posted by admin on June 14th, 2010 under Analysis, Open Design
One of the first things I referenced when I started this project was the ‘Maker’s Bill of Rights’ document that Make Magazine published some time ago – a kind of set of standards for makers of open objects such that said objects can be sure to be repairable and hackable. As with most things to do with open design, this seemed to be mainly geared towards open hardware, ie. electronic design, but the tenets are basically good. The document goes like this [the original is here]:
The Maker’s Bill of Rights
If you can’t open it, you don’t own it: a Maker’s Bill of Rights to accessible, extensive, and repairable hardware.
- Meaningful and specific parts lists shall be included.
- Cases shall be easy to open.
- Batteries should be replaceable.
- Special tools are allowed only for darn good reasons.
- Profiting by selling expensive special tools is wrong and not making special tools available is even worse.
- Torx is OK; tamperproof is rarely OK.
- Components, not entire sub-assemblies, shall be replaceable.
- Consumables, like fuses and filters, shall be easy to access.
- Circuit boards shall be commented.
- Power from USB is good; power from proprietary power adapters is bad.
- Standard connecters shall have pinouts defined.
- If it snaps shut, it shall snap open.
- Screws better than glues.
- Docs and drivers shall have permalinks and shall reside for all perpetuity at archive.org.
- Ease of repair shall be a design ideal, not an afterthought.
- Metric or standard, not both.
- Schematics shall be included.
With Niftymitter, I have a check against all these things, save for the limited use of glues in places, but this document seems to acknowledge them as sometimes unavoidable. I consider a trim tool to be a specialist tool, so am working on getting rid of that (currently need it for tuning niftymitter). Still, the emphasis is clearly on electromechanical design, and not general product design, so I think a more generic version is needed for Open Design (and perhaps a less Americentric title):
An International Standard for Open Design
If you can’t open it, you don’t own it: a standard for accessible, extendable, and repairable products.
- Products shall be easy to take apart to the lowest level and put back together without damage. This should ideally be doable by hand alone.
- Ease of repair shall be a design ideal, not an afterthought. Components, not entire sub-assemblies, shall be replaceable.
- Products shall use materials and components commonly available to the intended user.
- Product documentation will actively facilitate alteration of materials or production processes by the user.
- Any consumables should be easily accessible and replaceable.
- Mechanical fasteners are better than glues.
- Special tools are allowed only for very good reasons, and should be easily obtainable unless for the same good reasons.
- Design documentation including any software shall have permalinks and shall reside for all perpetuity at archive.org.
- Meaningful and specific parts lists shall be included, as well as operating and assembly instructions.
- Design documentation will be supplied in its native format as well open formats.
Undoubtedly I will add to this as I think of stuff, but have put in the key things I have learned from Niftymitter, and prioritised things as I see them. Niftymitter doesn’t meet these standards yet, but the eradication of glue is a key update for the next version. Comments welcomed.