An idea about Open Souce PCBs
Background: This is what I witnessed: People are making various shields and boards, which is expensive ran by someone alone. Not like the code in sourceforge which everybody can download and copy, open source hardwarer often stop to hesitate before PCB making. However, most of the designs are contributed to the community under Creative Commons Attribution Share-Alike licenses. So, how about make and share the PCBs in an more effective way?
Offer: We are serving open source hardware, including protype PCB capacity. We would like to host a new pattern to overcome the dilemma. The initial idea is like this (open for suggestion now):
The initiator make a board (maybe own design or any work under open source license), get 5 pieces PCB for just $30, we share the manufacturing costs and produce extra. The extra PCB will be stock by us and listed on a very affortable price like 7-9$ with minimal shipping cost. (About 2-3$ flat rate). You may share the $30 with other people, end up getting an industrial standard PCB for less than 10$.
Considerations: We have considerations about its risk, but it’s so exciting an idea for open source hardware that we would like to adventure with. People usually create their own work with passion and care, and of course grant some value into it. There should be someone on the planet has similar interests, no matter for a whole PCB or just make use of a partial circuit. We are glad to faciliate the collaborative pattern to eliminate duplicate jobs. To the operation level, we might weigh and decide the number to stock (maybe a more democratic way, like voting in forum). On the business side, PCB is just one service of our depot content, we are more considered about the overal output as a whole, some small quantity would not be too much risk anyway. Let’s try make it work! lol