GOSH Community Forum

Open Science Hardware Product Developer

Hi all - Ryan and I are seeking a person to assemble both of our products, and some future products, and (in our dreams) also provide manufacturing solutions to other small OScH projects. This initiative came in part out of a great GL GOSH walk through the park with @juanpedro.maestre, @alisonjparker and @ryanfobel (link to notes). While this position involves assembly, we’re looking for an entrepreneurial type who wants the space to expand this in new and interesting directions.

Please pass this along! -->

Open Science Hardware Product Developer

We are seeking

… a unicorn of the science hardware variety.

Lots of the following fits you…

  • Self starter
  • Experienced maker
  • Passionate about open source, sharing, and expanding science
  • Science hardware developer
  • Experienced in sourcing, storing, stocking, assembling, boxing, shipping, and general supply chain management on a small scale (5 - 200 units / month)
  • Enjoys helping people to make sure they are having the experience you designed for

In a perfect world you would also…

  • Evaluate, cost, and discuss potential new projects for manufacture and sales
  • Make beautiful documentation
  • Create amazing and engaging video tutorials
  • Communicate your progress to the world, and build strong brands around the open science hardware you build

But most importantly, you can…

  • Do anything when it needs to get done, and know when and how to hand it to someone else


We are seeking someone to manage the manufacture, assembly, fulfillment, and technical support for several small to medium open science hardware projects (our-sci.net Reflectometer, Sci-Bots Dropbot to start). Currently, those companies manage their own assembly and sales. We believe by combining forces, we can more efficiently manage costs, increase marketing through common branding, and ultimately provide assembly/sales/marketing/documentation/tutorials services to other small to medium Open Science Hardware projects.

This position is entrepreneurial in nature, and you will help structure the project moving forward. This includes creating systems for parts intake, storage, SOPs, consolidating existing documentation + expanding on it, and systems for customer support. You’ll be working closely with Our Sci and Sci-Bots to support the transition, and eventually working with other developers of Open Science Hardware who want to use the service to get their product and process into the world. As the project expands, you’ll build out staff to cover the core responsibilities.

Pay and Location

$55,000 - $65,000 per year to start, commensurate with depth and breadth of experience in a broad range of skills (design, manufacturing, documentation, branding / marketing, tutorials, documentation, etc.).

Position is full time and location is in Ann Arbor, MI.

Initial position is fully funded for 1 year. Ongoing funding will depend on sales + development - but you will have strong partners supporting your success!


Send resumes to admin@our-sci.net and ryan@fobel.net . Include a cover letter describing what you’re passionate about and why this position is a great fit for you! If you like most of this post but not all, or think you’re a great fit but have additional needs, or have general questions, let us know - things are not set in stone and our priority is finding the right person.


Should also mention that initially, this project/position will be incubated/administered through Our Sci (with a separate budget, bank account, etc.), but that longer term vision is to spin off an independent “entity” that could provide various services for the GOSH community (e.g., manufacturing, distribution, sales, marketing, etc.). In the past, we’ve talked about some kind of co-op or collective business structure that would be open, inclusive and aligned with the goals and values of the GOSH community. We are very interested in ideas/feedback for what such an organization might look like, so if this interests you, please get in touch!


When the time to open a node in Africa will come, the Mboalab will be happy to support by offering space.

1 Like

Great! I expect we’ll be reporting back to the forums to see how this goes… as Ryan keeps telling me, it’s an experiment after all, so I expect we’ll learn a lot.


Just a quick update. @gbathree and I had a great meeting yesterday with @rbowman and @julianstirling from the OpenFlexure project and we discussed the idea of adding their microscope to an initial “portfolio” of products that we will be aiming to manufacture/distribute as part of this new collaboration. We’ve also interviewed a couple of great candidates and are aiming to hire someone early in 2020.

We were also joined in our call by @szroboman_opentrons who is interested in developing a mentoring/education program to introduce high-school/college kids in Brooklyn to open science hardware. It seems like their could be some interesting synergies/overlaps between these initiatives, and @szroboman_opentrons is also keen on building the openflexure microscope and has some great contacts in China related to supply chain and manufacturing.

We are also hoping to connect with other people around the globe who might be interested in experimenting with different distributed manufacturing/service/shipping models. Some names that came up in our discussion were @amchagas, @valerian or if anyone else is interested in setting up a community call around this idea, please get in touch!


