Freerunner's Future

Werner Almesberger werner at
Fri Jun 12 01:20:36 CEST 2009

Jeremy McNaughton wrote:
> 1.  That the open source hardware development processes pioneered by
> gta02-core get formalized as part of the structure of the new
> organization

There's always room for improvements, so I wouldn't nail down too
many details. But the overall goals, i.e., the use of Open Source
wherever possible, yes.

> 2.  That the people who are working on the gta02-core will continue to
> work together as part of the new community organization.

Definitely, yes.

> Of course, the community organization (heh... we need a name!) should
> encompass more than just hardware.  The open hardware part will likely
> just be a part of what the organization does.

Even in the hardware area, there's more than just low-risk
implementation projects. E.g., there should also be activities that
take on the risky bits and bring them under control. Such "pioneer"
efforts can then be integrated into the next "safe" design.

Also, we haven't touched the whole area of case design and
manufacturing yet. There's a number of Free CAD tools that should
be up to the task. We've briefly discussed them on the "gta03"
list a while ago.

Also turning a CAD design into a prototype is not an impossible
task. There are relatively inexpensive CNC mills (i.e., within the
reach of many hobbyists) that should be able to make reasonably
good prototypes. Access to mills or 3D printers may also exist
through academic institutions or projects like "Fab Lab":

I don't know if anyone actually made a case from the CAD files
Openmoko released about a year ago. The CAD files themselves may
not be directly useful with Free CAD tools except for making very
minor changes.

But I think a case-making project that follows the same approach as
gta02-core, namely reconstructing and prototyping the existing
design with Free tools (and making some small changes) could be
rather useful for establishing the know-how that can later be used
for more ambitious work.

- Werner

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