[BLOG SUGGESTION] Exploring Redistributed Manufatcuring


I would like to show TU Berlin that we have communicated about the workshop. Feel free to make improvements.

In December, three members of our Board of Stewards, Lars, Sam and I were invited to TU Berlin, Potsdam, to participate in a Sustainable Manufacturing plenary hosted by the CRC Sustainable Manufacturing: Shaping Global Value Creation. We asked the group "What is Redistributed Manufacturing? See the introduction and discussion on it in our forum.

You can see the overview of the whole workshop session on this hackpad. We were lucky to have a large group of very interested participants including many academics working in open source, open design, and sustainable manufacturing. After some initial introductions we used a world cafe session to explore three questions:

  1. What is the role of redistributed manufacturing in the circular economy?
  2. What are the open and circular design principles that make it easy to build hardware products on-site?
  3. What are the business models for RdM and open source hardware? What are the risks and how can they be overcome?

After some in-depth discussions, three key points were summarised for each question.

[IMAGE: Summary]

These are big questions and not ones that can be answered in a day (or in a blog post). One of the main points raised during the workshop was the need for a better understanding of RdM. We will continue this discussion and build up resources on the topic in the OSCE forum: What is Redistributed Manufacturing?

At the recent Sustainable Design and Manufacturing conference in April, has a special track dedicated to discussing the topic of RdM. You can read a little more about some of those papers here.

What do you think is a good product or case for redistributed manufacturing? Let us know over in the forum.


Sounds good. I would give it a go.

Things to add:

  • In the first sentence say that we are part of the Board Of Stewardship and link to here

  • After the first paragraph after “OSCE e.V.” I would add differently formatted something like: “What is Redistributed Manufacturing? - See the introduction and discussion on it in our forum [LINK TO DISCUSSION]”

The last bit will give the post a purpose: Pull people into the discussion about RdM in our forum.

Therefor once it is shared we should link to it or copy the blogost into the discussion about RdM

. . . .

We could think about making it a bit less academic or activating. How about ending with a question? Something like:

“What do you think, is a good product or case for distributed manufacturing? Discuss with us in our forum.”

. . . . .

You should still have access to the WP - feel free to publish the post.


Hi Sharon,
pleased to know that you will be at this conference. I will present there a paper discussing the implications of open source for sustainability. Let’s get in touch there and continue our interesting discussions started in december in Postdam.
See you

Title. Implications of Open Source Design for Sustainability

Abstract. In order to cope with the challenges of sustainability, systematic methods have been developed for improving the ratio between usefulness and environmental impact of products. These necessary efforts are however con-strained if the surrounding business model patterns are not challenged at the same time. In this article, open source design (OSD) is presented as a potential concept leading towards alternative and eco-efficient production and consump-tion patterns. Potential advantages of OSD for environmental sustainability are hypothesized and confronted with the analysis of the environmental friendliness of four open source products. Two synergies between sustainable design and OSD are identified (product modularity and design for local manufacturing) as well as corresponding challenges for further research.

(I cannot publish this paper before the conference, but I can with pleasure share the preprints afterwards)


Thanks @Lars2i good suggestions as usual!

Hi @jbonvoisin that’s great! this is the abstract for our paper:

Title: Makespaces: From Redistributed Manufacturing to a Circular Economy

Abstract. Redistributed manufacturing is an emerging concept which captures the anticipated reshoring and localisation of production from large scale manufacturing plants to smaller-scale localised, customisable production units, largely driven by new digital production technologies. Critically, community-based digital fabrication workshops, or makespaces, are anticipated to be the hothouse for this new era of localised production and as such are key to future sustainable design and manufacturing practices. In parallel, the concept of the circular economy conceptualises the move from a linear economy of take-make-waste to a closed loop system, through repair, remanufacturing, refurbishment and recycling which maintains the value of materials and resources. Despite the clear interplay between redistributed manufacturing and circular economy, there is limited research exploring this relationship. In light of these interconnected developments, the aim of this paper is to explore the role of makespaces in contributing to a circular economy through Redistributed manufacturing activities. This is achieved through six semi-structured interviews with thought leaders on these topics. The research findings identify barriers and opportunities to both circular economy and redistributed manufacturing, uncovers key overlaps between circular economy and redistributed manufacturing, and identifies a range of future research directions that can support the coming together of these areas.The research contributes to a wider conversation on embedding circular practices within makespaces and their role in redistributed manufacturing.


One thing we could do here instead, is repost the blogs we wrote for SustainRCA on the OSCEdays blog. They are already quite nice. What do you think @TechnicalNature @Grit :slight_smile:


Yes, think that would be good - or event the longer ones that haven’t been used yet… could be tweaked