Product Development Process For Open Source Hardware: A Reference Guide For Osh Developers
New product development using open source hardware (OSH) is becoming very popular and is expected to increase exponentially due to many reasons. However, developers are mostly adapting the traditional product development and then adjusting it based on their practical experience on the job. Traditional product development process does not fit well for OSH approach and hence an appropriate process needs to be established, that makes product development with OSH approach easy, effective and fun experience. The author has done extensive research on the nature of OSH, informal practices followed by current OSH developers, experiences shared in forums and blogs, and then used his own experience in process improvements, innovation, new idea generation, project management etc. to come up with a structured process for product development using open source hardware approach. One of the reasons for recent increase in usage of OSH approach is due to OSH component developers extra effort in making OSH simple, easy and fun experience. In line with this trend the author has tried to keep the process simple, easy to follow and brief. The author also wants to encourage more and more people to take up product development using OSH approach, and hence has included interesting topics like basic concepts of OSH and why it is required, comparison to traditional product development process, interesting case study etc. By referring to these chapters, not only OSH developers will benefit, but other readers will also be encouraged to take up OSH full/part time and also appreciate the work done by contributors to OSH. Hence the author wishes to have a large readership base, through which he can build a large pool of innovators, developers, students, OSH users and enthusiasts. Below is the listing of the chapters and brief description: – Product development process for OSH: steps like idea generation, knowledge sharing, tinkering etc. are explained including the flow of these steps. – Difference to traditional process: differences between traditional process and OSH process, advantages etc. are discussed. – Advantages and disadvantages of OSH process: advantages and disadvantages of OSH are explained in detail. – OSH for DIY projects: basic concepts of OSH based DIY projects and different components are explained. – Case Study: interesting case study of building an automated home garden is explained in detail. – OSH Components and tools: different components and tools that can be used for OSH product development are explained in detail. – Licensing: a brief description of different types of licensing used for OSH products is included. – Funding for OSH products: various funding options available for OSH product development is listed out. – Best Practices: author has complied different best practices that can be followed while doing OSH product development. – Enablers and trends in OSH: to keep the OSH community upto date with whats happening around, the author has included the latest enablers and trend in OSH. – Useful References: includes some websites, organizations, books etc. that can be used as further reference materials by readers. – OSH Companies and Products: list of successful companies and some products developed using OSH approach are included.