What type of Students is OSHE Looking for?
The Open Source Hardware Enterprise (OSHE) is a home for students coming from both technically and culturally diverse backgrounds. All you need is in interest in making tools, devices, or products that are easy and inexpensive for other people to replicate. Yes OSHE is housed in the ECE department of MTU, but we are always looking for students from other majors to come and share their expertise!
What type of Projects is OSHE working on?
The projects in OSHE can be boiled down to 3 categories:
- Manufacturing Tools: Tools that are used as a part of a manufacturing process. These could be one-stop shop tools like 3D Printers, Mills, Laser Cutters, Robot arms. Anything that can be used to expedite and automate manufacturing processes.
- Research / Scientific Tools: Researchers and scientists always have a need for specialized tools to support their work. Either their need is very novel (so the tool doesn’t exist) or a commercial tool is too expensive. Using open source technology can make that tool an inexpensive reality.
- Consumer Products: Many products that are used in our day-to-day lives could be substantially cheaper and easier to maintain if you build them yourselves. These projects could range from precision cooking tools to sports training equipment.
ALL of the projects pursued in OSHE revolve around DIY distributed design philosophies so that others can replicate the design. We want to keep the costs low, and also make sure we document the designs well. In addition your work will be shared publicly and promoted to reach a wider audience.
How do I join OSHE?
If you are interested in joining OSHE, you’ll need to put in a little bit of leg work. You’ll need to determine who your Academic Advisor is (Find that out at THIS LINK). You’ll also need to determine which section of Enterprise you need to register in. Determine how many semesters you have left till graduation and then find your section from this table:
Two notes on that above table. One: if you are going into ENT4950 or ENT4960, you are about to enter capstone, and the process for enrolling is slightly different (see the bottom section of this page). Two: If you are a graduate student, you’ll need to register in ENT5950.
Now you should have all of the tools you need to fill out this form:
I looked on BanWeb and I am not available at the meeting time for OSHE.
There are 2 meeting times – check the other sections and see if the other meeting time works – if so, send me an email that you plan on attending the other meeting time. Otherwise I am only willing to sign time-conflict forms for OSHE members who have been in the enterprise for at least 1 semester.
What if I’m already an OSHE Member but I need to register for the next semester?
If you have been in OSHE for at least one semester, all you need to do is fill out the form below and bring it for me to sign (or email it to me). Then you can either bring it to the registrar or your advisor:
What if I’m planning to do my Capstone Project in OSHE next semester?
If you are starting your capstone year, the first thing we need to do is identify a capstone project for you – I encourage you to discuss potential collaborations on the Discord Server. Once you have your project selected – begin working on your proposal. Use the template found HERE (Make sure you use the “All Other Majors” option). I encourage you and your team to send me your proposal before submitting it and I’ll try and provide timely feedback.
For your proposal – I’d be sure to touch on how you’ll address all of the steps of a good open source design process:
- Evaluate existing similar scientific tools for their physical functions and base the design of the FOSH design off of replicating the physical effects, not pre-existing designs. If necessary, evaluate a proof of concept.
- Design, involving the following design principles:
- Use only free and open-source software tool chains and open hardware for the fabrication of the device.
- Attempt to minimize the number and type of parts and the complexity of the tool.
- Minimize the amount of material and the cost of production.
- Maximize the use of components that can be distributed digitally manufactured from using widespread and accessible tools such as the RepRap 3D printer.
- Create parametric designs with pre-designed components, which enable design customization.
- All components that are not easily and economically fabricated with existing open hardware equipment in a distributed fashion should be chosen from off-the-shelf parts, which are readily available throughout the world.
- Validate the design for the targeted function(s).
- Document the design, manufacture, assembly, calibration, and operation of the device meticulously. This should include the raw source of the design (e.g., computer aided design files (CAD)), not only the files used for production (e.g., stereolithography files (STL)).
- Share all of the documentation in the open-access literature.
Speaking of literature review – It is fully expected that your proposal should have references. The first step of the open source design process is to see what’s out there, what you can build off of, take inspiration from, improve on, or utilize as a piece to a bigger project. Part of the beauty of open source hardware is you can save yourself a substantial amount of effort by leveraging existing open designs. You should explicitly state what designs you might be utilizing, and how you’re utilizing them.
You can find peer-reviewed publications relevant to your work by going to www.scholar.google.com and searching “open source OR design of OR low cost” followed by your specific topic. Try wording things a few different ways to perform an exhaustive search. Of course you can also find relevant work simply by typing a query in a normal search engine like Google. Open source is a community effort, and as such, citation of personal blogs, YouTube videos, or social media / sharing sites are appropriate.
Please feel free to schedule a quick meeting with the advisor if necessary.
Once your proposal is ready, submit it here: