Correlation between process openness and collaboration tool usage in open source hardware design: an empirical study

  • X. Dai
  • J. F. BoujutEmail author
  • F. Pourroy
  • P. Marin
Original Paper


Open source hardware has developed rapidly since the last 2 decades, thanks to access to Internet and availability of novel interactive manufacturing technologies (for example 3D printing or collaborative platforms). Several researchers worked on how to characterize OSH. Bonvoisin and Mies (Procedia CIRP 78:388–393, 2018) defined the “open-o-meter”, i.e. a series of criteria to measure the openness of an OSH project. These criteria fall into two categories: product openness and process openness. The open-o-meter gives clear guidelines on measuring product openness by verifying access to specific types of documents, however the criteria to measure process openness are relatively implicit. In this paper, we propose to measure an OSH project’s process openness by identifying different types of collaboration tools in that project. We will evaluate 226 OSH projects’ process openness by analysing their usage of collaboration tools, for example social media, wiki, GitHub etc. This empirical study showed that the usage of collaboration tools in OSH projects decreases as the score of open-o-meter decreases, which implies that the open-o-meter measures correctly an OSH project’s process openness. This research not only validates open-o-meter, but also offers an explicit way to measure an OSH project’s process openness that might be very useful for companies to evaluate potential collaborations.


Open design Collaborative design Empirical study 



The work was supported by Agence Nationale de la Recherche (ANR) and Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG) joint research and innovation programme under Grant Agreement No. ANR-15-CE26-0012-01 and DFG Grant STA 1112/13-1.


  1. 1.
    Bonvoisin, J., Mies, R.: Measuring openness in open source hardware with the open-o-meter. Procedia CIRP 78, 388–393 (2018)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Nadeau, J.P., Fischer, X. (eds.): Research in Interactive Design: Virtual, Interactive and Integrated Product Design and Manufacturing for Industrial Innovation, vol. 3. Springer, Berlin (2011)Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Segonds, F., Cohen, G., Véron, P., Peyceré, J.: PLM and early stages collaboration in interactive design, a case study in the glass industry. Int. J. Interact. Des. Manuf. 10(2), 95–104 (2016)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Raasch, C., Herstatt, C., Balka, K.: On the open design of tangible goods. R&D Manag. 39(4), 382–393 (2009)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Balka, K., Raasch, C., Herstatt, C.: The effect of selective openness on value creation in user innovation communities. J. Prod. Innov. Manag. 31(2), 392–407 (2014)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Müller-Seitz, G., Reger, G.: Networking beyond the software code? An explorative examination of the development of an open source car project. Technovation 30(11–12), 627–634 (2010)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Bonvoisin, J., Buchert, T., Preidel, M., Stark, R.G.: How participative is open source hardware? Insights from online repository mining. Des. Sci. 4, e19 (2018)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Bannon, L., Schmidt, K.: Taking CSCW seriously: supporting articulation work. Comput. Support Coop. Work Int. J. 1(1–2), 7–40 (1992)Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Kling, R.: Cooperation, coordination and control in computer-supported work. Commun. ACM 34(12), 83–88 (1991)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Ellis, C., Wainer, J.: A conceptual model of groupware. In: Proceeding of the 1994 ACM Conference on Computer-Supported Cooperative Work—CSCW’94, pp. 79–88 (1994)Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Fuks, H., Raposo, A., Gerosa, M.A.: The 3C collaboration model. In: IGI Global (ed.) Encyclopedia of E-Collaboration, pp. 637–644 (2008).
  12. 12.
    Bonvoisin, J., Boujut, J.-F., et al.: Open design platforms for open source product development: current state and requirements. In: Proceedings of the 20th International Conference on Engineering Design (ICED 15), 8—Innovation and Creativity, pp. 11–22, Milan, Italy (2015)Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Orta-Castañon, P., Urbina-Coronado, P., Ahuett-Garza, H., Hernandez-de-Menendez, M.: Social collaboration software for virtual teams: case studies. Int. J. Interact. Des. Manuf. 12(1), 15–24 (2018)CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag France SAS, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.CNRS, Grenoble INP, G-SCOPUniv. Grenoble AlpesGrenobleFrance

Personalised recommendations