Limits of Distributed Manufacturing

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Here are comments on the shortcomings of the maker movement, hackerspaces, fab lbas, and mainstream enterprise in terms of economic impact in distributed manufacturing:

  1. Lack of quality curated design repositories: There are few to none good open product designs that can be produced readily with well-documented or replicable open source production engineering. OSE Part Library included - we're missing the last steps of distributed production engineering which we are just now completing.
  2. Lack of uniform production engineering using open source tools: There are few to none (depending on how the industrial grade of a tool is measured) quality open source, replicable tools that get you to the industrial productivity on a small scale. For example, the 3D printer still needs a high temperature enclosure (170C) and a rubber-optimized 3mm extruder for 3D printers to access industrial productivity.
  3. Enclosure: Commons enclosure of projects once they reach a productization stage. Once people develop products, many are no longer open source.
  4. Productization Gaps: Marketing and distribution infrastructures have not been developed for open source products. OSE is working on addressing this with the creation of the Open Source Everything Store via STEAM Camps, Incentive Challenges, and real-life Extreme Builds for prototyping.
  5. Education Gaps: Open source toolchain training is missing, so many people don't have access to. Fab Academy comes close, but they rely on proprietary toolchains for production. The open source green fab lab is the next step.

Specifically for 3D printing technology:

  1. Absence of open source 3D printers with high-temperature (170C) print chamber
  2. Lack of proven open source filament production/recycling infrastructure know-how
  3. Lack of a rubber-optimized 3D printer extruder for 3mm filament, to access rubber tires and other flexible prints.

Anna Waldman-Brown