Farm Hack // Design Principles

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Open Source Hardware Association definition of open source hardware can be found HERE

  • Biology before steel and diesel – is there a way to approach this problem by using biological systems that add to soil health – such as cultural practices like cover cropping, mulching, crop or animal rotations etc. Look to tradition.
  • Holistic approach – does this tool make me enjoy working with it as much as getting the job done faster?
  • Universality – whenever possible, use standardized components, measurements and systems to allow easier replication and alteration i.e. Universal couplers/fastener spacing – use of standard quick connects for electronics/hydraulics/air lines/power take offs
  • Transparency – functional components are clearly laid out and purpose is clear.
  • Modularity – functions can be removed and replaced without reengineering entire tool. Tool function can be changed by adding or subtracting parts.
  • Adaptability – tools can be used for many functions and can be changed to new functions easily.
  • Design for Disassembly – if welded easy access to joint for cut/ no hidden bolts/ exposed bearings/belts/ Belt and chain tensioners have enough play to enable easy removal
  • Replicability – Could this part be recreated in a farm shop in a small town – Use of common dimension materials. for example: design for welded and machined parts rather than castings. Use “off the shelf” or commonly available components, or components that are or can be repurposed – can a more easily sourced part do the job as well?
  • Affordability – Is this design more affordable to build than a conventional/proprietary alternative, while still being durable and high quality?

Discussion for these approaches can be found in the forums here. A good similar discussion can be found at Open Structures here: here and at Low Tech Magazine here: here

“Work in cadence, some things are breakable.”