My vision of what open source engineering is about:
- Starting small. Initial designs that are aimed at hobbyists, students, and developers.
- Locally assembled products by todays service centers.
- New and optimized designs done by hobbyists and students world wide.
- Localized designs, both technically and esthetically.
- Products with a low sales price due to the absence of development royalties. The open source model could also allow supply chain models otherwise not possible to further reduce costs.
- Products with no intentional built in obsolescence.
- High volume part production when products become popular and designs stable.
- Environmentally sound designs aimed to help solve some of the most pressing global problems. Energy, pollution and maybe even socioeconomic issues.
How can we get this movement going? Unlike software, the resources and distribution channels required for open source hardware have not been established yet. In addition to that we seem to be suffering from a 2nd generation dilemma. We set up websites with forums and publish our wonderful ideas thinking we are well on our way. Well I don’t believe we are. The biggest difference between the open source software and hardware projects I can see at the moment is that we have yet to produce something of value published under a license that fits our interests. The Industrial value of our offerings must increase in order to achieve the goals listed above.
May the journey begin.