Pesquisa:Ferramentas livres:Work group for development of the hyperobject workbench

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Abstract[1]

The objective of this project is to contribute to the development of shared infrastructure for design, construction, and use of open scientific and educational instrumentation. It will reach its objectives by i) joining efforts for developing and disseminating a common set of tools for building scientific apparatus using low cost digital fabrication technology, ii) researching and promoting best practices for sharing hardware designs, and iii) engage in the formation of a citizen science network for weather and environmental monitoring build upon this infrastructure.

In analogy to open source software, that required a set of basic tools in order to flourish, namely a text editor and a code compiler, open source hardware is in need of a basic set of tools that will facilitate the design, sharing, and manufacture of open scientific and educational technology. We consider these tools the basic infrastructure needed for collaboration on open scientific and educational instrumentation. We believe that the lack of a common digital infrastructure for building scientific apparatus is the current bottleneck for the effective sharing of practical knowledge that is usually encoded within its inner workings. The availability of such an infrastructure will increase the value and impact of repositories that host ready-to-build scientific and educational apparatus using digital fabrication technologies.

This project embraces on the development of an open source workbench: a set of low cost digital fabrication tools for prototyping and small scale manufacturing of scientific and educational instruments such as free software CAD tools and open source 3D printers. We refer to these set of tools the Open Workbench, integrating i) software for studying and designing scientific and educational apparatus and ii) digital fabrication tools for building such apparatus.

On the software aspects of the Open Workbench, this project has two areas of action:

  1. Study the state of current development of free software tools of Computer Aided Design (CAD) tools for Architecture, Engineering and Construction (AEC). This study will result in a report that will serve as guidelines for a more ambitious project for development of advanced free/libre AEC CAD tool.
  2. Join international efforts[2] for the development and integration of Electronic Design Automation (EDA) tools in order to integrate the design of electronic circuits to the fabrication of printed circuit boards and improve on the simulation capabilities of these tools.

Concerning the hardware aspects this project will build upon the current popularity of open source 3D printers and improve the current state of the Open Workbench by

  1. Disseminating the recent released open hardware milling machine for the prototyping of printed circuit boards (PCB) for electronic circuits.
  2. Researching and developing digital fabrication tools that complements the 3D printer and the PCB milling machine. Further research is needed to define the properties of additional digital fabrication equipment, in particular, define desirable equipment able to shape metal pieces, or even pursue further development of the PCB Milling machine, including the fusion of 3D printer and PCB milling in the same equipment.

In addition to research and development on the software and hardware elements of the Open Workbench, this project aims at studying, improving, and applying best practices for collaborative open hardware development, aiming at defining structure, licensing, and best practices for building and encouraging collaboration in open repositories of open instrumentation and its applications. This project will also embrace on the application of the Open Workbench for citizen science; in particular to engage citizens in the assembly, repairs and applications of open hardware for data collection related to weather and environmental monitoring.

Design and Methodologies[editar | editar código-fonte]

Open Workbench[editar | editar código-fonte]

Digital fabrication or personal fabrication is gaining attention following the popularity of open source 3D printers. It has been shown to reduce 8-fold the cost of scientific instrumentation [3], thus increasing the accessibility to scientific instrumentation. However, given the current limitations of open source tools for hardware design and manufacturing, one can say that low cost personal fabrication and its applications for open science and education is still in its infancy. In particular, one lacks prototyping machines for electronic circuits (printed circuit boards) and digital fabricated parts able to work on wider temperature ranges and improved precision and strength than those provided by low cost 3D printers, which are usually made of polymeric plastics.

Our vision for a complete Open Workbench for open instrumentation consists of several hardware and software tools that overcomes current material limitations and work-flows bottlenecks for the collaborative design, sharing and manufacturing of open scientific and educational instruments. Some of the desired hardware tools for the Open Workbench are already established as open technology, such as 3D printers. In our approach, the possibilities of 3D printing must be supplemented by complementary equipment to facilitate the prototypation of electronic circuits and also controlled shaping of metal parts. This project will research possible development routes, evaluating different CNC metal machining possibilities considering cost of equipment design, construction, safety of operation, maintenance, usability.

As important as low cost digital fabrication equipment, one can mention the free software tools used for design, visualization, and simulation of electronic, mechanical and geometrical designs to be build by these appliances. As pointed out by the yellow and red portions of Figure 1, these tools are in development, in need of integration, difficult to use, or non-existent under open licenses.

We consider that i) free software CAD tools and ii) digital fabrication tools for metal parts deserves special attention

Open Source Workbench map as of Sept. 2014. Green: established as open technology; Yellow: work in progress; red: no development as open source tool or needs integration into existing work-flows.

