Thumbnail Image

Collaborative capacity of open source hardware communities: A cross-sectional study

Mies, Robert; Bonvoisin, Jérémy

FG Qualitätswissenschaft

Open source hardware (OSH) is hardware for which a free right of any use is granted to the general public and whose technical documentation is completely available and freely accessible on the internet (DIN SPEC 3105). While OSH has the potential of facilitating participation in product development on a broadly distributed scale, the need for physical production adds a layer of complexity compared to the development of free and open source software (FOSS). More evidence is needed on the transferability of open source development processes from software to physical products. This cross-sectional study therefore takes a closer look at the transition of open source practices from bits to atoms on the activity level. It investigates the issue of how practitioners work together to design OSH products as well as associated limitations in practice.