The spread of ICT and cheap low-size production tools like 3D-printers led to the development of open design, i.e. community-based and open source development of physical products. This innovative organization of product development based on a new conception of copyright as well as decentralized and voluntary work offers a disruptive alternative to conventional industrial product development. It provides a great opportunity for continuous improvement of products as well as formidable potentials for product innovation and incubation of new businesses.

However, the emergence of open design still suffers from a limited availability of supporting methods and online tools helping to face the organizational challenges raised by distributed collaboration of non-contractually engaged volunteers. Because of a lack of adapted structuration mechanisms, open design projects are still restricted to the development of products of low complexity and quality, i.e. prototypes or toys for do-it-yourself hobbyists. In order to compete with today’s standards of industrial product design, open design should be provided with adapted methods that ensures significant process efficiency and economic viability.

See the website of the project.