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Ireland - semi-commercial engineering
  • David wrote:

    Hi all, 

    I'm an engineering student and want to find others in Ireland who 
            1. are interested in non-commercial culture, and 
            2. are interested in open-source software/hardware. 
    I am hoping to help establish a hub for "semi-commercial" initiatives 
    in Dublin in the near future. 

    Specifically, there are two things I'd like to do: 
            1. help to set up a "sharespace" somewhere in the greater Dublin area 
            2. help to set up a partly-commercial engineering initiative. 
    I say "partly-" or "semi-" commercial because - although this would be 
    a genuine and concrete effort at bringing about non-commercial 
    alternatives - we obviously need a certain amount of money for various 
    reasons in the medium-term. So we need to figure out some sort of 
    compromise - and this probably means engaging in commerce to a certain 

    The first project I have in mind is Repraps - i.e. building, selling 
    and sharing them - but we could look into a lot of other projects as 
    time advances. E.g., in due course we could explore designs such as 
    Elphel cameras, USRP (Universal Software Radio Peripherals), DSO Nano 
    (open-source digital oscilloscope), SLS wax printers (followed by lost- 
    wax casting) etc.. 

    Technically, we would probably be declaring ourselves legally as a 
    business of some sort - but a significant amount of the work done 
    would be done on a non-commercial basis. What portion of the work done 
    would be commercial and what portion non-commercial would probably 
    vary over time - and is something we could figure out as we go along. 

    The general maxim would be this: if we have the time and wherewithal 
    to help people outside a commercial context - and if we have some sort 
    of assurance as to the trustworthiness of their character - we do so. 
    Whenever we fear that these practices might compromise our commercial 
    viability, we stand back and reevaluate. So we try to focus first-and- 
    foremost on the intrinsic value of the work we are doing - but we also 
    make allowances for the "way of the world". 

    I raised this issue on the Reprap Ireland forums recently: 
    Finally, I am involved with an informal group called "Sharing 
    welcome to get involved in that also (as of yet it is solely an online 

    If anyone is interested, don't hesitate to contact me. And forward 
    this to anyone you think might be interested. 


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