutely fair to give your time and work for free if you want to do it.

My intention is to gather people that would chose to work, invest, trade and buy in a very transparent market not focused on profits, but making evident (open information) the generation of value (consumption), the cost and efforts behind the creation of that value, and decide to make transparent ¨who¨ (company) is capturing that value…

I do not want to play any more the game of developing my competitive advantages, increase my power of negotiation, manipulate the perception of the market and conquer and win customers.

If anybody else here do not fit in the current commercial dynamic of blind competition, please contact me.

It is a free and open decision to decide ¨to make visible¨ the invisible hand of the market.


I do not want to do more ¨thinking¨, I want to be very honest, I just want to make a living. I want to work and be connected with customers (the whole community), not conquering them. It is about of gathering people that do not need ¨to beat others¨, that decide not to become millionaires.
The value of our contribution is subjective, and the righteousness of the value capture that I (or my company) does or takes, it is also subjective, so for me it is obvious that we have to face these issues openly…

We just need to gather people that intend the same.

Some important issues to agree:
1.- Clear targets and intentions.
2.- We want a Bottom up revolution… we change some behaviors, the people choose freely.
3.- Commitment. Everyone can chose the level of commitment, but if we aim to satisfy the people needs (including our need of working and be part of the community), we need clear commitment, (otherwise we just face good intentions and pretty speeches and not a good performance of our common targets).

If we share targets, let us work to achieve them.

A bit of a backlog, here’s additional posts related to this topic:

Values-based standards for manufacturing (part 2)
Defining Priorities
Interlude: Adjusting the compass
Introduction to Documentation and Quality Assurance Frameworks


I’m part of http://mikorizal.org/ (which is not a business). We work on the https://valueflo.ws/ vocabulary for economic networks which has been adopted by https://fab.city/

The documentation for distributed manufacturing in the FabCity and Valueflows projects is not finished, although we have some ideas and some requirements.

We’d like to have a conversation about that topic and have assembled a few people, including three from FabCity and @julianstirling from GOSH, in this matrix channel: https://app.element.io/#/room/#valueflows:matrix.org

More will be merrier. @shannond and @jarancio would you be interested? @gbathree ?

I wrote this wiki page about the history of manufacturing doc and the requirements for economic networks to prep for a discussion:

I’m interested in suggestions for improvement and/or disagreements, whether or not you want to join that matrix channel. I can always be wrong.

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