Makernet.org – commercial open hardware


#1

Hello

I am developing MakerNet (makernet.org), a solution for sustainable OSH businesses. It’s a git repository for hardware (proper open licences incl. CERN OHL 2.0 soon, hardware file previews…) with a store front and a manufacturer database, and allowing the designers to be paid (we think it’s a key part in making OSH sustainable).

We are in beta and still have a lot to do but we’d like to work with and help anyone to figure out how to make OSH a profitable alternative to the proprietary paradigm. MakerNet is also set up as a business to make it sustainable.

We are happy to have found the GOSH community as it seems that some of your problems are what we are trying to solve :slight_smile:
Feel free to answer if you have any question/suggestion/other.


#2

Hi Loeiz,

Welcome to the GOSH forum! This sounds like an exciting project. A couple of questions spring to mind.

How does (or will) the store work in terms of international sales. We are setting up a small business in the UK to print and sell our microscopes. The tax implications of selling them internationally daunt me. One thing we were interested in is finding a sales platform that that handles international sales so we don’t have to. Is this something makernet plans to look into? I feel it may help other small OScH producers.

How does the Git integration work? Upping and moving repos is annoying, and I think we are trying to settle on one location for all the software and hardware. Will there be an option to work in a similar way to kitspace.org, a website that reads in from GitHub/GitLab rather than being the primary host.

Have you considered the interface in the context of users from a non-programming background? Personally I love the GitLab interface, but we have collaborators who are not not familiar with Git. They find much of the terminology confusing, and often get lost trying to download a single file.


#3

Hi Julian

Your microscope business seems to be the kind of business we want to help.

The tax is indeed a big blocker to sell internationally. While it’s not yet implemented, it’s being developed. International sales already work, but until we have the taxes implemented, you’d have to pay taxes manually if you were to make a sell today. What are some other problems that you’d like to see taken care of for you to help us decide what to implement first?

MakerNet has its own repositories, which are based on a custom gitlab. We have a full interface and additional tools like 2D/3D file viewers so designers don’t have to learn or know about git at all. For people with projects on other repositories we have importers for github, gitlab, instructables and many others.

Feel free to check our platform and create a test project. You can also join our Discord to get in touch https://discord.gg/YkTnBAQ !


#4

I think having a place for hardware which uses a Git backend but doesn’t require any git knowledge is brilliant, we have collaborators who struggle with Git. However, there is a huge difference between importing and mirroring a Git repo. Many projects have a home on GitLab or GitHub, they have a developer community and they are grouped with the repos for all of the relevant software, moving platform adds a barrier to collaboration. If there was a way for Makernet to mirror an existing GitLab/GitHub project that would be great. Even better if collaborators who prefer the Makernet interface can send merge/pull requests.

I admit I haven’t yet imported a project, but I had a little play with the interface on other projects. I found it pretty difficult to navigate files in folders but I assume that is because it is Beta.


#5

Hi @julianstirling ! Pierre-Alexis from MakerNet here.

We realize that the interface is still far from perfect. The most feedback we will have about it, the fastest we can deliver you guys with a great user experience.

I’ve noted and prioritized your request of being able to mirror repositories instead of just importing, and I think you’re right, that will help adoption a lot. We also have spent time discussing your international tax-paying issue: in order to be sure to understand your problem correctly, would you accept to have a discussion with us ?

We can be contacted directly on Discord as @Loeiz mentioned or via email on contact@makernet.org
Thank you very much for your interest !


#6

Great, thanks for reaching out. Joining the discord now if the Airport wifi holds out!