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hurdles ahead for open source hardware companies

posted Sep 26, 2012, 5:45 PM by Gabriella Levine
When you don't patent your hardware and electronics, you run the risk of someone making it cheaper or better, using exactly the same material.  And selling it for less, but making more...But that is the risk of running an open source hardware company without a patent on the electronics. Here's about the MakerBot incident, where someone actually made virtually the same thing but called it tangibot. They operate in China, where parts are cheaper.

Well, what's going to happen with MakerBot?

Here are some things I took from it: 

"...So, for the sake of argument, what if MakerBot did start to close the source to their devices? What sort of harm, if any, would that have on the DIY 3D printing and maker communities? We could just as easily ask these same questions about Arduino, Ultimaker, or half a dozen other open source hardware companies...."

"...A company also cannot be partially open source. They can utilize open source in a closed source project, with great legal care. But you cannot, as a company, expect to have an outward ethic of sharing your innovation with the world, yet still have key technologies in one hand behind your back...."

"...[Makers] want something that, if they want to open it up and learn how it works, they can. They can also, as Massimo Banzi said, scratch their own itch and solve whatever problem they are having, furthering the technology for the entire community."

And here in the follow editorial read the interview between Bre Pettis, founder of MakerBot, and