Global communities of developers connect with companies that produce locally. In line with this principle, we want to provide a decentralized online platform that catalogs (or lists) open source global hardware data from around the world. It can then be adapted to local needs and then distributed in a way that’s ready and adapted for local markets. The EU is funding this goal with several million euros to advance a sustainable circular economy. The software project 'Fab City OS' (OS stands for Operating System) is part of a global community that is developing digital infrastructure based on the values of the Fab City Foundation.
“Fab City OS” - digital infrastructure for Fab Cities
An operating system for a computer consists of many different programs, tools, and technologies. Similarly, the Fab City Operating System will also consist of an array of very different applications. All these software building blocks will provide people in a Fab City with new digital technologies and tools to transform our urban consumption into a sustainable, collaborative circular economy. The development is funded by the INTERFACER project.
About the INTERFACER Project
The Fab City approach operates according to the motto “Learn, Make & Share.” The approach of open global collaboration has the potential to unleash new approaches to business. The community is growing. In this spirit, globally networked cities and regions exchange data, information, and expertise, and collaborate on the design and development of sustainable physical goods in the form of open-source hardware. The production, repair, and recycling of these physical goods and items is performed in at the local level. It uses digital production technologies close to the point of need that are freely available, for example, in Fab Labs.
While the global movement around Fab Cities, Fab Labs and the Maker movement is growing, there is a lack of digital infrastructure that can truly enable a data-driven circular economy, both on a global and local level.
The goal of Fab City OS is to reorganize globalized value creation and production systems and to establish sustainable and synergetic production processes worldwide.
Find open source products on fabcity.hamburg
Under the working title “Fab City OS Core”, a platform of sorts is currently being created to promote innovative, sustainable open source product ideas to foster local circular economies. The data will be organized in a decentralized digital network, enabled by blockchain technology. In the future, open source products and projects will be directly accessible through the fabcity.hamburg website, so that Hamburg startups and companies can start their first real-life tests. The following questions will be evaluated in this phase:
- How can we bring the local Hamburg community and the culture of innovation of the open labs together so that they can benefit from each other’s strengths?
- What benefits could the Hamburg economy and private sector derive from open source hardware production?
- What potential is unlocked through open global collaboration on product ideas?
- What new business models can emerge based on openly accessible product data?
Fab City OS Core ist online
Test Fab City OS Core (Staging)
Fab City OS Suite and Fab City OS Core
Fab City OS provides a variety of open source software solutions. Our development in Hamburg is currently divided into two parts. The Suite supports Fab Cities with a modern and optimized website and communication. We use free, open standards, lightweight code, and current web technologies. In addition, we rely on the integration of established free software solutions like Matrix Chat, Pretix Event Management, and Git version management.
Fab City OS Core is the name of the main part of the Fab City OS, a decentralized platform where you can upload product information (documentation). It helps simplify collaboration with other users and to capture all steps from design changes to prototyping and production in a ”Digital Product Passport”. This provides the foundation for a new type of data-driven product development. Value creation can be more sustainable and better measured, repair and recycling are simplified. It makes continuous improvements by international design teams possible.
Please copy the fabcity.hamburg website!
As part of the INTERFACER project, Hamburg was the first Fab City to convert its website Fabcity.hamburg to the Fab City OS Suite. The source code is already freely available (see: Fab City OS Suite Repos). The documentation will also be made available at the end of March 2023.
Fab City OS sees itself as a building block that helps implement the idea of “Data in - Data out” (DIDO) (more on this on the Fab City website). In addition to this particular initiative, which is currently being developed as an initial prototype in the INTERFACER project (July 2021-March 2023), there are a number of other projects that strive to achieve the same goal but have different emphases. INTERFACER’s approach is to build on standards and interfaces to become part of an open, federated solution. With this in mind, the INTERFACER team is in dialogue with the Fab City Foundation and other stakeholders in the network.
Digital Product Passport
As a part of the Ecodesign Directive for Sustainable Products, the European Commission is currently developing the “Digital Product Passport” (DPP). Fab City OS embraces this approach and is also actively working on data-based products and design requirements to help make circular consumption (which is much more environmentally-friendly) attractive in the future.
|INTERFACER||The INTERFACER website provides detailed information about the EU project.|
|Dyne||Dyne is the core development team working on Fab City OS Core. Dyne is a non-profit software shop with 20 years of experience. They have exceptional expertise in cryptography, web3, open source, digital sovereignty.|
|New Production Institute||As part of the Helmut Schmidt University in Hamburg, the New Production Institute is responsible for coordinating the INTERFACER project. It also coordinates the Fab City Dtec project, which conducts research on the physical infrastructure of Fab Cities.|
|HIWW||The Hamburg Institute for Value Chain Systems and Knowledge Management (Hamburger Institut für Wertschöpfungssystematik und Wissensmanagement) is an INTERFACER project partner. It also provides support for other exciting projects.|
|Open Toolchain Foundation||A project to promote open source software tools for open hardware development..|
|Technical Components (Git Repositories)||Overview about the developed components in the INTERFACER Project (Software Stack)|