Open source enters the world of atoms: A statistical analysis of open design

Kerstin Balka, Christina Raasch, Cornelius Herstatt


Extensive research has been done to analyze the phenomenon of open source software development from various perspectives. By contrast little is known about open source development of tangible objects, so-called open design, so far. Until recently, limitations to the availability of successful empirical examples of this 'new innovation model' outside software may have been a key reason for this gap.

This paper contributes to the literature on the open source mode of product development by providing a quantitative study (N = 85) of open design projects. Our goal is to explore the landscape of open source development in the world of atoms, to analyze project characteristics, structures, and success, and to investigate similarities and dissimilarities to open source software development.


open design; open source; floss; collaboration; open-source collaboration

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