I have been working on this for a number of years already (started with the browser extension) and have a few things in the pipeline such as integrating a GitLab back-end for easier file-uploads and adding a bill of materials editor.
The source code is available at https://github.com/monostable/kitspace (give it a star if you like it - it really helps a lot with grant applications). There is an alpha version of a BOM builder tool at: https://bom-builder.kitspace.org. Feel free to ask for more details of course :)
Any short term plans to expand the site further?
I had thought that selling solder stencils perhaps might be a good optional extra for larger boards, but I guess they could prove a little expensive. Cheapest I've found with a quick search was this site:
The cost for a one-off order is always more than something that is made multiple times so I it's not a question of competing on price. Kitspace currently optimizes for one-off orders (batching orders of a single design for multiple people would be interesting too though).
I am curious, how do you think it lowers the support burden? Do you mean they can just say: "you soldered it, I don't know, works for me" or is it something more? :D
I think the stencils are best left to the batching services and Aisler and PCBway, which are linked from Kitspace, offer them too (and they should pick out the relevant solder-paste Gerber files).
EDIT: Oh, and regarding planned features check: https://github.com/monostable/kitspace#planned and the work-in-progess (WIP) pull-requests: https://github.com/monostable/kitspace/pulls
Yeah, pretty much the former. Selling a product directly, even in kit form, implies that you're stating that the parts you supply will be fit for purpose, whereas with a site like Kitspace I'd suggest it's up to the person assembling the boards to get things working (though that won't stop some people asking for help). What Kitspace seems to do is to reduce the friction between seeing a board an individual is interested in and the ordering of the suggested parts, which is a step forward for the user experience of open source hardware.
Do you mind reporting how many sales you've had so far (to-date, per-month, etc.)? Have you thought about trying to do some visual diffing to get it closer to the source version control analogy? Do you do a lot of hand curation of the repositories on there?
Yes, I totally can't wait to take more advantage of the Git back-end! I like the idea of visual diffs though they can have problems (if you move the entire design by 1mm say). Just having tagged versions will be the first step and we can experiment after that.
I have been pushing people to better document the projects and helping with getting the required files into place (and sometime helping them use Git/GitHub). I have been doing what I call guerrilla BOM building (never shout this at an airport!) where I sort out an OSHW project's bill of materials and send a PR. I was doing some of this today: . I will be applying for grants to do more of this and maybe get some help with it.
I was wondering more about how many orders have gone through your system and how many people have ordered PCBs and parts through you site. Do you know what those numbers roughly are?
I see you have some kind of examples for how to organize projects in your README. Do you have some more formalized guidelines for recommended 'best practices' for organizing open hardware projects? Would you consider making one if you don't have it already?
Interesting, looking around there's some people playing around with visual diffs  . Maybe a good first step is to just have a multi-layer view of the image with different colors.
Are you going to attend OHS in Boston this year?
Best practices, it's a good idea, but it is hard enough to get people to do the minimal thing that I came up with for Kitspace and I think only certain kinds of people will read a best practices guide. At the Global Open Science Hardware Gathering  we are trying to come up with more general best practices for open source hardware though and doing a more focused one for electronics would be worthwhile anyway.
About attending OHS, not unless I can get some travel funding :(
A good resource for more projects to put up might be Tindie. You might find some more HW folks there that would like to contribute.
What did you use to build the site? It looks great and is responsive. I have been wanting to build a "thingiverse for x" for a specific x for a while, but have not had the time for a nice implementation like this.
Source code for Kitspace is on GitHub as well: https://github.com/monostable/kitspace
Tindie is a really cool platform for selling kits and assembled projects and I need to figure out how to best reach people there. Kitspace is kind of trying to serve the niche of creators that don't want to put in the effort to put together and sell assembled projects or kits. There is probably still some overlap though and some people do have projects on both sites already I believe.
Kitspace is built with React and Semantic-UI (and pcb-stackup! ) and is compiled into a static site hosted on Netlify. I chose to implement my own build system using Ninja because I didn't get on with the frontend build tools at the time and it needs to process a lot of assets (and I do embedded systems programming by day, so I actually like Make and Make-like build tools). This was before Webpack and I had a go at understanding Webpack a few times in the mean time but never got my head around the config language.
I am currently working on moving away from a static site and using an instance of GitLab as a back-end. I am eyeing up Parcel and Next.js as possible routes for building the new front-end.
The ergodox sounds like a good fit as per your description, I tried to put together an order to make my own but got overwhelmed between out of stocks and alternative chips, etc. Ultimately I will probably buy a kit from someone else rather than buy individual parts from mouser and digikey.
I forked the ergodox project and will have a go at helping the creator put it up when I get a chance.
I'm not sure I'm willing to install a Chrome extension to be able to use this, though. I try to keep my extensions down to a minimum.
The extension source code is available at: https://github.com/monostable/1clickBOM and it's been extensively reviewed by Mozilla for getting it up on addons.mozilla.org.
(Source code for Kitspace is on https://github.com/monostable/kitspace by the way.)
I'm getting old. I would have described it as "on-demand Heathkits"!
It's a great idea. I'd love to see more types of designs. My parents still use their Heathkit receiver, while I make do with a pathetic store-bought one.
It would indeed be great to have more types of designs. We've had an influx of animal shaped PCBs recently (partly my own fault ) so I am on the search for some rectangular green, serious ones to offset that. I feel like it's slowly getting to a point where it's worthwhile adding categories.
I guess I've never seen any other solder-it-yourself kits. Do they exist? I'd love to make some. Or give them as gifts.
> (Also, didn't Heathkit make a little bit of a comeback? http://heathkit.com)
Great, if true. Right now I only see 2 kits on their website, and both are just newer versions of ones I built years ago (clock, AM radio).
> We've had an influx of animal shaped PCBs recently (partly my own fault)
Heh, I was wondering about those.
Do you take requests? Home audio is the DIY classic. Maybe power supplies or battery chargers -- I always seem to need more of those. And of course, anything related to home automation. Maybe you could start small (like an IR remote control), and move up. A fully open-source alternative to the IOT junk that's on the market today would be most welcome!
P.S. I should really have a go at this power supply too: https://github.com/eez-open/psu-hw
1. You could add the objective O2 headphones amp (very nice build)
2. I have a stash of common parts I bought in bulk (mostly SMD R/C), if those were automatically "supplied" via my personal inventory list (maybe even updating it), that might be really neat.
For 2. it might be worth integrating with some of the part managements systems. https://github.com/monostable/awesome-electronics#inventory-...
Further, it would be nice if the website immediately showed the price for the components (or a range, for different resellers).
If you click on the "repo" link for most (not all) projects you will be able to download schematics (the majority are done in KiCad).