Good idea or bad idea? (DIY biology lab package)

Hey everyone, newcomer here. I’ve heard a lot of great things about this forum and the awesome minds that populate it, happy to be here (virtually) :space_invader:

Some background on me: I’m Nick, programmer (Big Data Engineer) by day, biohacker in my free time. But lately i’ve been working on a project,, which will be a place where biohackers can buy and sell DNA, among other things.

My idea: I want to sell a full diy biology lab to people all in one place, using plans from the best open source solutions. Not for profit, just to help fill a desperate need in the community. There are so many plans out there for microscopes, centrifuges, pipettes, etc. but no kits, no tutorials, not much help when things go wrong during building, and I want to fill that need for customers so that they don’t get scared away by the amount of risk that currently comes with trying to build lab gear from open source projects. Now in my (sometimes naive) mind, the only issues in place are getting the permission of the creators. But, I know i’m probably wrong… :sweat_smile:

Anyways, what do you all think? What issues can I expect while bringing this idea to reality?

I really appreciate the feedback!


Distribution is an incredibly important issue. There are a number of us in GOSH looking at small scale local distribution for the exact reasons you state. People want a thing that works, with support and instructions.

If the project is licenced under and appropriate open license then you have the total freedom to produce and sell the design without asking for permission. If the design and documentation are licenced in a reciprocal way you will be required to share any modifications under the same license. While no permission is needed to produce and sell an open design, many of us think it should be best practice to contribute some of the sales cost back to the original creators so that they are compensated for their design work and the continued support they may bring to the project.

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Ah, licensing. Thanks for the heads up. Yes I suppose I would be one of those small scale, local distributors then. Thanks for the info!

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Unless you want to scale to being a large-scale distributor :smiley: that would be cool too!