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Fill Up The Digital Manufacturing Commons

The DMDII* is building the DMC** and has issued a PPD**. You could get paid for contribute to a digital manufacturing revolution that will make America great again.

* Digital Manufacturing and Design Innovation Institute
** Digital Manufacturing Commons
*** Project Proposal Document (pdf)

I actually participated in DARPA’s Adaptive Vehicle Make program. We were supposed to compete to design a vehicle. DARPA’s goal was a system that allowed electro-cyber-mechanical things to be designed and manufactured without ever having to be physically tested. I couldn’t make heads nor tails of the software we were supposed to use, but a bunch of people did. Ultimately it turns out it’s a bad idea to crowdsource a piece of military hardware, which by definition has to be proprietary, classified, and precisely engineered. Since they never finished the AVM program they transitioned the tech into this program.

Bullet points go!

  • They expect their award ($25-200K) must be matched by at least 1-to-1 cost sharing
  • The output has to be licensed Apache 2 or CC-BY
  • proposals must include “specific, quantitative metrics”
  • they’re interested in “projects that significantly exceed current state-of-the-art…as assessed on a global scale” to the point where “incremental advances will be considered nonresponsive”
  • period of performance is 6-15 months
  • the Digital Manufacturing Commons is being built by General Electric Global Research, headed by Dr. Joe Salvo, Manager of the Complex Systems Engineering Lab along with Dr. Ben Beckman, Lead Scientist. The associate director is Jim Barkley of DMDII who will build the user/developer community
  • DMC is based on VehicleFORGE and MIT’s Distributed Object-based Modeling Environment (DOME)
  • The basic feature set is an open source project hosting and management platform (VehicleFORGE), a “distributed commons” for data and models, and a service cloud for model execution
  • It’s distributed, in that data/models/users can reside in any addressable location, and federated, in that permissions can be assigned to control access
  • It uses a plugin architecture for module development and a RESTful web services API

This is the kind of thing that I like to see. Let’s solve big problems by giving people a suite of tools they don’t have to ask permission to use and set them loose. Maybe it will work, maybe it won’t, but it’s always better to try a diverse range of options.

Published inopen sourceresearch

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