I have some machiavelous plans to spread my open-hardware projects by leveraging the FabLab network.
It came during Fab9 after a talk about how to scale from 1 to 10 000,
it was interesting to hear but still in the old model of outsourcing to china… I thought we could invent a better way 🙂
The thing is simple :
1) I’m starting to design and build all my machines and even some furniture (desk/shelves/etc.) around a basic set of components/ingredients.
2) Since these are basic ingredients that could be used in many projects (not only FoldaRaps), it make sense for any fablab to stock some of them (or I can remotely dispatch my stock in fablabs around the world)
->then like a simple lasercut lampshade I can just send recipes instead of products, via the fablab network, bringing opportunities for everyone
We will prototype that with my 3rd FabLab « Open-Edge », it will serve as an experiment to tell how much space/etc. is required to make 100 FoldaRaps
Which is not that much, but scaled at the size of the network, we only need a dozen of fablabs to out-compete even a giant like RolandDG or other traditional manufacturers (that’s when I started to smile 🙂 )
Why no one did it before ? We don’t care about making a pile of money, like for the printed part I’m buying from the community I’d prefers to distribute the profit.
The workshop we are planning together could be the first iteration of this idea, it will require a bit of works but then things will be easier to replicate.
The goal being to show next year during Fab10 in Barcelona that we were able to hold the challenge and that we can start replicating the concept in more labs.
This sort of « open-source business model » is my next experiment after the distributed manufacturing for the current batch2.
Technically how it happens ?
At only 20-30 kits it became interesting to have the components ordered by the lab instead of me shipping them to the lab (especially when it’s on another continent 😉 )
My idea is to help at sourcing every components then coming to teach people how to build a machine (and other things), in exchange of just a 5% return on each machines (that’s my try at « how to make a living while sharing »).
What to do next ?
We have 5 month to gather everything needed for the workshop, I’ll just have to bring the special parts like the hotends for this time 🙂