I am interested in current thinking and experience with open source industrial design and engineering.
OpenMoko CAD files available for download
Design complete, product shipping, now lets open source it. Why?
Consumer Created Designs
A discussion of rapid prototyping a custom design shell for existing product.
Mass customization by individuals for the individual is hacking, a styling exercise. It could be open source-like if multiple designs are collated, adopted, produced or made available in volume.
Years ago Flextronics CEO sold frog with epithet (paraphrased, don’t have quote) “design is a commodity, it can be bought anywhere.” Commodification generally cheapens, cheapening generally produces commodification. My example, mobile phones: 100’s millions every year, 90% essentially similar,… my numbers.
Open sourcing a design effort should produce stupendous creations, antithesis of commodification: law of numbers, underemployed genius, savant, luck. Example: designboom competitions | designboom , at time of writing the three most recent competitions:
SOUND INNOVATION 3487 participants
GREEN EARTH 3966 participants
CRYSTAL VISION 4074 participants
Phenomenal! Are industrial design competitions the only probable open source method? Could the one hour design competitions graduate into similar?
Consider the cost and secondary benefit: using example “SOUND INNOVATION”, a design fee could be $25k to $1million+, actual competition prize $10k total, $5k each in two categories. Thousands of design iterations usable perhaps for accessories or successive designs for the same $10k fee!
Is not extant open source a sustained distributed effort by the single discipline many for a conglomerate or consortium producing similar multivariate end products? Can a product development company, of multivariate disciplines but singular products, truly open source a design effort? It seems to have so many questions:
confidentiality, liability, intellectual property
product development driver or driving: which is it?
Please provide examples if you know of them.
Disclosure: I am being asked to MC and present at a seminar, I am considering this topic.