Crowd-funding Open-Hardware Building-Blocks

So this is the first thing that I’ve supported on Kickstarter

It’s a sider-bearing.

“Um, yea Nick, whatever ” I hear you say. “That’s obscure. WTF?”.

Well… yea, a bit obscure I suppose… but it’s THE building block of this

Which costs about $500. The slidey bit itself costs $160, which is cheaper, but it still tears at your very soul as you hand over the cash, knowing damn well that you’re paying more than you really ought to… but that’s retail you know? Retailers tend to double the wholesale price, which is itself, a doubling of manufacturing costs. Generally. Not always, but often. What it means is that everything you see in shops costs about triple what it cost to make… and this isn’t any criticism of those in the chain, this is the cost of doing business. You need to charge triple to make the thing scalable. Open-source sidelines all that. True you do have “fuckup-costs”, but open-sourcing the design cuts out god-knows how many trial-and error iterations.

So this isn’t being made for cameras… it’s made for CNC machines… I found it when this open-source laser-cutter turned up.


It’s a big laser-cutter specifically designed to be made out of easy to source parts… there are (apparently) a couple of similar projects around the place… so this is part of a general drift… and the price is now down to $5k… which ain’t cheap, but this is a fairly big machine.

I quite like the way this has attracted a lot more investment than was being asked for – don’t know if it’s because the guy doing it runs a popular open-source-hardware website, or if people are geniunely going for the project. I genuinely went for the project. Standardised T-Slot Aluminium extrusions. Grown-up lego for building really quite sophisticated machines.

1 Comment » for Crowd-funding Open-Hardware Building-Blocks
  1. Trembly with excitement!