Open Tech Collaborative

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= an open source hardware cooperative [1]




"We'll be developing open source hardware, producing and selling some for income, and doing some training and capital assistance programs. Johnathan is starting an organic farm on-site so lots of collaboration ahead. Taking a different route than OSE though- the goal is the same, economically empowered collaborative communities in an open world, but the approach will be starting with widely useful tech we can sell for financial stability, and that'll really get open hardware out there in use and in publicity, followed by tool development as it gets more and more relevant. Relevance is key, because it ensures the use and replication of open hardware, the reasons for which it should be produced and documented in the first place.

We're off to a great start. Recently finalized a zero-cost agreement to develop the coop at 40 acres of industrial-zoned land in Denver, Colorado, and got in-kind material donations and a lot of zero-cost equipment leases from an awesome local collaborator. We're all pretty excited and hoping the major next steps go smoothly. The technical side is handled down-pat since Aaron and I have tremendous experience from our time with OSE, so it's just the initial financial and legal stuff we're trying to work out. We're launching an indiegogo campaign soon (early April) for us to get started with the facility construction and initial round of fulfilling pre-orders, development, and production- from there we'll be able to bootstrap ourselves into further development, production, and the programs we'll provide later on. Training and capital assistance complementing documentation equals knowledge + direct experience + tangible resource triple combo for ensuring the success of other businesses, projects, and community involvement in the open source hardware movement." (

2. Mira Luna:

"Open Tech Forever (OTF) is emerging to become a new force in open source hardware development by building an open source factory where it will produce open technology. OTF recently launched an Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign to raise $50,000 to build the facility, and they need your support. As a cooperatively-owned social enterprise, all of its innovation will be transparently documented in writing, graphics and video, and released under a Creative Commons license.

OTF’s mission is to “facilitate cooperation among the communities that live on the frontlines of suffering throughout the world, so that we can build enduring solutions to poverty and the destruction of the environment.” OTF co-founder, Aaron Makaruk explains, “An entirely new economic frontier stands before us, a world where innovation and wealth are mass produced as easily as a file is downloaded to a computer. Our goal is to use local, open source factories to outcompete companies that import unsustainable products manufactured in inhuman conditions and put them out of business - one locally-owned, open source company at a time.”

Other open source hardware enthusiasts praise its emphasis on making DIY, easily constructed machines from as many locally available, sustainable, low cost materials as possible. They are designed from the start to be repairable by almost anyone, thereby rejecting the current profit-driven practice of planned obsolescence that leads to greater consumption.

Located on a 40 acre permaculture site near downtown Denver, Open Tech Forever was founded by former core members of Open Source Ecology (OSE), a pioneering organization in the emerging open hardware field. The team includes Thiel Fellow Yoonseo Kang, former Director of Development for OSE, Aaron Makaruk, and Tristan Copley Smith, OSE’s former Video Communications Director who previously worked with Wikileaks.

The land is owned by a permaculture specialist with a degree in soil science, and the group plans to create online agriculture training documentation, or ‘open source permaculture’ - videos, manuals, and business models. Also on the team is Rahul Dhinakaran, mechanical engineer and founder of Kalki Mechanical Prototypes, who has designed a number of open hardware prototypes including a 3-axis CNC Mill and a wheelchair." (

More Information

Mira Luna:

"Another exciting development is that OTF is launching an open source online collaboration platform called Co-Open, available for the first time this week on Github, that supports thousands of simultaneous online contributors. Inviting participants to collaborate on a project during its design phase can lead to significant cost reductions, as well as improvements in innovation. The first collaborative project for the platform is the OTF factory design, which is being worked on by people throughout the United States and India, including Marshall Hilton, a mechanical and architectural engineer who was previously OSE’s production manager.

OTF co-founder Yoonseo Kang explains, “Right now, on our online collaboration platform, thousands of people can easily co-design an open source factory. This means people from all over the world can spontaneously work together. So you might see earth building masters from India talking to engineers from the School of Mines about what soil mixtures work best to make earth blocks. The possibilities are endless - there is so much potential for our platform to be customized and improved. Together, we can create technology that is transparent and available for use by anyone in the world." (