Developing open & distributed tools for Fablab           project documentation           by Anu Määttä (Fablab Utrecht)   ...
Outline●   Introducing Fablabs●   Defining problem and scope●   Solution approaches●   Documentation tools in Fablab Utrec...
What is a Fablab?●   Started by MIT Center for Bits and Atoms    ●   Book: Fab – the coming revolution on your desktop by ...
Network of labs●   All over the place: about 50, in most continents●   With few central resources●   Labs by now operating...
What is the problem?●   Sharing designs has always been the intention, but tools are    lagging behind●   Diversity    ●  ...
Solutions?●   Thingiverse, Instructables etc?    ●   Controlled by outside, often commercial parties    ●   Not available ...
Requirements●   Possible to use tools familiar to individual labs●   Catering for typical Fablab users●   User interface m...
Documentation @ Fablab Utrecht●   “automatic documentation”●   Check in, check out     ●   http://fablab.nl/articles/2011/...
http://protospace.nl/fabmoments/low-res-hi-quality-vases-ultimaker                                                        ...
Tools @ other Fablabs●   e.g. Switzerland, Barcelona, Japan using    Wordpress    ●   Peter Troxler for Swiss Fablabs    ●...
Aggregator: step 0 - RSS●   Wordpress: custom template to include    additional image namespace●   Use of an additional na...
Aggregator: step 1 - FabML●   With current tools it is as easy to produce custom    XML as it is a customized RSS feed●   ...
FabML: example●   In Drupal:    ● Views bonus pack: plugin Views XML (source)    ● Feeds & Feeds Xpath parser (aggregator)...
Aggregatorfabmoments.org
Plans●   Finalize the aggregator demo for annual Fablab    conference in August (Fab7)●   Provide central documentation op...
Discussion●   Feasibility of defining a standard for Open    Source Hardware documentation?●   Use of existing content def...
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OKCon 2011: Developing Open and Distributed Tools for FabLab Project Documentation

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Talk given at Open Knowledge Conference in Berlin, July 2011

Short paper: http://ceur-ws.org/Vol-739/paper_21.pdf

Published in: Self Improvement
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OKCon 2011: Developing Open and Distributed Tools for FabLab Project Documentation

  1. 1. Developing open & distributed tools for Fablab project documentation by Anu Määttä (Fablab Utrecht) anu@fabfolk.com @narnua
  2. 2. Outline● Introducing Fablabs● Defining problem and scope● Solution approaches● Documentation tools in Fablab Utrecht and elsewhere● Prototyping data formats and aggregation● Development plans● Discussion
  3. 3. What is a Fablab?● Started by MIT Center for Bits and Atoms ● Book: Fab – the coming revolution on your desktop by Neil Gerschenfeld● Open access workspace● Standard set of digital manufacturing machines ● Principle: make here → make anywhere● Free (as in beer ;) to use● Fab charter: as long as you share (what was made and knowledge on working with the machines)
  4. 4. Network of labs● All over the place: about 50, in most continents● With few central resources● Labs by now operating mostly independently of central control (by MIT)
  5. 5. What is the problem?● Sharing designs has always been the intention, but tools are lagging behind● Diversity ● Independent labs using platforms they are comfortable with ● Few common resources to pull these together, and structures to support development● Tools originally meant for Fablab design sharing - software source code version control system - appear to be: ● Less usable by typical Fablab visitors ● Less suited for sharing the designs of physical objects (where images and human-readable instructions are needed on top of the object design file / code)● SCOPE: physical object documentation for replicability ● PRACTICAL needs of sharing
  6. 6. Solutions?● Thingiverse, Instructables etc? ● Controlled by outside, often commercial parties ● Not available under open licenses for needs of customization and localization ● Would be outsourcing a central aspect of Fablabs mission to share knowledge ● Interfere with further Fablab community building efforts ● + communities of makers● Centralize? ● Imposing central control and one size fits all ● + easier to set up and maintain● Distribute? ● Work needed by all participants ● Managing complexity ● +Flexible for independent lab needs ● +open for further innovation
  7. 7. Requirements● Possible to use tools familiar to individual labs● Catering for typical Fablab users● User interface matters!● Rapid prototyping the solutions as practical needs arise● Bottom-up rather than top-down planning and execution ● (In practice, some central planning needed to maintain progress)● Possibly combination of centralized and distributed approaches● Connected with other communities of makers (e.g. Thingiverse API)● Comply to open source hardware standards (e.g. register as OHANDA product)
  8. 8. Documentation @ Fablab Utrecht● “automatic documentation”● Check in, check out ● http://fablab.nl/articles/2011/04/12/ documentator-check-in-check-out● Part of lab visit workflow● With Drupal● Eye-fi camera
  9. 9. http://protospace.nl/fabmoments/low-res-hi-quality-vases-ultimaker protospace.nl/fabmoment/ open-source-objects
  10. 10. Tools @ other Fablabs● e.g. Switzerland, Barcelona, Japan using Wordpress ● Peter Troxler for Swiss Fablabs ● “Fab Source” project in Japan● e.g. Iceland using Mediawiki● Bubbling under: Joomla, Ning, ...
  11. 11. Aggregator: step 0 - RSS● Wordpress: custom template to include additional image namespace● Use of an additional namespace to add images to RSS feed ● xmlns:media="http://search.yahoo.com/mrss/"● Drupal: custom template also needed
  12. 12. Aggregator: step 1 - FabML● With current tools it is as easy to produce custom XML as it is a customized RSS feed● Can be produced with any (open source) tool used by individual lab● Simple XML definition to minimally define projects for sharing● Required features ● Media enclosures ● Design source files ● Human-readable instructions for replicability
  13. 13. FabML: example● In Drupal: ● Views bonus pack: plugin Views XML (source) ● Feeds & Feeds Xpath parser (aggregator) <fabmoments> <fabmoment> <original_url>http://protospace.nl/node/1682</original_url> <author>joris</author> <project_name>Low res hi quality vases on ultimaker</project_name> <machine>3d printer</machine> <instructions> Single walled low res hi quality vases. Big one more than 220mm high, printed is 1.5 hour on a Ultimaker...! ... </instructions> <image_flickr> http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3051/5776099442_73ea8367ec_m.jpg </image_flickr> <image> http://protospace.nl/sites/default/files/2011-05-29%2013.15.40.jpg </image> <source> http://protospace.nl/sites/default/files/vaas_220mm.stl </source> <source> http://protospace.nl/sites/default/files/vaas02_77mm.stl </source> </fabmoment> </fabmoments>
  14. 14. Aggregatorfabmoments.org
  15. 15. Plans● Finalize the aggregator demo for annual Fablab conference in August (Fab7)● Provide central documentation option for Fab7● Collaborate with Fablab Japan for Wordpress- based feed production● Exploring ties to Mercurial used by MIT
  16. 16. Discussion● Feasibility of defining a standard for Open Source Hardware documentation?● Use of existing content definition frameworks such as XML, RDF, RDFa?● Issues of distributed collaboration – feedback mechanisms and derivative objects?● Connecting with other Open Source Hardware documentation efforts and emerging standards (such as OHANDA)?
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