Open source / Open Standard CAD development?

Shawn Rutledge shawn.t.rutledge at
Wed Mar 5 23:47:28 CET 2008

On Wed, Mar 5, 2008 at 2:36 PM, Mats Eriksson <datorfixarn at> wrote:
>  I am seeing the OpenMoko project as the first serious project to develop
>  hardware in "bazaar-style" fashion. A personal dream would like to build
>  a "OpenCar" in "bazaar-style" fashion in the future.

Other "open car" projects have been pointed out, and there is also

which is sortof a community design effort but not 100% open (mostly
because one guy is doing most of the work, he was hoping to make a
profit on the production, and the "community" has not done very much).
 A car is just such a big project...  While code can be copied at
nearly zero cost, cars are neither cheap nor easy to replicate, and by
the time it's driveable, a great deal of the work must be done; the
"pieces" are not useful by themselves.  There are regulatory issues
and liability issues.  If you spend thousands to replicate a car from
that design, and then see that the design is marginal, you feel
disappointed about having spent so much money and/or fabrication time,
and not having gotten something useful.  Every improvement takes more
money.  But past the threshold of usefulness, maybe the community
would participate more in smaller incremental improvements.  (Just
like Linus did not post to Usenet until he had something working and
useful, and then people got excited and started helping very quickly.
And just like OpenMoko did not release a phone a piece-at-a-time; the
hardware had to be workable before it could be sold.)  The guy who
started that one has run into some financial and logistical problems
and is willing to sell the project as a ready-to-go business: there is
a allegedly a first-pass driveable design, and it's just a matter of
starting production.  If you have a little money to invest and are
serious about doing that, you can take over that project, release
every aspect of the design as fully open-source, and make money by
selling parts, kits and/or complete cars.  (Disclaimer: I'm one of the
"community" that hasn't contributed much; I do not know any of the
others very well, have not seen any physical results of the project
in-person, and do not stand to profit from any of the operations, but
I agree with you that this sort of thing ought to be done.)

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