Thanks @ryanfobel, it was a really positive chat and I’m excited to see you and @gbathree pushing ahead with making these things available to buy. I don’t think I have much to add to that excellent summary other than some enthusiiasm - I’m very keen to see something like that happen on this side of the pond, though not yet able to fund a person to do it…

1 Like

All I want to add is how excited I am that some of the distributed manufacturing goals we have talked about over the last couple of years are beginning to become a reality.

1 Like

all the parts fit on a single print!

Pretty exciting!


I just got my McMaster-Carr order in the mail. Race is on to see who can get theirs built first… :grinning:

1 Like

On the topic of US v. UK suppliers. We are moving our documentation over to GitBuilding soon (a program written primarily by me and @kaspar) which should handle making nice bills of materials for markdown documentation. One thing this supports is yaml files with part information including multiple suppliers, I have written a script to scrape the Westfield fasteners website and generate a library for nuts and bolts, it would be awesome if we could adapt this to automatically find the same parts on McMaster Carr.


I love this idea. And uh, best name ever!

1 Like

I am proud of the name. Charlotte Parry (not on this forum) deserves the credit for the wonderful GitBuilding logo which I think really make the difference!

I would love to join a call with you on the topic of distributed manufacturing/service/shipping models. We have been investigating this with @thomasmboa in Cameroon. I’d be interested in sharing recommendations and maybe even hires on support for things like marketing, shipping regs expertise, freight forwarders etc.

1 Like

Haha - @ryanfobel @gbathree all my open flexure parts have arrived as well so I was planning to build it as a fun Christmas holiday project, although I won’t be speed-building because mulled wine and mince pies will feature heavily. Best Christmas-related item under a microscope competition anyone?


Yes! Would love to get you in on a call in the new year. Feels like there’s some real momentum building on this concept and it’s super exciting!

Hi folks!
I would love to hop on a call as well. I’m currently on vacation, but can have a chat anyways… If not on the next days on Jan 3rd I’m back in the office…

Last but not least, it is awesome to see this developing!!

1 Like

Hi everyone,
During Q1 2020, we have commercialisation funding around our new open hardware project, so we look forward to using this to learn more about distributed manufacturing models, as ‘conventional venture-backed tech transfer’ is clearly not the only way to drive innovation. Leading this project is Sarah Needs in Reading, UK, so it would be great for her to talk to each of you about what you learned already about this new model for making new hardware available to researchers around the world.

On the subject of Open-flexure Christmas builds, this time last year I spent happy hours with a work experience high school student, trying to work out how to make ‘home-made’ slides of interesting things to look at on our open-flexure microscope.

In a seasonal theme, we found onion skin (representing roast lunch?) and yeast (winter baking?) looked cool, and we used red and green dyes for a festive slide staining session.
It might be worth thinking about accesory components, e.g. distributing basic slide staining materials alongside open source microscopy hardware.
Also, if people have identified truly ‘food-grade’ methods for preparing microscopy samples for teaching, where would we find these? My searches (and initial experiments) suggested that microbiology and histology dyes are quite specific and don’t usually overlap with stuff in your kitchen cupboard, nor would you like them in your xmas pud. Maybe something to explore in a hackathon or workshop?

1 Like

@regfade DM me or Ryan if you want to connect, colearn, or collaborate. We have some good applicants, so I feel hopefully we’ll get rolling in the next 2 months.

Actually, scratch that, sorry didn’t read all the responses - interest is building!

Does everyone want to hop on a call together (@jcm80 @amchagas @ryanfobel @regfade)? Maybe @thomasmboa also if you’re interested? @julianstirling feel free to join but I don’t want to overwhelm also.

I’d like to include everyone, but also keep the agenda tight enough to move this specific project forward. I think we can do it with something like:

  • give some time for general introductions and a little history of everyones interest
  • then see in the context of our current position we’re hiring for and our next 6 month shared assembly/distribution test if there’s opportunities for near term collaboration.
  • then think about our long term hopes and identify overlap, and how our current paths can move in that direction if appropriate.

How does these times work for folks?

Friday Jan 3 - 9am EST or 10am EST
Weds Jan 8th, 9am EST or 10am EST


Hi @regfade

Really interested to hear more about your project! I think most of us are in the exploratory stages of all this at the moment and trying to pull together enough resources to properly test ideas. @rbowman @thomasmboa @valerian and I were part of a UK Global Challenges Research Fund grant proposal to pull together a research network on distributed manufacturing of health technologies but we were deemed ineligible on a minor technicality, which was really a shame. DM me if this would be of interest because we are regrouping!

I’m available any of those times @gbathree.
I took the liberty of making a doodle poll to avoid flooding the mailing list with availability responses: