Welcome to DesignShare!
DesignShare was created to host open-source project sharing, collaboration and concept discussions in a design community environment. The site will host two main areas: ‘Ideas’ and ‘Projects’
The ‘Incubator’ or ‘Ideas’ section within ‘DesignShare’ is an idea-generation area which is intended for community members to post project proposals, generate discussion and invite comment from the community. The proposals could be any – but certainly not exclusively – of the following: a project concept where the community members would like to invite discussion on the validity of a proposal; a facility for community partners to gain feedback on new product ideas; or possibly a proposal idea that could be developed further by Elektor magazine, one of the main drivers behind the DesignShare site. Our Design Partner Elektor will take the most popular or highly rated ideas from the Ideas section and develop them further via its network of 300 engineers). At each of the five stages of the development of a proposal – ‘Brief’, ‘Proposal’, ‘Design’, ‘Prototype’, and ‘Evaluation/Test’ – status updates will be posted sharing the design challenges along the way. When a project hits ‘Complete’ status, the assets of the project will be uploaded to the ‘Project’ area.
The ‘Projects’ area is where users will find all the available projects tagged with relevant keywords, allowing for easy navigation. The individual project pages include details of how the project developed at each stage, along with a collection of assets that will enable users to build the project themselves. At each of the five stages of the development of a project – ‘Brief’, ‘Proposal’, ‘Design’, ‘Prototype’, and ‘Evaluation/Test’ – status updates will be posted sharing the design challenges along the way. Project assets can include PCB schematics and layout files for DesignSpark PCB for example, along with mechanical blueprints, software code and/or machine code, mechanical drawings and CAD files. Additionally, there is also a plug-in to the main RS site where users can purchase the kit of parts. The most interesting and exciting projects will also be featured in future issues of DesignSpark Magazine.
Projects can also be created with the explicit aim of gaining ideas and collaboration from the community, and this element is most likely to take one of two forms. It could be hobby or fun project for which the community member requires collaboration from the wider community. An example of this is the ‘Earth Rover’ project, which is also featured in the July 2013 issue of DesignSpark Magazine, and is perhaps a classic example of a collaborative project; and potentially one that may see the involvement of university engineering departments. It could also be a project where the hardware design has largely been developed, but now requires significant software expertise to complete the project. However, at an alternative level, it could be a professional project where the community member is looking to outsource part of a project, or even all of it, to a suitable consultant. All projects will be available as open source and downloadable free-of-charge. The intention is that users will be able to modify, add to, or take projects in different directions – with the clear encouragement that users will post completed projects on the site. In addition, there also exists the potential that RS will actually build and sell the most popular or highly rated projects as completed boards or products.