Category Archives: News & Blog

07 Sep

COMMUNITY BUILDING PLANNER v0.7 is out

Mini Maker Faire cc-by-nc-sa  by FLICKR kentkb  __

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In late July we had a great workshop with the open source hardware start up plants & machines from Weimar on community building. We used that opportunity to organize some knowledge and important things to keep in mind about the issue of community building in a simple tool to use for workshops like these.

We’re publishing a basic version of the COMMUNITY PLANNER here. It is only a reduced version (don’t worry, most important stuff is in it) not for reasons of closing things but for a lack of time to make a longer one. We have a lot other interessting stuff on the desk right now. But with time, the planner will grow and there will also be a translation of the tool.

Download Open It Agency Community Planner v0.7 (English) here.

Have fun and get in touch for questions. Read More

18 Aug

Tesla Motors

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In our Open Source Project of the Week series we feature this time Tesla Motors:

Tesla Motors designs, manufactures, and sells electric cars and electric vehicle powertrain components.

Is Tesla Motors strictly speaking open source hardware? Nope, until now they don’t share their full design files. But Tesla Motors made another move that makes it worth to be featured here: In 2014 Tesla Motors opened up all their patents – „All Our Patents Are Belong To You“.

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Tesla Supercharger

So Tesla understands open source platform strategies and tries to make it work to solve for example one of their biggest issues: How to make the network of charging stations grow and electro-mobility more comfortable for its users and by that a bigger success? Tesla provides now the new possible open industry standard. And only a few weeks later the move already seems to pay off.

Openness as a strategy towards growth:

“we believe applying the open source philosophy to our patents will strengthen rather than diminish Tesla’s position” (Elon Musk, CEO Tesla Motors, qoute source)

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31 Jul

Open Source Task Force #4 on October 9th / am 9ten Oktober

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The Open Source Task Force Number #4 will happen on October 9th, 10 am at Thinkfarm Berlin.

The Berlin-based Open Source Task Force is a regular open 6 hour meeting of people enthusiastic or just curious about Open Source, sharing opportunities, connect and develope plans and projects together. Let us know on the mailing list if you are going to attend for the first time and briefly introduce yourself there. We will be happy to hear from you and meet you there.

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Die Open Source Task Force Nummer 4 findet am 9ten Oktober 10 Uhr in der Thinkfarm Berlin statt. Read More

31 Jul

Open Source Task Force #3 Report: The Task Force

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The Open Source Task Force met yesterday for the third time. We had a great bunch of people there: Manuela Bosch, Samuel Carlisle, Carolin Oelsner, Alex Shure, Sam Muirhead, Jan (Jannis) Roland, Lars Zimmermann & Nils Kaiser and via phone Friederike Abitz.

We were mostly discussing the future of the task force and how everything could go an and decided to experiment it as a regular open 6 hour meeting open for people enthusiastic or just curious about Open Source to share opportunities, connect and develope plans and projects together. There will be a mailing list open for everybody as Read More

29 Jul

OpenPCR & Biohacking

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OpenPCR Screenshot

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Our Open Source Project of the Week is OpenPCR:

OpenPCR is a low-cost, yet accurate thermocycler you build yourself, capable of reliably controlling PCR reactions for DNA detection, sequencing, and other applications.

What is a PCR? It is short for „Polymerars Chain Reaction“ and it is a biochemical technology in molecular biology used to amplify a single or a few copies of a piece of DNA across several orders of magnitude, generating thousands to millions of copies of a particular DNA sequence. (WP) So it is basically a DNA printer or copy machine, laboratory equipment. Buy your OpenPCR kit or download all design files for it under under the GNU GPLv3 from the webpage of Open PCR.

