Open Manufacturing is about bringing free and open source software development methodology and philosophy to the design and construction of the physical world.
The philosophy is to take cues from the massively successful open source software community and see if analogous solutions could work with the 3D manufacturing space.
Eric Hunting lists many void areas within the “open” portion of 3D space today in a very provocative post. Some of his key points are:
- Makers tend to recreate existing objects instead of leveraging the tech to produce otherwise impossible objects
- Few if any standards for modular construction exist, ensuring that most projects are unable to leverage, say, huge libraries of existing part designs
- No repository for designs exists in the same manner as Sourceforge. (Well, one could suggest that Google’s sketchup library is something like that, but it’s not really like Sourceforge)
- Little standardized documentation and instructions exist for all of the required techniques, meaning non-commercial practitioners are largely on their own