Open science hardware marketplaces

Interesting note from the Open ePhys newsletter this week, that might be of interest to members of the list:

LabMaker, which launched last year, is a company that assembles and sells hardware designed by scientists—an objective that we wholeheartedly support. The LabMaker store already carries a number of tools from Open Ephys, including some that can’t be purchased anywhere else. In addition to our acquisition board and I/O board, LabMaker sells fully assembled Twisters (an open-source tetrode spinner) and components for flexDrives (an open-source tetrode implant). We hope the availability of these tools will lower the barrier to entry for scientists that want to carry out experiments with tetrodes. LabMaker is always looking for more hardware to produce, so please get in touch with them if you have something you’d like to share with the broader community. A portion of LabMaker’s revenues will be donated to Open Ephys, to fund our continued development and support efforts.

How do others deal with distribution? Would a model like this be of assistance to you? Interesting to think about as we discuss open science hardware efforts scaling and how to effectively share kit and designs across different countries.


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Yes, a model like this, among others, would be helpful. OSH has tremendous potential to help in science education in developing countries and other cash-poor environments. My proposal to launch a “LabLab” in Mumbai is motivated exactly by the desire to put equipment in the hands of eager kids who want to learn science.


It’s really interesting but we must know who is the market first. I think if we want a product to be successful, we have to work for and with the community. I have a startup which sells OSH equipment for digital fabrication. People only bought our product when they built with us their machines. The distribution model is an important topic for discussing.

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Yep, totally agree. Pierre you should consider applying to a 10 minute talk, or skill share, related to how you’ve developed your business model and develop a sustainable open science hardware business. Even if you don’t have all the answers, don’t worry, no one does so you’re as qualified as anyone :slight_smile:

Here’s the link for the 10 minute talk:

Link to the skill share sessions:


I’m a big fan of the business model canvas as it’s helped me to think about distribution, target audience, etc. and just came upon a version called the Open Source Canvas.

This could serve as a framework for discussion.