The OpenStructures blog.

We like > Wooden railways

on 2015-01-14 08:03

Wooden railsets, different brands, all compatible!

from Wikipedia:

'A wide range of wooden trainsets, wooden trains and railway track & accessories are compatible with each other and with the best-known brands, such as Brio.'
'The most famous and one of the oldest manufactures of wooden trains is BRIO of Sweden. When they settled on a wooden track design that incorporates groves in the wood at a particular depth, width and distance apart, those dimensions became the industry standard. This industry standard, which also includes the jigsaw puzzle style connections, is technically called the Vario-System.'

'The Vario-System allows track pieces to be assembled easily in any combination as varying lengths and shapes of track can be fit together to make simple or complex layouts. Compatible accessories, such as bridges, tunnels, and buildings, all use the Vario-System allowing them to be incorporated into the layout.'

'Now many new manufactures such as Maxim, Whittle, Safari, and Maple Landmark, provide affordable and exciting trains, track, and accessories that are Vario-system compatible making them interchangeable with Thomas and BRIO.'

We like > Hacking households

on 2014-11-14 06:20


'What if everyday objects were produced the way open source software is developed?'
'Realized for the BIO 50 Biennial of Design in Slovenia, Hacking Households is a collaborative research in developing an ecosystem of evolving objects that are designed, developed, and produced democratically within open communities.'

A project by Leonardo Amico, Thibault Brevet, Coralie Gourguechon, Jesse Howard, Jure Martinec, Nataša Muševič and Tilen Sepič

We like > N55 XYZ cargo bikes!

on 2013-05-03 21:10


'XYZ SPACEFRAME VEHICLES enables persons to build their own vehicles for transporting persons or goods. XYZ SPACEFRAME VEHICLES is based on a low cost, light weight, highly durable construction requiring only simple hand-held, non specialized tools to produce. With XYZ SPACEFRAME VEHICLES, N55 offers a new alternative to mass produced traditional cycle products, often made from low grade materials and not made to last or being repaired.'
N55 in collaboration with Till Wolfer and Jesper Rølund

We like > Elemental Chile

on 2012-06-12 09:29

Open architecture!
Just brilliant ...

We like > Contraptor / Contrapteur

on 2012-04-04 14:48

Contraptor is a DIY open source construction set for experimental personal fabrication, desktop manufacturing, prototyping and bootstrapping. Various сartesian robots can be assembled from Contraptor and used as a prototyping platform for projects such as XY plotter, mini CNC machine, 3D printer etc.
Contraptor uses several developments of the Reprap project - specifically, Stepper Motor Driver
boards v1.x and Arduino GCode Interpreter.

The Contraptor site gives detailed instructions on how to make each Contraptor part using widely available raw materials and simple hand tools to drill the standardized holes.

The main project site is here:
See also:

The contraptor project is inch based. However, a European Contraptor enthousiast has converted the Contraptor grid (inch based) to a cm based grid for his creation and applied the OS grid in doing so. The conversion was baptized Contrapteur (French for Contraptor:)

We like > Open Source Ecology

on 2012-03-12 21:07

Open Source Ecology is accelerating the growth of the next economy - the Open Source Economy
- an economy that optimizes both production and distribution - while promoting environmental regeneration and social justice. They are building the Global Village Construction Set. This is a high-performance, modular, do-it-yourself, low-cost platform - that allows for the easy fabrication of the 50 different industrial
machines that it takes - to build a small, sustainable civilization with modern comforts.

Needless to say we are big fans ...

We like > The Free Universal Construction Kit

on 2012-03-12 19:23

F.A.T. Lab and Sy-Lab are pleased to present the Free Universal Construction Kit: a matrix of nearly 80 adapter bricks that enable complete interoperability between ten* popular children’s construction toys. 
By allowing any piece to join to any other, the Kit encourages totally new forms of intercourse between otherwise closed systems—enabling radically hybrid constructive play, the creation of previously impossible designs, and ultimately, more creative opportunities for kids. As with other grassroots interoperability remedies, the Free Universal Construction Kit implements proprietary protocols in order to provide a public service unmet—or unmeetable—by corporate interests.

connecting four different systems together

We like > Wikispeed

on 2012-03-12 07:46

Team WIKISPEED is a green automotive-development company that builds cars utilizing agile methodology and has prototyped a mass-manufacturable, ultra-low-cost, 100-mpg commuter car. WIKISPEED is an all-volunteer distributed agile/scrum team: members contribute their work from various locations globally and iteratively enhance the vehicle every two weeks. This model allows extremely high-speed development, especially when paired with rapid-prototyping manufacturing tools.

The open-hardware movement got a tremendous boost today when WIKISPEED and Open Source Ecology (OSE), a group committed to providing free plans and processes necessary for building the global economy, announced that they are teaming up to revolutionize transportation in the developing world.

Taking on traditional, proprietary manufacturing R & D, the two companies aim to create an open-source product-development methodology that would allow communities around the world to quickly develop their own machinery and processes to support themselves, removing a dependency on industrialized nations for costly solutions.

Truly amazing project ...

We like > LittleBits

on 2012-03-08 13:48
LittleBits is an opensource library of electronic modules that snap together with magnets forprototyping, learning and fun.

We like > LEGO® BrickArms

on 2011-02-12 16:15
Even LEGO is becoming an open system!
People are designing the LEGO blocs they always dreamt of but that where never built. LEGO is making the transition, whether they like it or not, from a closed, hierarchical system towards an open, horizontal system.

BrickArms LLC is a small toy company specializing in custom designed LEGO® compatible weapons and custom minifigs.