Makerbot and Thingiverse Musing on Open Design

Both Allan at Thingiverse and the team at Makerbot have been blogging most prolifically and interestingly on all things open design, including:

1. What the implications are for standards – will we be able to update mechanical standards like snapfits and screwcaps with simply a software update or patch?

2. Re-using CNC or laser cut offcuts – Get your screenprinter pal round for a drink and subtly direct him towards those annoyingly surplus squares of technoply.

Makerbot's offcut screenprints

Makerbot's offcut screenprints. Image via Makerbot's Flickrstream

Now, I know what you’re saying: “I’m not cool enough to be friends with a screenprinter, or indeed someone who does screenprinting!”. Well, maybe you could work some patterns or artwork into the waste areas of your lasercutting file as a starter, using a Creative Commons image search as a starter, or perhaps using Context Free you could make variable design for each batch..

3. The natural link between personal fabrication and Long Tail economics:

“The argument that personal fabrication cannot compete with big production hinges on the notion that most people don’t need low-volume objects … But really, practically everyone does.” blogs

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