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Open Design, Open Hardware and Open Materials
In recent years, particularly exciting developments occurred in the areas of Open Design and Open Hardware. An increasing number of people from all over the world collaboratively develop various tools and machines, and document all stages of development including construction plans on the Internet. This information is then freely accessible, can be adapted to actual needs, and production can be carried out with locally available resources. The basic principles of Open Hardware are open construction plans, resource-efficient design, durability, modularity and maintainability. Open projects range from knitting machines to the "Wiki-house." A particularly ambitious project is the initiative Open Source Ecology: its members are in the process of developing the so-called „Global Village Construction Set“, a set of 50 machines, which would enable communities to achieve autonomous and sustainable production and living. Is this the beginning of 21st century technology, an „adapted“ technology which operates with due regard to the limited availability of natural resources and the actual needs of people, and facilitates a good life for all?
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