Reto Stauss: The Open Manufacturing Value Stream
This new section is dedicated to Open Manufacturing developments, making it easier to identify interests in creating physical objects. This is a smaller subset of our much broader section on Open and Shared Design Communities.
However, this section also includes developments about 'production' and 'making' in general, including topics like the DIY revolution, the digitalization of crafts, and agricultural production.
Have a look at the following material:
We support this call: Towards a Federation of DIY Communities!
Introduction: an overview of Personal Manufacturing
Typology of Personal Manufacturing Machines (Hardware)
Computer-Aided Design Software
Open Structures: "all parts are connected to each other in such a way that they can be easily disassembled, using bolts and screws rather than nails or glue. However, the OpenStructures design "language" is different: it is based on the OS Grid, which is built around a square of 4x4 cm and is scalable. The squares can be further subdivided or put together to form larger squares, without losing inter-compatibility."
Mappings and Typologies
1. The integrated open design and manufacturing process, a poster by Thomas Lommee at http://www.intrastructures.net/yes_we_re_open.pdf
Other essential articles/essays are:
|Bryan Bishop||Kirsty Boyle||Charles Collis||Vinay Gupta||Eric Hunting||Marcin Jakubowski|
|kanzure AT gmail DOT com||kirsty AT openmaterials DOT org||charles dot collis at gmail dot com||hexayurt AT gmail DOT com||erichunting AT gmail DOT com||joseph dot dolittle at gmail dot com|
|Smári McCarthy||Massimo Menichinelli||Catarina Mota||Sam Rose||Chris Watkins|
|spm2 AT hi DOT is||info AT openp2pdesign DOT org||catarina AT openmaterials DOT org||samue.rose AT gmail DOT com||chriswaterguy AT appropedia.org|
Key people in the Open Hardware movement
– Simon Bradshaw, Adrian Bowyer and Patrick Haufe 
- Jason F. McLennan 
The Inevitability of Personal Manufacturing as new Industrial Revolution
According to Marshall Burns, previous emancipating technologies in human history were the book (enabled by the invention of the printing press), cars (enabled by new roads and gas stations) and now personal fabrication (enabled by 3D design software). What this random collection of technologies has in common is that they entered the lives of everyday people in a gradual way as the technology dropped in price, became easy to use, and accumulated a critical mass of applications, fellow users, or supportive infrastructure such as roads or high speed Internet. While mainstream adoption of personal manufacturing technologies is a few decades away, the manufacturing industry will experience the same forces that brought us YouTube, laptops, mobile phones and online retailers."
- by Hod Lipson & Melba Kurman 
Why Localization is Inevitable in a Resource-scarce World
"It is an article of faith that global trade will be an ever-growing presence in the world. Yet this belief rests on shaky foundations. Global trade depends on cheap, long-distance freight transportation. Freight costs will rise with climate change, the end of cheap oil, and policies to mitigate these two challenges.
At first, the increase in freight costs will be bad news for developed and developing nations alike but, as adjustments in the patterns of trade occur, the result is likely to be decreased outsourcing with more manufacturing and food production jobs in North America and the European Union. The pattern of trade will change as increasing transportation costs outweigh traditional sources of comparative advantage, such as lower wages. The new geography of trade will not result from policy or treaties but from the impact of changing environmental conditions due to the growth of the human economy. ... Many goods will be manufactured closer to where they are consumed, as supply chains become more regional and local."
- Fred Curtis, David Ehrenfeld 
Scale-Up From One
"Scale up from one: Regular people and small manufacturing companies that lack investment capital will be able to set up low investment, “start small and scale up as it goes” businesses. Thanks to the low-cost Internet virtual storefronts, and the low cost of small-scale manufacturing for prototypes and custom goods, new companies can get started on a shoestring budget, yet sell their wares or services to niche, global marketplaces."
- Hod Lipson & Melba Kurman 
Sam Rose, Erik deBruijn, Suresh Fernando on basic properties of scalable open source technology projects
basic properties of scalable open source technology projects
(distilled from discussion between Erik deBruijn, Sam Rose, Suresh Fernando) - Sam Rose (Based on discussions with Erik deBruijn and Suresh Fernando via skype early 2010 http://wagn.holocene.cc/wagn/basic_properties_of_scalable_open_source_technology_projects )
So, what can we do to prevent instability? The solution isn't to formulate vague contingency plans or return to passive optimism. Obviously, that won't work. No, the solution is to improve our resilience to these systemic shocks through a social and economic transition that follows this simple formula:
Localize production. Virtualize everything else.
- John Robb 
"The emergence of commons-based techniques — particularly, of an open innovation platform that can incorporate farmers and local agronomists from around the world into the development and feedback process through networked collaboration platforms—promises the most likely avenue to achieve research oriented toward increased food security in the developing world. It promises a mechanism of development that will not increase the relative weight and control of a small number of commercial firms that specialize in agricultural production. It will instead release the products of innovation into a self-binding commons—one that is institutionally designed to defend itself against appropriation. It promises an iterative collaboration platform that would be able to collect environmental and local feedback in the way that a free software development project collects bug reports—through a continuous process of networked conversation among the user-innovators themselves."
