Defining Open Source Hardware

Officially announced this month, version 1.0 of the definition for Open Source Hardware is complete. Similar to Open Source Software, Open Source Hardware is hardware whose design is made publicly available so that anyone can study, modify, distribute, make, and sell the design or hardware based on that design.

The Arduino Microcontroller is an example of Open Source Hardware that is well-loved by designers, artists and hobbyists all over the world.

In true Open Source fashion, the definition of OSHW itself is open to tweaks and suggestions. Version 1.2 of the definition is currently being crafted on this discussion board. There’s also an open call logo design competition.

Entries in the OSHW logo design competition

The MakerBot Cupcake 3D printer uses Open Source Hardware and Software.

The creators of MakerBot are great spokespeople for the Open Source Movement. As stated on the Makerbot Wiki: “If you want to see how something works or dig into the code, go for it. If you want to make it so the machine does something that it doesn’t, you can!….Most people will use the machine as is right out of the box, but some of you will do wonderful things with it that we can’t imagine yet.”