From previous experience I know that when making an open source piece of software you often have documentation that moves with the file. Some of these files include:

  • Readme
  • License
  • Changes

While these things are good for digital files, when building hardware you don't have a folder with files.

My question:

How do you keep documentation for an open sourced project, if it is a piece of hardware?

  • 3
    In most cases, open sourcing hardware generally means open sourcing the design
    – Zizouz212
    Jun 26 '15 at 23:46

Open source hardware means that the designs and specifications (shape, size, materials, contruction methods) are open source. This could be one or several of various available formats:

In the case of hardware, open source means that the instructions for making the hardware are available to everyone. Similarly to how in the case of software, open source means that the source code (instructions for making the compiled software) are available to everyone.

Hardware open source can include both instructions for manufacturers on how to construct fundamental parts, and instructions on how to put these parts together into composite parts or whole mechanisms.


Open sourcing generally means releasing the format that you designed the hardware in.

For hardware this would be circuit diagrams, trace design, blueprints. Things like that.

If you previously took out a patent on it then you would provide the patent as well along with a license for people to use the patent freely.

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