Free Hardware Design

Christoph Beaupoil [webmaster at] link

Free Hardware Definition

There is no such thing as a free lunch (RobertHeinleinRemote link)

There is no such thing as free hardware

Free Hardware Thesis

Some Free Hardware projects

Not too many :(

Thanks for your attention

Surprise #1 - Windkraft ja bitte!

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)

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)

Lesson Learned #1 - Free Hardware was first

Free hardware evolved independently and before free software out of different movements like:

They just don't know they are doing free hardware

Lesson Learned #2 - Learn english

When searching for Free Hardware don't google for "Free Hardware" but any combination of:

Result: www.designforge.orgRemote link

Some Examples

Lesson Learned #3 - rms knew it :)

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. link

Free Hardware Criteria

What makes some blueprints in public domain a Free Hardware project?

  1. A community of developers and users
  2. Effective medium for information sharing
  3. Lowest possible effort to convert the design to useful hardware
  4. Low cost of imperfect builds
  5. A license granting
    1. Freely available Design
    2. Freedom to modify
    3. Free redistribution

Bazaar Design (R. Ryan Vallance 2000Remote link)

Of 19 aphorisms postulated by Raymond in "The Cathedral & The Bazaar" some fit Free Hardware:

Example: Volksbeamer

Do It Yourself Video Beamer. Different aproaches:

Criteria #1: A community of developers and users:

Criteria #2: Effective medium for information sharing

Common tools for free Software development

Tools used by DIY beamer communities

How are forums organized?

Forums with discussion on certain details

Tagebücher (Project Diary)

Contain detailed documentation and discussion of each step of the build of a Unique Plagiarism.

What is a Project Diary?

Remember: People don't build exact copies they build Unique Plagiarisms of existing designs.

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.

Criteria #3: Lowest possible effort to convert the design to useful hardware

  1. Sit down and wait for fabbers to come ;)
  2. Use standard off the shelf parts and reused parts to "outsource" the difficult manufacturing steps
  3. Use material easy to process with tools available for you and your users
  4. Give information on how to get special parts
  5. Become your own distributor and sell special partsRemote link

Criteria #4: Low cost of imperfect builds

Worst Case: Insufficient Cooling for Display

Cost 0-200EUR (average 50EUR)

Criteria #5: A License...

Any suggestions?

Some LinksRemote link