State of Open Source Hardware 2021

“The open source hardware community has exploded since the first Open Hardware Summit in 2010. The community has grown to include an incredibly diverse group of people working on an incredibly diverse set of hardware. From science researchers to musicians, from educators to designers, from multinational companies to local hackerspaces, open hardware has expanded in every conceivable direction.

This resource encourages you to step back and reflect on the growth of the community. It relies heavily on OSHWA’s Open Hardware Certification Program, the annual Open Hardware Summit, and the annual Open Hardware Community Survey to understand how the open hardware community got here and where it might be headed. The Certification Program is a free way for open source hardware creators to confirm to the world that their projects comply with the community definition of open source hardware. The Open Hardware Summit is the place for the entire open hardware community to come together in order to learn, share, and grow. And the Community Survey is a snapshot of how the community has grown around open hardware. While no single resource can capture the full breadth of open hardware, we hope that everyone sees a bit of themselves here. Thank you for being part of the community.”

Open Hardware Distribution and Documentation Working Group: Pyramids versus circles — the need for more cooperative/collaborative business models for OScH | by Journal of Open HW | Jun, 2021 | Medium

“One of the biggest challenges in scaling open science hardware is finding the right business model. It’s a topic that has come up at every GOSH event I’ve been to, and it’s something we as a community need to figure out if we hope to “make OScH ubiquitous by 2025”. I’ve been thinking about this problem deeply over the past 5 years as part of my entrepreneurial journey at Sci-Bots where I’ve been working to commercialize DropBot, an open-source digital microfluidics controller that was the product of my PhD research. Starting a business is hard even in the best-case scenario, but it can be especially difficult when the type of business you are trying to create doesn’t follow the traditional narrative….”

Free Open-Access Quantum Computer Now Operational

“A new Department of Energy open-access quantum computing testbed is ready for the public. Scientists from Indiana University recently became the first team to begin using Sandia National Laboratories’ Quantum Scientific Computing Open User Testbed, or QSCOUT.

Quantum computers are poised to become major technological drivers over the coming decades. But to get there, scientists need to experiment with quantum machines that relatively few universities or companies have. Now, scientists can use Sandia’s QSCOUT for research that might not be possible at their home institutions, without the cost or restrictions of using a commercial testbed….”

Free Open-Access Quantum Computer Now Operational

“A new Department of Energy open-access quantum computing testbed is ready for the public. Scientists from Indiana University recently became the first team to begin using Sandia National Laboratories’ Quantum Scientific Computing Open User Testbed, or QSCOUT.

Quantum computers are poised to become major technological drivers over the coming decades. But to get there, scientists need to experiment with quantum machines that relatively few universities or companies have. Now, scientists can use Sandia’s QSCOUT for research that might not be possible at their home institutions, without the cost or restrictions of using a commercial testbed….”

New Open Book Abridged Edition eReader will be cheaper and simpler to build – Good e-Reader

“How about an eBook reader that you can build on your own? That is exactly what Joey Castillo’s Open Book Project envisages, with the obvious benefit being that you can build your own ebook reader at dirt cheap prices. The initial model served the purpose all right but it exactly wasn’t as simple as the makers had wanted it to be….”

Stitching Together a Solution: Lessons from the Open Source Hardware Response to COVID-19

“Despite the warnings, systems failed to meet the needs created by the exploding crisis. Business executives in the manufacturing industry sounded the alarm that they would not be able to ramp up production of equipment without government support and coordination.2 Stories of healthcare workers crafting gowns from garbage bags flooded mainstream news and social media as COVID-19 rapidly spread.3 Media attention, public outcry through viral hashtags like #GetUsPPE, and political leaders alike joined to call out the government’s response and the nation’s manufacturing shortcomings. It was clear that more equipment was needed and traditional supply chains were not up to the task. Thousands of individuals—across the country, and around the world—met this moment of need with ingenuity. They formed virtual networks—small and informal at first, quickly becoming larger—to design, manufacture, and distribute medical supplies. These networks activated engineers, medical professionals, logistics experts, and regulatory specialists to design new equipment that could be created with the materials and equipment at hand. They tapped manufacturing capacity tucked into the corners of communities to produce it and found ways to distribute equipment to places with acute need. A new distributed, locally produced nation- and world-wide supply chain emerged from nothing in a matter of weeks. These networks relied on open source hardware (OSH) approaches to quickly create, collectively iterate, and disseminate designs for medical supplies. Once the designs reached a stable point, makerspaces, hackerspaces, university machine shops, and small-batch manufacturers began production in communities across the country….”

A versatile and customizable low-cost 3D-printed open standard for microscopic imaging | Nature Communications

Abstract:  Modern microscopes used for biological imaging often present themselves as black boxes whose precise operating principle remains unknown, and whose optical resolution and price seem to be in inverse proportion to each other. With UC2 (You. See. Too.) we present a low-cost, 3D-printed, open-source, modular microscopy toolbox and demonstrate its versatility by realizing a complete microscope development cycle from concept to experimental phase. The self-contained incubator-enclosed brightfield microscope monitors monocyte to macrophage cell differentiation for seven days at cellular resolution level (e.g. 2??m). Furthermore, by including very few additional components, the geometry is transferred into a 400 Euro light sheet fluorescence microscope for volumetric observations of a transgenic Zebrafish expressing green fluorescent protein (GFP). With this, we aim to establish an open standard in optics to facilitate interfacing with various complementary platforms. By making the content and comprehensive documentation publicly available, the systems presented here lend themselves to easy and straightforward replications, modifications, and extensions.

