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Frequently-Asked Questions about Open-Source Hardware

What is open-source hardware?

Our statement of principles puts it like this: "Open source hardware is hardware whose design is made publicly available so that anyone can study, modify, distribute, make, and sell the design or hardware based on that design. The hardware's source, the design from which it is made, is available in the preferred format for making modifications to it."

Open-source hardware is also a growing community of companies, individuals, and groups designing and making lots of cool stuff! Some well-known examples include Arduino (an microcontroller development platform), Chumby (a wifi device), MakerBot (a 3D printer) but see [[ | this question]] for more. Open-source hardware developers gather at events like the Open Hardware Summit and on online forums like the mailing list. They've ...

We think open-source hardware is a great way to share knowledge and facilitate development of new products. We hope this FAQ helps you understand what it's all about and whether it makes sense for you.

Why make hardware open-source?

What files should I share?

What are other best practices for open-source hardware?

Won't people rip me off?

Why aren't non-commercial restrictions compatible with open-source hardware?

Who makes open-source hardware?