- Free as in Free Software (see rms for details ;)
- Hardware any kind of material good.
There is no such thing as a free lunch (RobertHeinlein)
- Free Hardware here means Free Hardware Design
- Design being all information needed for a skilled person with access to appropriate tools and material to build an Unique Plagiarism of the original and to modify whatever he wants
- People (not only hackers) want Selbstentfaltung in an area of their own interest
- What can be digitized will be shared (Sheen S. Levine)
- Hardware Production is Information plus Resources. With the Information share tending to 9x%
- If people have access to information and resources Free Hardware will emerge
Not too many :(
When the nuclear power plant of Brockdorf was being constructed we all were pretty upset. But that was not enough. If "they" couldn't do something reasonable, at least we wanted to be independent from them. (Chritstian Kuhtz)
- 1977 first construction; flat ply wood; V-belt; only working above wind force 5
- 1978 ply wood; chain drive; wind force 3; noisy; breakdown in first storm
- 1979 first rewired generator; aerodynamic repeller; different speed transformations
- 1980 first speed transformation-free wind turbine
- 1981 first printed publication of construction details
- 1981-2000 storm protection; overspeed protection; different repellers; ...
- 2001 Publication of a 4kW Wind Turbine Design
- Over 25 years of development
- Active community
- Results on "industry level"
- Design freely available (ok, 4EUR)
- please build your own and share your experience "license"
License: I write these books to help as many DoItYourselfers as possible. Together it works better: Everybody who builds a turbine please write me, just like everybody needing help, so that I can bring together turbine builders. (Chritstian Kuhtz)
Free hardware evolved independently and before free software out of different movements like:
- Anti AKW
- Sustainable living
- Special hobby groups like Rocketry, car tuners, electronic freaks
- Bored mechanical engineering students ;)
They just don't know they are doing free hardware
When searching for Free Hardware don't google for "Free Hardware" but any combination of:
- Free MP3 Player
- Free Furniture
- Free CNC Milling Machine
- Free Boat
Ok you can't have a Free Car so far. BUT you can have
- Free Beer
There is no such thing as free beer. But you can not only find the recepies but the design for the entire brewing equipment online.
- For hobby terrorists: DIY Cruise Missile
Everybody who cooks knows this and has known this for hundreds of years. It's normal to make copies of recipes and hand them out to other people, and it's also normal to change a recipe. If you change the recipe and cook it for your friends and they like eating it, they might ask you, "Could I have the recipe?" Then maybe you'll write down your version and give them copies. That is exactly the same thing that we much later started doing in the free-software community.
What makes some blueprints in public domain a Free Hardware project?
- A community of developers and users
- Effective medium for information sharing
- Lowest possible effort to convert the design to useful hardware
- Low cost of imperfect builds
- A license granting
- Freely available Design
- Freedom to modify
- Free redistribution
Bazaar Design (R. Ryan Vallance 2000)
Of 19 aphorisms postulated by Raymond in "The Cathedral & The Bazaar" some fit Free Hardware:
- Every good work of Software starts by scratching a developer's personal itch
- Release early. Release often. And listen to your customers
- Plan to throw one away; you will anyhow
- Treating you users as co-developers is you least hassle route to rapid code improvement and effective debugging.
- Given a large enough beta-tester and co-developer base almost every problem will be characterized quickly and the fix obvious to someone.
- The next best thing to having good ideas is recognizing good ideas from your users. Sometimes the latter is better.
Do It Yourself Video Beamer. Different aproaches:
- Commuity 1 (german): www.diy-community.de
- Community 2 (english): www.diyaudio.com
- Community 3 (french): allinbox.free.fr
- Mailing Lists
Contain detailed documentation and discussion of each step of the build of a Unique Plagiarism.
Remember: People don't build exact copies they build Unique Plagiarisms of existing designs.
- A Project Log describes in more or less detailed way every step of the build process.
- It includes discussion of critical details where wanted by the community or the builder himself.
- It integrates those detail plans that had to be done anyway or that people ask for.
Documentation has always been the worst part of Free Software. Because it's extra work for somebody else when the personal work is already done. Complete Hardware Design would be extra work too so not too many people will do it. Project Diary solve this problem by producing few extra work but lots of extra value for the developer by getting feedback during the build.
- Sit down and wait for fabbers to come ;)
- Use standard off the shelf parts and reused parts to "outsource" the difficult manufacturing steps
- Use material easy to process with tools available for you and your users
- Give information on how to get special parts
- Become your own distributor and sell special parts
Worst Case: Insufficient Cooling for Display
Cost 0-200EUR (average 50EUR)