- Yochai Benkler (, p. 22)
- Robert Theobald, The Guaranteed Income, 1966
Karim Lakhani on Communities driving Manufacturers out of the design phase
"for any given company - there are more people outside the company that have smarts about a particular technology or a particular use situation then all the R&D engineers combined. So a community around a product category may have more smart people working on the product then the firm it self. So in the end manufacturers may end up doing what they are supposed to - manufacture - and the design activity might move to the edge and into the community." (http://www.futureofcommunities.com/2007/03/25/communities-driving-manufacturers-out-of-the-design-space/)
Kevin Kelly and Terry Hancock on nearly-free material production
"Material industries are finding that the costs of duplication near zero, so they too will behave like digital copies. Maps just crossed that threshold. Genetics is about to. Gadgets and small appliances (like cell phones) are sliding that way. Pharmaceuticals are already there, but they don't want anyone to know. It costs nothing to make a pill." (http://www.kk.org/thetechnium/archives/2008/01/better_than_fre.php)
Steve Bosserman outlines what is most appropriate for local distributed manufacturing
"strong candidates for a locally distributed manufacturing approach include ANYTHING that is agriculturally- based like food, feed, fiber, and biofuel production, much of housing and building construction including the manufacturing of inputs used in that industry, localized electric power generation using non-bio sources like wind, solar, and geothermal, and production / manufacturing of materials, components, and assemblies that use locally sourced raw materials and draw upon open-source, relatively easy to learn, appropriate technologies that can be applied in a wide range of situations-- not just a single product."
Eric von Hippel on Manufacturing around User Innovation Communities
"Threadless has tapped into a fundamental economic shift, a movement away from passive consumerism. One day in the not-too-distant future citizen inventors using computer design programs and three-dimensional printers will exchange physical prototypes in much the same way Nickell and cohorts played Photoshop tennis.
Eventually, Threadless-like communities could form around industries as diverse as semiconductors, auto parts, and toys. Threadless is one of the first firms to systematically mine a community for designs, but everything is moving in this direction.
He foresees research labs and product-design divisions at manufacturing companies being outstripped by an "innovation commons" made up of tinkerers, hackers, and other devout customers freely sharing their ideas. The companies that win will be the ones that listen." (quotes and paraphrased by Inc. )
Frank Piller on User Manufacturing
"User manufacturing is enabled by three main technologies: (1) Easy-to-operate design software that allows users to transfer their ideas into a design. (2) Design repositories where users upload, search, and share designs with other users. This allows a community of loosely connected users to develop a large range of applications. (3) Easy-to-access flexible manufacturing technology. New rapid manufacturing technologies ("fabbing") finally deliver the dream of translating any 3-D data files into physical products -- even in you living room. Combining this technology with recent web technologies can open a radical new way to provide custom products along the entire "long tail" of demand.
User manufacturing builds on the notion that users are not just able to configure a good within the given solution space (mass customization), but also to develop such a solution space by their own and utilize it by producing custom products. As a result, customers are becoming not only co-designers, but also manufacturers, using an infrastructure provided by some specialized companies." (http://mass-customization.blogs.com/mass_customization_open_i/2007/11/webinar-the-nex.html)
Jeff Bezos on User-Manufacturing Everything
"Before long, “user-generated content” won’t refer only to media, but to just about anything: user-generated jeans, user-generated sports cars, user-generated breakfast meals. This is because setting up a company that designs, makes and globally sells physical products could become almost as easy as starting a blog - and the repercussions would be earthshaking. " (http://www.usatoday.com/tech/columnist/kevinmaney/2006-11-21-amazon-user-generated-products_x.htm)
Flexible Manufacturing and the Maker Movement
"Two future forces, one mostly social, one mostly technological, are intersecting to transform how goods, services, and experiences— the “stuff” of our world—will be designed, manufactured, and distributed over the next decade. An emerging do-it-yourself culture of “makers” is boldly voiding warranties to tweak, hack, and customize the products they buy. And what they can’t purchase, they build from scratch. Meanwhile, flexible manufacturing technologies on the horizon will change fabrication from massive and centralized to lightweight and ad hoc. These trends sit atop a platform of grassroots economics—new market structures developing online that embody a shift from stores and sales to communities and connections." (http://iftf.org/node/1766)
‘As individuals express their life, so they are. What they are, therefore, coincides with their production, both with what they produce and how they produce. The nature of individuals thus depends on the material conditions determining their production’
- Marx & Engels 
Articles and Essays
* Must read: The Homebrew Industrial Revolution. Kevin Carson. C4SS, 2009
Community and Discussion Sources
Conferences and Events
See Product Hacking for our comprehensive open hardware and manufacturing directory
Open Source Production Machines
Full list is updated here: 
(A to D only, ported from our Webcasts directory)
Material on Specialized Industries
From the Industrial Cooperation Project:
See the following tags:
The special case of the fashion industry
Open Manufacturing Encyclopedia
Pages in category "Manufacturing"
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