Document Type

Article

Publication Date

3-21-2017

Abstract

The rise of Free and Open Source models for software development has catalyzed the growth of Free and Open Source hardware (also known as “Libre Hardware”). Libre Hardware is gaining significant traction in the scientific hardware community, where there is evidence that open development creates both technically superior and far less expensive scientific equipment than proprietary models. In this article, the evidence is reviewed and a collection of examples of business models is developed to service scientists who have the option to manufacture their own equipment using Open Source designs. Profitable Libre Hardware business models are reviewed, which includes kit, specialty component, and calibration suppliers for makers. The results indicate that Libre Hardware businesses should target technically sophisticated customers first and, as usability matures, target expanded markets of conventional consumers.

Publisher's Statement

© 2017 by the authors. Article deposited here in compliance with publisher policy. Publisher's version of record: https://dx.doi.org/10.5334/joh.4

Publication Title

Journal of Open Hardware

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

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