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No Trade Secrets Here: This Factory Will Be Completely Open Source No Trade Secrets Here: This Factory Will Be Completely Open Source

No Trade Secrets Here: This Factory Will Be Completely Open Source

by Meghan Neal
May 8, 2013


Can we apply the principles of open source technology to manufacturing, to help usher in a new economic frontier? The people's economy? 

Open Tech Forever, a cooperatively-owned social enterprise, believes the answer is yes. The group is working to raise $50,000 to build an Open Source Factory—a "transparent, worker-owned, R&D and manufacturing business that freely shares all the information about its designs, techniques, tools, and materials."

At its essence, open source development means collaboration and sharing—everything from teaching skills along the way, to providing business models for replication. The folks at OTC believe it has the potential to transcend the traditional limitations of for-profit innovation, to provide solutions to humanitarian problems around the globe. 
 
Open source hardware could be a revolutionary tool for unlocking our shackles to profit motivated, proprietary innovation. It has a vision to alleviate poverty through empowering decentralized and affordable, small scale production. Participants anywhere in the world can use the internet to access, improve, or adapt designs for local manufacturing and drastically increase the rate of innovation.
The factory will be located on 40 acres of land near Denver, Colorado. OTC is even crowdsourcing the factory design, encouraging collaborators to submit ideas and feedback through its open source online collaboration platform Co-Open.  
 
The Indiegogo campaign for the Open Source Factory ends on May 13. You can donate to the campaign here.
 
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