It started out as a controversial idea inside Facebook. In four short years, it has turned the $141 billion data-center computer-hardware industry on its head. Facebook’s extraordinary Open Compute Project is doing for hardware what Linux, Android, and many other popular products did for software: making it free and “open source.”
This factory is collecting together and testing all the technologies needed for future widespread local manufacturing of … everything.
What Church really wanted was for manufacturing to work more like cloud computing, where you can simply request the resources you need through the web. He wanted to be able to upload his designs to a manufacturer, get a quote automatically, and, when the time comes, order a batch of prototypes with a push of a button, instead of having to spend hours and hours going over spreadsheets with sales reps. That didn’t exist, so, along with electrical engineer Parker Dillmann, he started a factory called MacroFab that lets hardware designers do just that.
Open Source Ecology is accelerating the growth of the next economy – the Open Source Economy – an economy that optimizes both production and distribution – while promoting environmental regeneration and social justice. We are building the Global Village Construction Set. This is a high-performance, modular, do-it-yourself, low-cost platform – that allows for the easy fabrication of the 50 different industrial machines that it takes – to build a small, sustainable civilization with modern comforts.
In this brave new world of heterogeneous projects that combine hardware, software, printed, cloud, and other pieces, we are going to see an cacophony of different tools for building these different parts of an idea and project. We have GitHub for collaborating around code, Thingiverse for 3D models, Trello for project management and coordination, Moqups and Balsamiq for user interface design, specific toolkits for building drivers and integrating with sensors, and more.