Design Appendix - Open Hardware - Evaluation Criteria Concerning the Quality and Sufficiency of Technical Documentation

Published: 27 March 2024| Version 1 | DOI: 10.17632/pmrn3zfnfj.1
Dominik Saubke


The multiple crises of our time bring new goals, such as circulating capability, longevity, and individuality, to the fore. Producing more locally at the point of need to approach the overarching goal of a circular economy is worthwhile. However, every physical materialization of an artifact precedes today, commonly a digital design process. The open design paradigm aims to make all product development information and documentation freely available. The result is Open (Source) Hardware, which can be distributed, developed, and used by anyone. The number of Open (Source) Hardware designs is constantly increasing; platforms bundle thousands of designs accessible to anyone interested. Public interest in using these designs is rising; unlike makers, they cannot compensate for missing details in the technical documentation with their skills. One solution is the production by multi-identitarian production networks close to the point of need. Even more complex value-adding tasks could be solved locally through cross-company production by various well-equipped small and medium-sized enterprises. However, inadequate technical documentation in such companies quickly increases costs and prevents economic materialization. The following approach aims to clarify whether Open (Source) Hardware is suitable for production in small and medium-sized enterprises. Criteria must first be derived to recognise systematic failures or gaps in the Open (Source) Hardware documentation. The evaluation criteria, based on international standards for technical documentation, were applied to assess 49 designs. This assessment was conducted by a group of experts, followed by a statistical analysis. This Dataset contains further and more detailed information on the publication.



Helmut-Schmidt-Universitat Universitat der Bundeswehr Hamburg


Hardware Co-Design, Engineering Design