The missing links - distributed manufacturing of open source hardware

Day 1 at 12:50

The missing links - distributed manufacturing of open source hardware
Over the last decades open source software has sprung from small projects by hobbyist to operating systems that run great numbers of servers and cell phones alike and to browsers that have succeeded in breaking a monopoly. Although adaptation of open source software has certainly not yet gathered a large market share in all segments of the software market. It has already been clearly shown that open source principles can create to a vibrant and competitive software market. These principles stimulate innovation by changing research from a zero sum game to a positive sum game. Thus they benefit society as a whole. Open source hardware however has not yet escaped the hobby and niche markets. In this presentation I will start with an analysis of the building blocks of the successful open source software ecosystem. And then identify the missing links in the open hardware environment. This section will focus on giving examples of the current state of the art in OS tools for the reaction of hardware. Then I will present an outline of what is needed to complete ecosystem.

In the world of instantaneous copying and cost free global delivery that is the Internet some things are just a lot easier than in a world of import duties and production costs. However the manufacturing plants will not keep on eluding the impact the Internet has had on sectors that trade in digital goods. I will discuss how digital manufacturing can lead to a world where customized goods are the norm and industrial mass production becomes increasingly scarce. Some time will be spend on some on looking at the differences between open en proprietary business models. Some possible differences in value chain between the both models will also be examined.

I will be referring to work of Neil Gershenfeld from the Center for Bits and Atoms at MIT, Adrian Bowyer former senior lecturer the Mechanical Engineering Department at the University of Bath and Chris Anderson former editor in chief of WIRED magazine and author of „The Long Tail”.
Koen De Voegt
I'm an engineer in Electronics and ICT, after completion of my masters degree I studied another year this time in the field of economics. I job-hopped quit a bit in my career, but the most notable time in my professional life was my position as research engineer. For over two years I got the opportunity to dedicate myself to full-time research at Alcatel-Lucent Bell Labs in my home city of Antwerp. The main project I was involved with there was called „DIY smart experiences”. During this work I got to know Hackerspaces and FabLabs. Which led me to become a very active member in the Belgian Hacker movement and co-founder of two of the lands Hackerspaces. In 2011 I joined the Pirate Party of Belgium (PPBE). A few months later I founded the local branch of PPBE in Antwerp. I represented PPBE on several international conferences and became member of the national Coreteam in June 2012.




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