3D printing, open-source, certifying hardware, OSHWA API, China, and more … a weigh in ahead

3D printing, open-source, certifying hardware, China, and more ... weigh in

It looks like the Open Source Hardware Association (OSHWA) “fully intend(s) to weigh in” on the issues raised from the interview with Josef Prusa in the article “When Open Becomes Opaque: The Changing Face of Open-Source Hardware Companies”

It’s been a month since the article was published, and it made the rounds in various news sites and electronic communities. I recently was asked to be on a podcast about this topic with a pretty well-known show, and I’m trying to gather more information, and suggest guests before doing so. I was also on an email thread about all this and reached out to Alicia Gibb, Executive Director of the Open Source Hardware Association (OSHWA), and some of the OSHWA board members to ask if they contacted Prusa, and I made some suggestions. People in the community dunking each other over Twitter (now called X) is not productive, and that’s where it’s been stuck. So, I requested a comment on the official places for OSHWA (forums, Discord).

In the public Open Source Hardware Association (OSHWA) forums, there is a response from lee wilkins, Open Hardware Summit Chair

“We are in the process of working though several items relating to this issue. This is a sensitive and complex topic, and we fully intend to weigh in on our own timeline. We are seeking community consultation, including collaborating with Chinese makers, and it will take time for us to educate ourselves and help educate our community.”

It’s fair to say the open-source and 3D printing communities will be looking forward to what this ends up being. It would be helpful if OSHWA was transparent about who they are consulting in the community, including how Chinese makers could collaborate. The OSHWA Meeting Minutes are published here (last one published is from September 2022). Maybe progress or updates on this will be in the meeting notes, and I’ll check with OSHWA by the 2024 summit, and do a follow up article.

Montreal, Canada for the 2024 Open Hardware Summit!

Ideally, this would be a session at the Open Hardware Summit in 2024, which was just announced with various people and organizations involved in 3D printing and open-source.

Open-source hardware listing for China

There are currently 8 OSHWA certified open-source hardware 3D printers, with China as the country listed.

Creality3D CR-10 which Naomi Wu publicly worked on with Creality to publish and OSHWA certify

The most notable, we think, is the Creality3D CR-10 which Naomi Wu publicly worked on with Creality to publish and OSHWA certify:

CR-10 3D Printer- Now Open Source Hardware Association Certified! – video &
“Creality GPL Update – Naomi Wu Released CR-10S Marlin Source Code”video, GitHub, Reddit, and some recent news “Naomi Wu and the Silence That Speaks Volumes”.

For those interested in digging into the certification data, here’s a quick detour before I wrap this article up.

There is an OSHWA API; you can download the entire JSON data source and toss it in your tool of choice. I used OpenAI (Code Interpreter, August 3 Version) –

Here are the top 10 countries that certify Open-source hardware.

  1. United States of America: 1,530 certifications
  2. Germany: 138 certifications
  3. Croatia: 109 certifications
  4. Bulgaria: 95 certifications
  5. United Kingdom: 48 certifications
  6. India: 47 certifications
  7. Spain: 36 certifications
  8. Mexico: 32 certifications
  9. Canada: 30 certifications
  10. Sweden: 21 certifications

Top 10 companies that certify Open-Source Hardware

The top 10 organizations that certify open-source hardware are: Adafruit Industries, LLC, SparkFun Electronics, SOLDERED ELECTRONICS LTD, Watterott electronic, OLIMEX Ltd, Field Ready, Lulzbot, ELECTRONIC CATS SAPI DE CV, ANAVI Technology, Hummingbird Hammocks, LLC.

In the top 10 is Lulzbot, a USA open-source hardware 3D printer maker. OSHWA could ask them if they see the same issues as others have brought up. According to the “when” chart that’s ahead if you keep reading, Lulzbot stopped certifying in 2019?

There are 13 OSHWA certifications from China.

  • CR-10 3D Printer
  • CR10 Melzi Motherboard
  • CrowVision
  • CyberPi
  • ELEGOO Jupiter 3D printer
  • ELEGOO Mars3 3D Printer
  • ELEGOO Neptune 3 Pro FDM 3D printer
  • Ender 3
  • LambdaChip Alonzo board
  • mPython
  • Pyramid 3D Printer
  • sino:bit
  • Tango 3D Printer Control Board

These projects are mostly 3D printing and related technologies.


The USA and China are the TOP TWO countries that certify open-source 3D printers!

Out of all the 2,407 certifications, the top five categories are:

  • Electronics: 1,812 certifications
  • 3D Printing: 111 certifications
  • IOT (Internet of Things): 88 certifications
  • Education: 74 certifications
  • Science: 73 certifications

Electronics and 3D printing!

Anyone in the community (or at OSHWA!) can run reports like this. You can make some fun charts like “when were things certified” too.

When Open-Source hardware is certified, how soon is now?

For certification dates, the most popular day of the week of the certification is Friday. The most popular month is May.

How long until Adafruit gets to 1,000 certifications? OpenAI said that based on a linear regression model and the current trend, we’ll reach 1,000 certifications on July 30, 2026. OpenAI warned me this is a “simple prediction based on current trends, and real-world outcomes may vary due to multiple factors.” Here’s a gist of the concatenated Python code.

And last up, out of all the 2,407 certifications, the most popular software license is the MIT License, with 1,348 certifications using it.

Enough data crunching with robot friends, back to the article!

There is an opportunity for OSHWA as the organization that represents the open-source hardware community to provide one of the most crucial parts of their charter:

“Collect, compile and publish data on the Open Source Hardware movement.”

In August of 2023, Adafruit reached 600 certified open-source certified designs, the first organization to do so. Adafruit was also the first to reach 500 (2022) – so what OSHWA does (or does not do) matters. Should Limor keep certifying designs? I asked! She is going make Open Source Hardware either way.

After the article “When Open Becomes Opaque: The Changing Face of Open-Source Hardware Companies” was published, a certification that shouldn’t have been issued was corrected (revoked). I understand that OSHWA would prefer not be in the previous post. Public statements in the OSHWA forums by the OSHWA team about some next steps with 3D printing, open-source, and China are VERY noteworthy, and newsworthy in these circles. So! This is a new post to continue capturing the story. If the best known, highest profile, open-source 3D printer manufacturer is really abandoning all their OSHWA certification efforts, and open-source in general after a decade+ it would be good to have the organization (OSHWA) see if there is anything to learn from this and share with the community, and for any organization to work constructively with OSHWA if they’re going to spend time on all this.

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