Free Software and Open Hardware[editar | editar código-fonte]

The world needs free/libre CAD programs for sharing and editing 3D parts and projects with rich features and that is easy to learn and use. Open Educational and scientific endeavors will operate at higher levels with the advent of such tools. Researchers at CERN also realized this and are contributing to the development of KiCAD, for electronic designs [4]. CAD software of interest for open scientific instrumentation falls within several categories, namely:

Electronic Design Automation[editar | editar código-fonte]

There is a variety of free-software tools for Electronic Design Automation. One can mention Fritzing as an excellent entry point for these tools as it presents an protoboard view that facilitates learning of electronics, in addition to the traditional schematic and PDC circuit views. However fritzing is very limited for advanced applications.

A very promising CAD tool for advanced EDA is KiCAD. It is being developed by a community of developers. The project development guidelines are described in the project website Getting Started - KiCAD Development. Some important features of the KiCAD development

  • It's source code is available at LaunchPad
  • Main developers prepared an Coding Style Policy to organize the collaborative development
  • Developers communicate by means of an public e-mail list
  • CERN is contributing to the development of KiCAD as part of its effort to promote open hardware[5]

One missing feature of free and open-source EDA tools regards the simulation of analog and digital circuits integrated within the user interface.

Computer Aided Design[editar | editar código-fonte]

There is a variety of CAD tools released as free software. However these tools lack advanced features commonly found in proprietary versions of such tools. Unfortunately, as a consequence of the development gap between free-software and proprietary CAD, it is a common practice to use proprietary tools for the design of scientific instruments, thus seriously hindering open collaboration and sharing of scientific designs. The cost of proprietary CAD tools easily reaches tens of thousands of dollar per license.

Possible partners: Open Source Ecology

FreeCAD FreeCAD is a promising CAD tool for Architecture, Engineering and Construction (AEC). It is being developed by an international team of developers, see FreeCAD Developer hub. FreeCAD lacks advanced features. More info here.

Digital Fabrication[editar | editar código-fonte]

Digital fabrication is based on the application of Computer Numeric Control (CNC) to control the addition or subtraction of material in order to obtain an object with desired characteristics.

Although we have listed the desired features Open Workbench, there is still uncertainty regarding the possibility of low cost CNC tools for metal machining. There is complementary work on heavier versions of the present vision for the Open Workbench at the Open Source Ecology Replab

Furnarius Rufus Milling Machine[editar | editar código-fonte]

First live test of the Furnarius Rufus Milling Machine: an Arduino Uno board

Our team have developed an open-source printed circuit board milling machine. The Furnarius Rufus PCB Milling Machine - Fresadora PCB João-de-Barro - consists of a low cost PCB manufacturing machine released in September 2014 under the CERN Open Hardware License v.1.2. This project was initiated by Centro de Tecnologia Acadêmica (CTA), IF/UFRGS in Porto Alegre, Brazil. This project aims at reducing the costs of PCB prototyping for scientific and educational applications by providing an open design that is easy to manufacture. This project is named after Furnarius Rufus, an oven bird that builds its nest with mud, much alike a 3D printer as a tribute to those who make their own stuff.

One Furnarius Rufus in his nest

Our design had the following targets

  • Low cost (< US$ 1000 - parts only);
  • High precision: capable of providing through-hole and SMD PCB layouts;
  • Ease to assemble: most parts can be assembled with bench drills, cutting and bending metal sheets.

Project Documentation In order to build a community of users and developers this project is being documented in detail. The project documentation includes detailed information on the machine design, providing printable and CAD files for each part. The repository also contain a description on how each part of the design was built. The project documentation can be found in a git repository hosted at the Centro de Tecnologia Acadêmica website. As of early September 2014 the first prototype is being assembled and the repository is being populated with detailed schematics for each mechanical part of the machine. With the public release of this project, we aim at encouraging groups to replicate and improve on the initial design.

Open and Citizen Science[editar | editar código-fonte]

During the last years we have observed an increased citizen participation in the development of scientific projects. This is referred to as citizen science. The involvement of citizen range from minimal as in the donation of computer resources in projects such as SETI@Home and LHC@Home that uses the Berkeley Open Infrastructure for Network Computing (BOINC), to direct involvement such as The Galaxy Zoo where the cognitive habitabilities of citizen are involved.

In our approach for citizen science, citizens are engaged in building, installing, and using the scientific apparatus for weather and environmental monitoring. We have developed an pedagogical approach where introductory courses on Arduino engage the participants in the assembly, debug, and data acquisition of an weather station. Our material is available in Portuguese under a Creative Commons BY-SA License [6].

