Developers Intro


Welcome to the Developer’s Forum.

If you’re here, you’re probably looking for something to do, someone to do it with, or for ideas for your own project. Maybe you’d like to start a project.

You’ve come to the right place.

The Visible Robot is intended as a base machine to build on. The machine itself is expected to morph over time into something evermore solid, reliable and accurate. But the machine is only a small part of the story. More important is developing the ecosystem to wrap around it. The intent is to bring forth a desktop manufacturing workstation.

The open, gantry-style cartesian machine was developed specifically to be extendible.

Want to design a gripper to pick-n-place or move parts around? Think the machine should really have sensory feedback? Got an idea for a fourth or fifth degree-of-freedom? What kind of tools should the machine be able to use: to carve, mill, drill, or turn parts; to fabricate printed circuit boards; to populate them? Want to help “flesh out” the desktop manufacturing environment using the Auto Tool Changer (ATC)—or help to bring the ATC into fruition as a product? What about protocols for communicating between the machine and its tools? What about communicating with other workstations, co-operation between the gantries of the Visible 3Bot, or a system for holding an inventory, or one holding and communicating the manufacturing process instructions to the robot and the current toolset?

So, what’s in it for you?

First off, you, or your team if you choose, will own the design. The license will be yours to choose. The only constraint is that it must use either one of the free-and-open-source licenses—GPL, BSD, Apache, MIT, or one of the CC-BY-… including CC-BY-NC (non-commercial), or the Finix Systems License.

Secondly, if you choose, you may offer your design gratis, or you may charge for it. If you decide to sell it, you set the price.

Subject to agreement with Finix Systems, you may sell it on this site for a small fee paid to Finix Systems for providing the marketing outlet and payment processing. (The agreement required is to ensure the design is functional, reliable, and does what it says it does). The agreement can be non-exclusive. You may sell “beta” status product, but it must clearly indicate that it is in beta.

The Finix Systems site is presently not equipped to ship physical product.

Projects may form as a team. Teams may be Open-To-All; Membership-Thru-Application (to the group or its leader) or By Invitation Only.

The project initiator decides how it will be managed: BDFL (benevolent dictator for life), Consensual, Majority, etc.

The project may choose to be open in its discussions to all registered users, allow access but not posting, or be closed to only its members.

How to start

If you’re looking to get a group started, make a suggestion to the Developer’s Forum with a descriptive title and enough detail to gather interest from other devs.

If you’ve put a solution together and want to either give it to the world gratis or sell it: use Contact to describe it; show proof-of-work (photos/video); give the development status; state the license; and set a price if it’s to be sold.

Good luck–and may the (creative) force be with you!

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