Best Practices and Pitfalls in Open Source Hardware

  • Manuel Moritz
  • Tobias Redlich
  • Jens Wulfsberg
Conference paper
Part of the Advances in Intelligent Systems and Computing book series (AISC, volume 721)


Easy-to-use and affordable means of production (e.g. 3D printer), access to these technologies (e.g. in makerspaces) and powerful tools for online product design led to the emergence of open source hardware (OSH). Like in open source software, projects and online platforms have been evolving around physical products from various technologies where people jointly develop and freely share designs. We also find businesses that sell products made from these designs and offer complimentary services. This decentralized and collaborative model of value creation offers new opportunities for social, economic and ecological sustainability, but also calls for a different understanding beyond traditional notions. Results from an exploratory study on OSH projects and companies revealed that licensing is a critical issue, communities and partners play a key role in the open source ecosystem and modes of value creation are either centered around design or production in combination with a mix of complimentary services.


Open source hardware Co-creation Open production 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Production EngineeringHelmut Schmidt UniversityHamburgGermany

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