Open Design with Ronen Kadushin’s Free Downloadable Designs

Nextbook: The Open Hand: Ronen Kadushin’s Latest Venture May Revolutionize the Design World.


Radiohead made headlines early this month with releasing their downloadable album for free, resting on the hopes of fans paying what they want. With critics on both sides of the issue of file-sharing in the music industry, I’m sure there will be some critics of this same sort of move in the design industry.

Ronen Kadushin is one of the first to share his laser-cut designs on his website, pushing for open source design. Where he sees the creativity progress and flourish in open source software, he hopes to bring that to design, by sharing his simple designs that people can make as is or tweak it or build on it however their creative juices take them.


How and why? The how – is easy enough. A CAD file ready for a single sheet to be laser cut and then molded by hand. Why? Of course the first you’d think of is, won’t people just steal your designs and make a profit off of your hard work? Kadushin is pretty optimistic and sees the good in people – if manufacturers are honest and share some of their profit with him, he’ll offer up more open designs and continue a profitable relationship on that good faith. This cuts off what he sees as a stifling, closed and somewhat antagonistic relationship where everyone from designer to manufacturer are protective of their stakes in the production process.

There’s always a personal and self-promoting reason as well – he can “future proof” his designs. While designs that run through the normal manufacturing process are given a very limited production run, his could theoretically last forever, for however long people want to make his digital designs.

It’s an interesting approach to industrial design and manufacturing, and an even greater experiment on unleashing this sort of openness with the public and competitors. Hopefully he’ll get his fair share in profit (like Radiohead did with about $6mil) through good faith alone.

His open designs are available on his website or at

4 Responses to “Open Design with Ronen Kadushin’s Free Downloadable Designs”

  1. Roland Says:

    Please feel free to send me laser cut files as i am trying to find intresting samples to cut.
    hope to hear from you.
    many thanks

  2. Steven Says:

    Hi Roland,

    We can’t send you files to cut. But you can join Ponoko and buy or download free files from our showroom at

  3. Ponoko Blog Says:

    […] Our 10-Day Design Challenge – Games and Puzzles is now well under way. We hope that you’re getting your designs into Ponoko. But if you’re looking for that inspiration to get to work on it we have it in the announcement that Ronen Kadushin will be the Guest Judge for the Challenge. Ronen has a degree in industrial design from the Bezalel Academy of Art and Design, is a winner of numerous design awards, and is well known as a design leader in creating open designs. You can check out his portfolio to get an idea of his own work. […]

  4. Ponoko Blog Says:

    […] Ronen Kadushin’s Open Design’s previously mentioned on the Ponoko Blog can now be seen made real at his Hard Copies exhibition, currently being held at Berlin’s Appel Design Gallery until the 22nd of November 2008. Open Design is a personal attempt to close a creativity gap between product design and other fields (music, graphic design, animation and photography), Which found their creative output in phase with the realities of information technology and economics. The Open Design method is based on the principles of the already successful Open Source method that revolutionized the software industry, and gave birth to a social movement that is cooperative, community-minded and seeks legitimate ways of sharing creativity. In Open Design, the design is a two dimensional “cutout” represented as digital information. It relies on the Internet’s communication resources, to publish, distribute, and copy the designs under a CreativeCommons license. Coupled with The flexibility of CNC production methods, all technically conforming designs are continuously available for production, in any number, with no tooling investment, anywhere and by anyone. […]

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