Hi, my name is Eric Bauerfeld. I’ve been an admirer of this project for a long time.
In particular, I’m very interested in the organization of the information you’ve been accumulating. I dream of a very granular, new wiki format in which instruction steps and required materials for hardware are broken down into small, atomic, compossible pieces. Those steps could then be assigned as prerequisite steps for any number of other steps, forming a directed graph in which one could get a very detailed sense of what starting materials and skills are necessary for any desired end goal, and how many steps are required to reach it.
This is a very ambitious goal, and I’m assuming there isn’t an existing wiki like this in part because creating design steps that are small, structured, yet generic enough to be easily created and composed is quite difficult/non trivial. I suspect you and/or people you may know have pursued your own wiki/repo formats like this, and am interested in your experience. This particular exchange by the blog author and Joshua Pierce in this blog post (https://www.opensourceecology.org/limits-to-distributed-manufacturing/) struck me:
thoughts on what is currently missing for practical production (ie, billions of $ of product, or at least 1% of the plastic industry) to happen more often with 3D printing as part of the circular economy? ... My thoughts are: 1. lack of quality curated design repositories, 2. lack of uniform production engineering
1. is a real problem – we need a NPO to set up something equivalent to thingiverse but have it free from all IP and leaching concerns. See my wish list https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:30880 2. hoping the ai/mv work we are doing will address this
I don’t have much experience with organizing design repositories in particular, but it seems to me like one of the main barriers to achieving some kind of open, high quality, scalable repository of hardware instructions is the lack of a really solid base structure/protocol for defining small, atomic steps that are each dependent on one another.
I’d like to do what I can to try to solve this problem by going through the information I can find on the open source ecology wiki and breaking it down into an experimental prototype. I’d post about this on the forum and ask where to find the latest design files, instructions, pictures, logs, etc, but it seems inactive. I’ve seen a couple of your development meetings on youtube, and it’s clear the project in general is still active, so I know they’re out there somewhere. If you could post some sort of rough guide about where are the most recent design files and instructions are, that’d be extremely helpful.
I don’t have that much time to dedicate to this right now, but it’s extremely interesting to me, so I intend to make at least some time for it. If you could direct me to other people who may already be working on this kind of information organization problem, where you’d like me to mirror posts, and let me know your general thoughts about it, that’d be much appreciated.
Thanks. Look forward to hearing from you. Also, let me know if the true fan subscription link is still good https://wiki.opensourceecology.org/wiki/Donate#Become_a_True_Fan . That particular page and the graphic on the associated link inside that page are both dated 2014, so I wasn’t sure if it was up to date.
- Didericis - https://dideric.is
Hi Eric, Thanks for your email. We're setting up a new Forum, and all our repos are at https://wiki.opensourceecology.org/wiki/OSE_Part_Library#Part_Libraries
Your proposal is interesting. Your idea of small, atomic, composable pieces is in line with our part libraries. I believe that the missing link is standardization. But standardization will depend on your motives. For example, mainstream industry will propose standards that lead to bigger-is-better solution. OSE, on the other hand, would design people-centered technology. This is captured in https://wiki.opensourceecology.org/wiki/OSE_Specifications
There is one open source standard, and another that is for general hardware taxonomy - both in development. See
- DIN Spec - OSE Germany - Open Source Hardware Standard - https://forum.openhardware.science/t/contribute-to-the-development-of-an-international-open-source-hardware-standard/1205
- https://app.standardsrepo.com/MakerNetAlliance/OpenKnowHow/wiki/Home - Open Knowhow data structure for hardware
There is a lot of promise in the DIN Spec - actually formalizing open hardware requirements. The latter does not focus on open hardware, just hardware in general. Maybe you can update me about their status. We know an effort is serious if they actually specify open formats for files, such as FreeCAD and KiCad among the required file formats. Otherwise we continue in the current fragmentation of effort. Let me know what you find out as the latest of the DIN Spec. I'm observing from a distance, I think they have it under control. And if they don't get it right at first try, we can of course iterate from there. I will comment on their final draft. For OSE, we like to add the elements of Distributive Enterprise, which imposes additional constraints upon the open hardware standard. https://wiki.opensourceecology.org/wiki/Distributive_Enterprise
Yes, True Fans are still active and we have about 30 True Fanships active. Please subscribe at https://wiki.opensourceecology.org/wiki/True_Fans. Please also update that page with your profile - we should keep updating that page. Marcin