OKCon 2011: Developing Open and Distributed Tools for FabLab Project Documentation
Upcoming SlideShare
Loading in...5

OKCon 2011: Developing Open and Distributed Tools for FabLab Project Documentation



Talk given at Open Knowledge Conference in Berlin, July 2011

Talk given at Open Knowledge Conference in Berlin, July 2011

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



Total Views
Views on SlideShare
Embed Views



0 Embeds 0

No embeds



Upload Details

Uploaded via as Adobe PDF

Usage Rights

© All Rights Reserved

Report content

Flagged as inappropriate Flag as inappropriate
Flag as inappropriate

Select your reason for flagging this presentation as inappropriate.

  • Full Name Full Name Comment goes here.
    Are you sure you want to
    Your message goes here
Post Comment
Edit your comment

OKCon 2011: Developing Open and Distributed Tools for FabLab Project Documentation OKCon 2011: Developing Open and Distributed Tools for FabLab Project Documentation Presentation Transcript

  • Developing open & distributed tools for Fablab project documentation by Anu Määttä (Fablab Utrecht) anu@fabfolk.com @narnua
  • Outline● Introducing Fablabs● Defining problem and scope● Solution approaches● Documentation tools in Fablab Utrecht and elsewhere● Prototyping data formats and aggregation● Development plans● Discussion
  • 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)
  • 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)
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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)
  • 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
  • http://protospace.nl/fabmoments/low-res-hi-quality-vases-ultimaker protospace.nl/fabmoment/ open-source-objects
  • 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, ...
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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>
  • Aggregatorfabmoments.org
  • 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
  • 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)?