[hackerspaces] Apt-get for Hardware

Nils Hitze nhitze at gmail.com
Mon Apr 5 21:45:52 CEST 2010

I don't know if i get this, because im fucking tired right now but this
sounds AWESOME.

It's like the Ride in MAKERs from Doctorow.

I love the idea, will try to catch up on your work.

Brilliant stuff, thx for sharing


2010/4/5 Bryan Bishop <kanzure at gmail.com>

> Hey all, [this was originally sent to the Austin Hackerspace mailing list]
> I am presenting at Texas Linux Fest 2010 this Saturday (April 10th) on
> one of the projects I contribute to, dubbed SKDB. Essentially, it's
> apt-get for hardware. Registration for the conference is $40 and it's
> up at the Marchesa Event Center in Austin, Texas. Here's the scoop on
> the project (but some links first!):
> http://designfiles.org/dokuwiki/skdb
> git: http://designfiles.org/skdb.git
> irc: #hplusroadmap on irc.freenode.net
> irc logs: http://gnusha.org/logs/ and http://gnusha.org/irclogs.txt
> And in particular, the talk abstract:
> http://texaslinuxfest.org/talks/2010/apt-get-for-hardware/
> """
> SKDB is a method for sharing hardware over the internet. By "hardware"
> we mean not just designs for circuit boards, but also biological
> constructs, scientific instruments, machine tools, nuts and bolts, raw
> materials, and how to make them.
> You don't need to reinvent the wheel every time you begin a new
> project. Someone out there has probably already done most or all of
> the work for whatever you are trying to do, and then released the
> plans on the internet. There are many common tools and parts involved
> in making things. If only we could just "get" everything automatically
> from the web, DIY manufacturing would be much easier. Essentially we
> want to do something like "apt-get" for Debian or "emerge" for Gentoo,
> the Linux software package managers. SKDB simplifies the process of
> searching for free designs, comparing part compatibility, and building
> lists of materials and components and where to get them. You could
> even say SKDB is "apt-get but for real stuff".
> In SKDB, hardware is organized into packages. Packages are a standard
> and consistent way for programs to find data. Packages may contain CAD
> files, CAM parameters, computer-readable descriptions of product
> specifications, product-specific code, and bill of materials. For each
> part in a package there are a number of interface definitions, which
> describe how the part can connect with other parts, even parts from
> other packages. Each package also lists dependencies which have to be
> bought or built in order to successfully carry out a project. For
> example a drill press is required to make holes with a certain level
> of accuracy. SKDB downloads all of the dependencies automatically and
> compares them to your existing inventory, and generates instructions
> for your CNC machinery if you have any.
> """
> There are some non-technical videos from a presentation I gave last
> December located here:
> http://gnusha.org/
> .. Gnusha is an open source hardware co-op that I have working with.
> The text on the page is from an update email on 2010-01-12, and more
> recently there was a huge update in late March that I haven't sent out
> (still editing?).
> I also wanted to bring up an idea that I will be focusing on at the
> shop w/ Les. I think the linux kernel is a good starting point for
> running a fablab, machine shop, hackerspace, techshop, or even a lab.
> Essentially what I would love to have is, not only apt-get for
> hardware, but also machines hooked up to /dev on a server. So, maybe
> the laser cutter is mounted on /dev or otherwise through cupsd with a
> printer driver, or some hardware-over-network protocol if a machine is
> hooked up to EMC on a dedicated box. I'd also like to build something
> like /dev/parts for a vending machine of small parts- imagine calling
> up `cat` on a file and pipping it to a vending machine, and out pop
> your parts for a quickie project.
> For now, part bins are more efficient, but I suspect the (vague) idea
> is coming across. Anyway, it would be an interesting way of organizing
> a shop. A while back I had some silly shell scripts that I wanted to
> eventually, one day, work:
> http://github.com/kanzure/shelltrance/blob/master/shelltrance.txt
> .. but it's easy to spot how that shell script could be improved
> significantly (like, wtf is up with the call to `mail`).
> - Bryan
> http://heybryan.org/
> 1 512 203 0507
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Nils Hitze

Email: nhitze at gmail.com
Mobil: +49 179 9429701

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