A microscope for everyone: Researchers develop open-source optical toolbox

“Modern microscopes used for biological imaging are expensive, are located in specialized laboratories and require highly qualified staff. To research novel, creative approaches to address urgent scientific issues—for example in the fight against infectious diseases such as COVID-19—is thus primarily reserved for scientists at well-equipped research institutions in rich countries. A young research team from the Leibniz Institute of Photonic Technology (Leibniz IPHT) in Jena, the Friedrich Schiller University and Jena University Hospital wants to change this: The researchers have developed an optical toolbox to build microscopes for a few hundred euros that deliver high-resolution images comparable to commercial microscopes that cost a hundred to a thousand times more. With open-source blueprints, components from the 3-D printer and smartphone camera, the UC2 (You. See. Too.) modular system can be combined specifically in the way the research question requires….”

Open source tools provide an economic advantage for science |

“Free and open source software (FOSS) and the distributed digital manufacturing of free and open source hardware (FOSH) have shown great promise for developing custom scientific tools. For some time now, FOSH has provided scientists a high return on investment. In fact, my previous research in the Open Source Lab reported substantial economic savings from using these technologies. However, the open source design paradigm has since grown by orders of magnitude; now, there are examples of open source technology for science in the vast majority of disciplines, and several resources, including the Journal of Open Hardware, are dedicated to publishing them….”

CERN: the Large Hadron Collider : Publications : Resources : Venner Shipley

“As with every scientific institute, CERN recognises that there is both an obligation and willingness for knowledge transfer, so that the discoveries and knowledge gained by its scientists can be disseminated to, and applied in, the real world to the benefit of the public. CERN is therefore no exception in trying to make its technologies available for both scientific and commercial purposes. An open science policy, however, requires there to be a ‘full and timely disclosure of findings and methods’ and in this regard there is often seen to be a conflict between open science and intellectual property (IP).

Two notable cases are evident from CERN’s history. In the 1970s, CERN pioneered the use of touch screens and trackballs in their computerised control systems. However, researchers were unable to progress this technology further as industrial partners were unwilling to invest, in the event that CERN would disclose this technology under the remit of their open science model. Thus, without the kinds of assurance provided by IP, touch screens and trackballs remained in house, without further development. In contrast, whilst working with Tim Berners-Lee, the inventor of the World Wide Web, CERN agreed to release the World Wide Web software into the public domain in 1993 and followed the next release with an open licence. The subsequent global dissemination and use of the World Wide Web speaks for itself….”

Open Source impact study – OpenForum Europe

“OpenForum Europe and Fraunhofer ISI are conducting a study on the impact of Open Source Software and Hardware on technological independence, competitiveness and innovation in Europe for the European Commission. The work has started in January and will end in December 2020. 

Read more about the consortium, the rationale behind the project and its goals. It is a long-awaited initiative, serving as a scientific basis for future Open Source policymaking in Europe and with a potential global impact. You can also see the possibilities to contribute, as we are welcoming researchers and others involved in Open Source to share their thoughts….”

BEaTS-? an Open Access 3D Printed Device for in Vitro Electromechanical Stimulation of Human Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells – PubMed

Abstract:  3D printing was used to develop an open access device capable of simultaneous electrical and mechanical stimulation of human induced pluripotent stem cells in 6-well plates. The device was designed using Computer-Aided Design (CAD) and 3D printed with autoclavable, FDA-approved materials. The compact design of the device and materials selection allows for its use inside cell incubators working at high humidity without the risk of overheating or corrosion. Mechanical stimulation of cells was carried out through the cyclic deflection of flexible, translucent silicone membranes by means of a vacuum-controlled, open-access device. A rhythmic stimulation cycle was programmed to create a more physiologically relevant in vitro model. This mechanical stimulation was coupled and synchronized with in situ electrical stimuli. We assessed the capabilities of our device to support cardiac myocytes derived from human induced pluripotent stem cells, confirming that cells cultured under electromechanical stimulation presented a defined/mature cardiomyocyte phenotype. This 3D printed device provides a unique high-throughput in vitro system that combines both mechanical and electrical stimulation, and as such, we foresee it finding applications in the study of any electrically responsive tissue such as muscles and nerves.


Introducing the World’s Largest Medical Repair Database, Free for Everyone – iFixit

“Hospitals are having trouble getting service information to fix medical equipment—and it’s not just a COVID-19 problem. We’ve heard countless stories from biomedical technicians (biomeds, for short) about how medical device manufacturers make their jobs more difficult by restricting access to repair information. 

Thanks to travel limitations, the problem is bigger than ever. Manufacturer service reps can’t keep pace with the growing demand for repair of critical hospital equipment. Even if they could, they can’t respond as quickly as the biomeds, already at the front lines. Unfortunately, biomeds spend innumerable hours scouring the internet, searching for crucial repair information they need to make a fix or perform preventative maintenance. This is not a good way to run a health system!

So we’re fixing it. For the last two months, iFixit has pivoted half of its staff toward building the world’s most comprehensive medical equipment service database. It’s a central, multi-manufacturer library of user manuals and repair documentation for thousands of devices. We just posted more than 13,000 manuals from hundreds of manufacturers, online and available for use immediately. You can find them in our Medical Device category….”


“Glia uses an open-access research, development and distribution model to create high-quality low-cost medical devices that are then clinically validated

We want to change the way people interact with their devices. Providing communities with open-access low-cost medical devices fosters a culture of self-reliance and sustainability. If low-resource communities can access the equipment they need via an open-access model, they are empowered to troubleshoot problems, customize designs to meet their needs and share their findings with others. The ability to share successes in an open-access environment allows medical and technical communities to work together and avoid duplication of work and long feedback cycles. This model allows off-patent devices to exist as high-quality low-cost generic models, which also exerts downward pressure on prices for high-quality premium brands….”