Does Open Design Hardware Have a Place in Manufacturing?

Eric Larkin | | February 16, 2012

HeathKit fell by the wayside as the complexity for products increased, and the quality difference between what you could buy commercially and what you could build yourself became too large, but thanks to the popularity of publications like MAKE magazine, and an increase in the availability of specialty electronic parts and open source software, a maker renaissance has begun.

And when the maker mentality pairs up with recent developments in hardware—like the success of Arduino, an open source electronics prototyping platform—I have to wonder if conditions are right for a maker-minded, open design hardware community to stake a claim in the consumer manufacturing landscape.

Software has laid the philosophical foundation for open source design...