Expected Development-related outcomes and relevance[editar | editar código-fonte]

Objectives and Methods[editar | editar código-fonte]

In order to contribute to the development and dissemination of an Open Workbench we have tree areas of focus:

  1. software
  2. hardware
  3. citizen science
  4. community building

Software[editar | editar código-fonte]

Our team have some experience on free software tools for Computer Aided Design. We observe that advanced features are missing in their user interface or are non-existent. We aim at organizing efforts for the development of free/libre tools for mechanical 3D drawing that is easy to learn and use. This project will list desirable features of these tools, define development possibilities, evaluate existing tools, code, community organization, development models.

On the software aspects of the Open Workbench, this project has two areas of action:

  1. Study the state of current development of free software tools of Computer Aided Design (CAD) for Architecture, Engineering and Construction (AEC). This evaluation will result in a report that will be used as guidelines for a more ambitious project for development of advanced free/libre AEC CAD tool.
  2. Join international efforts[7] for the development and integration of Electronic Design Automation (EDA) tools in order to integrate the design of electronic circuits to the fabrication of printed circuit boards and improve on the simulation capabilities of these tools. We intend to build on the CERN experience on making contributions to community-developed CAD software.

Background information for this project can be found here

Hardware[editar | editar código-fonte]

Concerning the hardware aspects this project will build upon the current popularity of open source 3D printers and improve the current state of the Open Workbench by

  1. Disseminating the recent released open hardware milling machine for the prototyping of printed circuit boards (PCB) for electronic circuits.
  2. Researching and developing digital fabrication tools that complements the 3D printer and the PCB milling machine, i.e. digital equipment able to shape metal structures for mechanical parts and special tailored shapes for diverse applications in science, technology, and education.
  • Disseminate the PCB Prototyping technology
    • Build a database of local suppliers of parts and services required for the manufacturing of open-source digital fabrication machines;
    • Improve and translate relevant documentation
  • Design Advanced Open Source Machining Center

Open source machining of metal parts[editar | editar código-fonte]

In order to define desirable design characteristics and build one prototype of an open-source metal milling machine we expect the following

  • evaluate different design possibilities for CNC metal machining according to cost of equipment design, construction, safety of operation, maintenance, usability (first 6 months);
  • Gather feedback from the community of users of the Furnarius Rufus PCB Milling Machine;
  • Use the results of the above items as as guidelines for designing the next equipment of the Open Workbench.

Micro-grants for groups of Citizen Scientists[editar | editar código-fonte]

This project plans to provide micro-grants for 5 (five) teams of citizen scientists in developing countries interested in hosting an Open Workbench and its application for collaborative citizen science projects. This micro-grant aims at providing the necessary funds to acquire all materials, parts and eventual machining services required to build

  1. one Furnarius Rufus Milling Machine
  2. one open-source weather station

Besides committing to build these two instruments, teams that receive financial support will commit to expanding the network of citizen scientists by joining the international data collection of weather and environmental data and document local suppliers of parts and services. By public listing of local available parts and services for manufacturing the Open Workbench, each team will reduce the entry barrier to joining the community of users.

Monitoring and Evaluation[editar | editar código-fonte]

  • Dissemination of Furnarius Rufus PCB Milling Machine will be measured by the number of successful assemblies of the machines outside our laboratory, both by means of the micro-grant and also others independently interested in replicating the instrument.
  • Number or scientific electronic boards available at the repository, both by the proposed team and also by the external community of users of the FR PCB MM
  • Number of weather stations build and assembled using the Furnarius Rufus PCB Milling Machine. This number will be categorized as i) unsuccessful trials, ii) successful boards assembled and tested, iii) full deployment of weather station. The unsuccessful trials will reflect the number of Micro-grant receiving teams that do not accomplish the intended outcomes.
  • Regarding the development of an advanced milling machine we will deem our project successful if one prototype of at least one metal machining CNC has been successful assembled and its project published under an open hardware license in a public repository.

References[editar | editar código-fonte]

  1. This document is being drafted for submission as a concept paper for the Open and Collaborative Science in Development Network.
  2. http://cernandsociety.web.cern.ch/technology/kicad-development
  3. Pearce, Joshua M. 2012. “Building Research Equipment with Free, Open-Source Hardware.Science 337 (6100): 1303–1304.
  4. http://cernandsociety.web.cern.ch/technology/kicad-development
  5. http://www.ohwr.org/projects/cern-kicad/wiki
  6. http://cta.if.ufrgs.br/projects/suporte-cta/wiki/Oficinas
  7. http://cernandsociety.web.cern.ch/technology/kicad-development