Bryan Bishop and Ben Lipkowitz talk about their new open source venture: SKDB. What is it? It’s a open source hardware distribution framework that takes cues from the highly successful software world.
The software world was held back for decades by centrally controlled proprietary paradigms, but blossomed when open source principles took hold. Today we see open source software dominating almost all aspects of software, and software designers often spend their time designing higher-level systems by using open source software as building blocks.
That success was most visibly demonstrated by Debian, a project to produce a specific distribution of the Linux operating system. One of Debian’s key features was a means to quickly obtain software or software upgrades very easily by using the APT-GET command. The command pulls down not only the software you requested, but all related items it depends on. This approach was used by Ubuntu, who produce one of the most popular operating systems on the planet.
Bishop and Lipkowitz believe the same approach could break open the 3D fabbing market by making it terrifically easy for makers to access high quality conglomerations of models. The software makers went farther than just using software, however, as they built more complex software on top of simpler components distributed via APT-GET. The same forms of assembly are used to produce 3D objects, and thus the theory is that similar product complexity can be achieved.