[Discuss] [Open Manufacturing] Re:

John Griessen john at industromatic.com
Wed Mar 27 19:14:22 UTC 2013

On 03/27/2013 12:23 AM, Matt Maier wrote:
> Maybe I should make it explicitly clear that I'm much more of a HARDware guy than an electronics or software guy, so I tend to
> think of things in terms of metal and motors.

  When something gets so far out of the computer that it requires welding you are beyond the ability of "source files" to be anything
> other than helpful. The records of a machine always have to be updated with all of the little things that you ACTUALLY did when
> you built it. If you were to give someone the original files, the ones that haven't been updated based on reality, they would not
> be getting a description of what the thing actually is.

This is saying revisions should be easy.  The infrastructure for that is a defined place for every
kind of part description, so one can go to it quickly.

> It's not enough just to design the thing. After all of the work is
> done you have to go back and edit your design records to reflect what you actually ended up building. That can easily turn into an
> extremely unfriendly cost/benefit ratio when you need to record one change but it affects a dozen different records.

You want a document to be parametric.  Leo outlining editor comes to mind, but that is fairly unknown
and probably hard to promote.  Some kind of hyperlink for every dimension or feature of a part design
seems too much.  I'd say openly searchable in text, and with a style that helps find parameters
and change at once is all we could spec.  Having some decent GPL'd 3D CAD tool will suggest how to
write a style manual for OSHW publications.

 > To sum up: hardware projects are more complicated because more variables have to be accounted for if
 > the instructions are to be correct. It is currently possible to capture that complexity
 > and to store it on Github, but it is not possible to interact with it
 > in a way that allows for the project to be "truly" open.

Are you wanting a GUI driven app?  Like a Windows app?  I'd like one too, but what will it do?  If
too much is specified for it to do, it will not get written.

At this early stage, and with an OSHW documentation JAM session in a month, I'd just like to ask
for names that describe categories of essential documents well.  To start out, we'll all use the chosen names
in our own ways --  some will buy GUI apps to use them, I'll arrange project dirs with those names
and set up makefiles to help with development repetitive steps.

I came across something new that might help. Datasheets and circuit layouts are graphics which often
include text as a graphic so it is not searchable or automatable.  Here is a project to define
circuits in words that could help get past that:  http://phdl.sourceforge.net/1.0/index.php

I have not dug into it, but it could have some value as an example of connecting parts together.
Today the standard for small to medium circuits is a visual schematic drawing, and for larger ones
descriptions in Verilog or VHDL.

How do you arrange reams of data needed to make a piece of lab gear, or a car?  I'm not sure, but
text files sorted into categories is the obvious starting point.  So what are the best category names?

Maybe later a recording can be used with one button press to load a robot assembly line and start
making things from such arranged data.

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