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Bio Hackerspaces

OpenPCR is an example for a machine used and created by the open biolab/biohacker space scene that is developing all over the world. See for example La Paillasse in France, Open BioLab in Graz or Biotinkering in Berlin. Read More

24 Jul

Herstellerunabhängigkeit mit Open Source / Independency with Open Source

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English Summary: While developing our research project on an open design platform we are talking to a variety of companies asking them to join the project. And we are surprised that the main-motivation for most of the ones, that aren’t active in the field of open source hardware themselves, is to gain independency from certain contractors, suppliers and supporters. We hear a lot of stories where closed sources are used to build up dependencies and that dependencies are used to raise prices, influence production processes and freedoms and force people to buy supplies they don’t want. Read More

22 Jul

Wear It Festival Berlin

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Wear It Poster

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Yeah! This year october 11 & 12 is in berlin the first Wear It Festival – „a two-day festival dedicated to wearable technology in Berlin. We provide a playground to experience the fun part of wearable electronics.“ It is initiated by Thomas Gnahm and Trafo Pop a Berlin based Open Source Wearable Electronics project. This year’s title is “Make your Dress Code”.

We will be there holding a workshop on business models.

Lars will give a keynote presenting his text-series on Open Source Hardware & Freedom adapted to the context of wearable electronics. See the picture below. Lars in his blog about this.

WEAR YOUR FREEDOM 1, by Lars Zimmermann, CC-BY-4:0>

Read More

14 Jul

Open Standards in the Packaging Industry / Offene Standards in der Verpackungsindustrie

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In our Open It Agency we are putting together a task force on open source and packaging, made up of people working in Open Source, the packaging industry, Eco-design and similar fields. We want to bring Open Source into the packaging industry in order to design and organize ecofriendly, sustainable, recyclable, regenerative or cradle to cradle packaging. Which promising strategies from the open source ecosystem can be adapted in a financially sustainable way for packaging manufacturers, while also being ecologically sustainable?

On the search for Open Standards

osp 1zOne of the key questions that immediately pop up is of course that of open standards. A successful open standard in the packaging industry are PET-bottles, which are sold in Germany with a refundable 25c deposit. (Similarly glass beer bottles can be returned to any shop in exchange for their 8c deposit. The bottles are mostly standard shapes and sizes, meaning they can be shared between companies, but the brands are still clearly identifiable thanks to their unique labels and caps.) Although the PET-bottles are not recycled 100% due to the current collection methods and material properties, 30% of them are in an unmixed material cycle. Why aren’t there more examples like this? Why aren’t there better examples than this? Read More

25 Jun

Open Platform Design Flowchart Tool

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The posting is a about a tool that helps you to rethink and redesign your product or project as a platform – while going open source. And find your business model.

Some weeks ago we stumbled upon the work of Simone Cicero. Simone is a strategist and writes about open source hardware. While reading some of his stuff we really builded a connection to the point of view, that open things are often likely to be seen and developed as a platform. This is of course very important when it comes to business models. Read More

23 Jun

Open Bug Farms

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Our Open Source Project of the Week is „Open Bug Farms“. Yes -

It is a little farm to grow insects for you to eat.

I know and understand, that a lot of people will not like the idea of eating insects. But the Open Bug Farms Project was chosen to present here because it has a really well made webpage and project structure where a lot of projects can learn a lot from and they have an easy to understand and very convincing business model. Go visit the page and buy a farm, if you like. Enjoy your meal : – )
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21 Jun

OPENiT Festival Recipe in English

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In autumn 2013 we made the OPENiT Festival 2013 in Berlin Kreuzberg to celebrate and experiment Open Source Culture for the future of cities and communities. We developed a special concept for it called „City Hacking“ or „Guerilla Conferencing“ using open source principles. There is a documentation with lots of pictures and videos of the festival and also an detailed tutorial/recipe-description for how to do a festival like this yourself. But this tutorial exists only in german right now. But Jenni filmed the short presentation about the OPENiT Festival Lars gave at the OuiShare Fest 2014 in Paris. So you can get a general idea how to do your own OPENiT Festival.

Video on Vimeo | on YouTube

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18 Jun

KMU gesucht / We are looking for an SME / Open Design Platform Reserach Project

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Hello,

we are currently trying to cocreate a research project on an open design platform and looking for a small or medium enterprise to join the project. The goal of the project is to create digital tools for open hardware communities to help them collaborate better. So any company interessted in helping the open hardware community or creating own open hardware projects might be interessted in the project. We are searching for a small and medium enterprise registered or active in germany as we are going for a research fund by the BMBF. If you are interessted yourself or know someone who might be, please get in touch. Read a more detailed description in german below or contact us.

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Hallo,

Wir entwickeln gerade mit verschiedenen Akteuren ein Verbundprojekt zum Thema Open Hardware. Dafür sind wir auf der Suche nach innovativen Unternehmen, die sich für Open Hardware interessieren und Interesse hätten, in so einem Projekt aktiv zu werden bzw. es für sich zu nutzen.

Ziel des Projektes ist es, eine Open Design Platform zu entwickeln, sozusagen ein Art GitHub für Open Hardware. Diese Plattform Read More

16 Jun

Open-Source-Task-Force: Regenerative Verpackungen & Avoccado

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Open Source for a smarter and ecological packaging-industry?

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Last Thursday we met to talk about regenerative (cradle-to-cradle) design packaging for products, possible open source approaches for this and a possible collaboration on an example product. Open Source for a smarter and ecological packaging industry? This first meeting (held in German) was mainly for exchanging expertise, getting to know each other and exploring the field, as well as possible strategies. We are using some techniques of Dragon Dreaming brought in by Friederike Lilien Lan Abitz & Manuela Bosch (Vanilla Way), who are also savvy in the packaging industry and brand building. More guidance and input comes from Carolin Oelsner who has a strong communication design portfolio and is a member of the Sustainable Design Center. Find some documentation from the meeting below Read More

11 Jun

We are writing the Business Model Chapter for “Building Open Source Hardware”

cc-by brett jordan (flickr)

english, deutsch

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The Open Source Hardware Association asked us to write the „business”-chapter for their new book about Open Source Hardware „Building Open Source Hardware“ and we said yes. So Lars will write it and use this opportunity to bring the Open Source Hardware & Open Design Business Model Matrix up to Version 0.5 and add proper explanations to it.

The Book will be for the american market but of course also available via online order in germany (e.g. as ebook).

And we would like to use this opportunity to share one of our absolute favourite resources on the subject here. It is a keynote given Read More

09 Jun

Report OSHW & OD Meetup Berlin #1

OSHWMeetup Open It Agency - Lukas Wegwerth 2_

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The day before yesterday we had our first Open Source Hardware & Open Design Meetup Berlin and it was great. The room was full and the context of the Ouishare Summit Berlin well chosen. Interested and interesting people creating a good atmosphere for open source hardware.

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We started as announced with a presentation by Lukas Wegwerth on Open Structures and his work with the grid. Hands on real open structures parts! Lukas received interesting questions and Read More

05 Jun

Open Desk – Open?

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Our Open Source Project we like to point out this week is Open Desk.

OpenDesk uses digital fabrication to connect you directly with designers and makers.  OpenDesk is a global platform for local making. You can use it to download, make and buy furniture for your work space.

Open Desk delivers several furniture designs. You can either download the CAD files and build it yourself – „make it yourself“ – or you can use the „get it made“ function on their website which will lead you to a page that connects you to a digital fabricator – a registered maker – (hopefully) in your neighborhood.

There is one downside to the project when it comes to openness though: Most of the designers use a non-commercial license for their designs. This means that the tables are not open source hardware in a strict sense following the OSHW definition. But we present the project anyway for two reasons:

(1)    One design is fully open the wiki-booth

(2)    They offer well crafted explanations what is covered by non-commercial and what not. And if you click Read More